A Ministerial Decision was recently (30.08.2022) adopted by the 44 Member States of FOREST EUROPE at the first High-Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD), an inclusive dialogue among interested actors to exchange on the latest scientific findings, best practices, and specific national policies.
The first instalment of the HLPD was titled Sustainable Forest Management: Unlocking forest biodiversity’s potential and it was German Federal Minister Cem Özdemir, acting as chair of the process, who invited several high-level representatives to join the event. It all started with a science policy report presentation to provide the scientific basis for the following discussion. Take a look at the Policy Brief: Forest biodiversity in Europe – where do we stand?.
After that, German State Secretary, Silvia Bender together with Swedish State Secretary of the Ministry for Rural Affairs, Oskar Magnusson, the Deputy Minister of the Czech Ministry of Agriculture, Patrik Mlynář and the Director of the Directorate of Forests of the Republic of Serbia, Saša Stamatović, discussed with Eckart Senitza, Pro Silva, and Erica Di Girolami, IFSA, common achievements of sustainable forest management to prevent loss of forest biodiversity.
This concept for ad hoc meetings on emerging issues related to forest and forestry was introduced with the Work Programme 2021-24 under the Rapid Response mechanism, an overarching process interconnected to the other work streams (sustainable forest management, forest risks, and green jobs and forest education). In this occasion, the emerging issue focused on supporting the recovery and sustainable management of Ukrainian forests and the forest sector. The pan-European ministers responsible for forests and the observers of the FOREST EUROPE process sent a strong signal of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and the forest sector. Liubov Poliakova, Head of International Cooperation, Science and Public Relation Division of State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine, introduced the situation and Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Sergiy Vlasenko, joined virtually to thank the process for the endorsement of the Ministerial Decision and the general support.
The last segment started with the official launch of the new EFI’s policy brief series, which brings together scientific knowledge on policy-relevant topics in a short, easy-to-read format. The first publication in the series How can we effectively maintain and enhance forest biodiversity in Europe? was introduced Bart Muys, lead author of the Forest Biodiversity in Europe report. Then María Jesús Rodríguez de Sancho, Director General of Biodiversity, Forests and Desertification of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Spain); Erno Järvinen, Head of Forest and Bioenergy unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department in Finland; Fanny-Pomme Langue, CEPF; and Kelsey Perlman, Fern; presented challenges, gaps, and tradeoffs in strengthening forest biodiversity while guaranteeing multi-functionality.
On this first issue, there were around 160 online viewers.