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Forests: changes to the European strategy are needed

The appeal of the associations of the forest-wood-energy sector to Mipaaf

The main associations representing the operators of the forest-wood-energy supply chain in Italy have asked the Italian government to intervene to improve the European forestry strategy, whose draft document is circulating these days. The presidents of the associations linked to the solid biomass sector Aiel, Ebs, Ef, Fiper, and those of the forest sector Conaibo, the association of forestry consortia and Uncem have written a joint letter to the minister of agricultural, food and forestry policies, Stefano Patuanelli , also informing the minister of ecological transition Roberto Cingolani , to express concern about the document on the forest strategy that will be presented to the European Commission in the coming days. The letter was also shared with the Italian MEPs.

The associations ask that the woody material used for energy purposes is also included in the circular bioeconomy, not just that used for the production of long-lasting products, such as houses, and for other uses in the construction sector. "Wood used for energy purposes has the right to enter the concept of circular bioeconomy for the enhancement of a sector that has a series of positive effects on sustainable forest management", affirm the associations.
The letter highlights that the European forestry strategy does not contemplate the positive externalities achieved thanks to the forest-wood-energy supply chain, although this has made it possible in recent years to redevelop and recover damaged, degraded and / or disease-affected forest areas, with a important action to prevent hydrogeological and fire risks, by implementing widespread forest improvement interventions. Furthermore, sustainable forest management practices play a fundamental role in safeguarding biodiversity and mitigating climate change, without forgetting that they represent an important driver of local development, especially in internal and marginal areas, such as mountain areas, as well as a source of income. for forest businesses and the various supply chain operators.

The associations draw the Government's attention to the national character of competence in forest management, whose practices are now integrated into national and regional legislation according to the principle of distribution of competences and subsidiarity, in line with the criteria and indicators of Forest Europe. "The establishment of a possible new legal framework that includes an additional forest planning and management tool at European level with the definition of indicators and thresholds would distort the policies implemented so far by the member states", reads the joint letter.

Finally, with reference to the 2050 carbon neutrality objectives, attention was paid to the strategic role of the forest sector through strictly interconnected functions such as the sequestration and storage of carbon in trees, wood products and the replacement of fossil fuels with use of biomass. For this reason, within the forestry strategy, bioenergy must be considered, according to the associations, in an all-encompassing approach functional to the effective, concrete and overall improvement of ecosystems.

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EFA News - European Food Agency
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