I attended the conference “European and global forests – which way for the future” 6-7 September 2011, hosted by the the European Parliament Intergroup Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development. Here is my summary of some of the important points.
Planting more of the same ‘native woodlands’ that now litter the English countryside with little more ambition in their creation and management than a membership publicity drive or community engagement excercise, will be regretted long after the PR-masters behind them have past. In their own way, these are as regrettable as the dark satanic rows of conifers that were planted sixty years ago.
If we continue to plant green fuzz across our food-producing fields, with little concern either for the impending need to be more self-sufficient in food production, or for the need to reduce our enormous reliance on timber imports, Britain’s environmental credibility will be increasingly undermined.
Securing healthy, sustainably managed forests in the light of climate change and its severe consequences is one of the biggest challenges we have to solve in Europe and globally. This is the headline from the Forest Europe Ministerial Conference that opened today, hosted by Norway. The fact that Europe’s forests
England has proportionately the smallest forest area and least state forest resource in Europe yet it is one of the most intensively used
I wrote recently that the UK had the second-lowest forest cover of any country in Europe (see post). More specifically with 12% forest cover the UK has the same forest cover as the Republic of Moldova. Ireland and the Netherlands are equally the least-wooded countries in Europe, each with 11%