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Abstract

Several forest related EU policy instruments have set forest relevant quantitative or qualitative targets. We identify the forest relevant targets in current EU policy instruments, and examine whether the pan-European Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (Forest Europe, 2015a) are sufficient to satisfy the information needs of EU policy makers when monitoring progress towards these targets. We apply a computer-based quantitative analysis of forest related EU policy instruments, using key words. In the policy instruments we analysed, forest relevant targets are completely integrated with targets for other sectors in a wider context. Relatively few of the identified forest relevant targets are quantitative; qualitative targets are predominant. In our analysis we show that the pan-European Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management, as they stand, would require adjustments to several of the indicators to provide information on progress towards the identified forest relevant quantitative and qualitative targets. Our results can contribute to reporting on progress towards forest-relevant targets in EU forest related policies, notably by identifying what parameters could be measured and might facilitate forest related target setting in revisions and development of policy instruments, particularly the revision of the EU Forest Strategy.

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Criteria and indicators constitute an increasingly common policy tool to implement sustainable forest management (SFM) and to define clear priorities and targets. This should improve monitoring , reporting and assessment of key aspects of SFM performance. These guidelines provide specific concepts, definitions, tools and reference materials to guide the development process of national criteria and indicator sets for SFM.These guidelines have been developed to support the project "Accountability Systems for Sustainable Forest Management in the Caucasus and Central Asia" which is implemented through the UNECE and FAO Forestry and Timber Section and funded through the UN Development Account. The guidelines and the methods described within are used and applied for the development of national criteria and indicator sets for sustainable forest management in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The guidelines might be also relevant for other countries and related processes.
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The second European Union (EU) Forest Strategy responds to new challenges facing both forests and the forest-based sector which highlights the EU’s need for a policy framework ensuring coordination and coherence of forest-related policies. The objective of the present article is to analyse whether the new Strategy contributes towards horizontal policy coherence of EU forest-related policies, given its shared and exclusive competences. This is achieved by comparing European Commission and forest industry policy priorities as articulated in the Strategy and through research carried out for the recent Cumulative Cost Assessment (CCA) of forest-based industries. Results from the comparative analysis demonstrate that the Strategy does not address many EU policies and policy instruments that affect the whole forest value chain and that it clearly omits existing EU policy instrument objectives that entail significant costs for the forest-based industry. It is therefore argued that without coordinating collective EU goals and gathering strong political support, it is at best extremely difficult or at worst impossible, to achieve coherence for EU forest-related policies across the whole forest value chain. Improving coherence of Union forest-related policies will require the Strategy to address more policy areas and instruments, including clearly defined parameters of what constitutes an EU forest-related policy. These pressing needs reach beyond what the Strategy presently sets out to achieve.
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European forests and the forest-based sector play a central role in a bioeconomy: they provide material (wood and non-wood), bioenergy and a wealth of other regulating and cultural ecosystem services. These demands need to be properly balanced, and many targets have to be tackled simultaneously. How is wood grown and used? What are the economically, environmentally and socially sustainable production processes, products and services? How are non-wood goods and ecosystem services managed and valued? Where and how are forests and biodiversity protected, and how is this integrated into dynamic land use in Europe? Ensuring sustainable development is a necessary precondition for a successful forest-based bioeconomy. There is a need for a realistic understanding of the potential capacity of forest resources to contribute sustainably. In a situation with many possibilities, synergies, trade-offs and uncertainties, indicators can help to avoid unwanted impacts, and support successful and sustainable bioeconomy development. They can be used to inform policy makers, synthesize complex matters and act as tools for decision support. At present, there is a fragmented landscape of bioeconomy-related data and monitoring instruments. Current indicators for the forest-based sector have – reasonably – focused very much on the resource side: forests and their management, and have achieved considerable impact. However, to fully understand the implications of an increasingly diversified forest-based bioeconomy that differs in many ways from the past, a broader approach is needed. In the 20th century, the forest sector was very much fo-cused on pulp and paper products, wood products, and forestry related to these. Today, and increasingly so in the future, the forest-based bioeconomy is also bioenergy, biochemicals, textiles, construction, etc.The forest-based sector has the opportunity to take the lead in the sustainable development of the bioeconomy. It has powerful tools in place that can be adapted and further developed for application in the bioeconomy as a whole. These tools have to be state-of-the art and continuously developed: here the forest sector can be a forerunner and role model, shaping the bioeconomy debate and its monitoring and assessment.This study provides insights into the potential use of forest-based sector indicator sets in Europe. It builds on the rich experience gained with sectoral indicator tools, and connects to aspects of policy re-search, operational research and sustainability science. It develops three different options or scenarios for how bioeconomy indicators can be designed in the future.
Conference Paper
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In the light of major global problems and/or emerging challenges such as for example climate change, the continuing loss of biodiversity, deforestation and desertification, the need for a stable provision of renewable energy, and the further dispersal of invasive species, the identification of criteria and indicators (C&I) to generate knowledge about the status quo and measure changes of sustainable forest management (SFM) becomes more and more important. Despite those so-called wicked problems competing political concepts for SFM such as the ecosystem approach asking for a recognition of ecosystem services or the landscape approach which aims to reconcile different land uses and new economic lead-concepts (e.g. bio-economy, green economy) have emerged over the years. Those challenge current C&I systems including the set of pan-European C&I for SFM as no or only a few indicators are available which measure respective changes. This said, a number of forest-related processes including the Forest Europe process, international organizations and countries have rather recently started or plan to start the development and/or revision of indicators as well as review their indicator sets to adapt them to the changing requirements and to improve their suitability as communication and information tool. Against this background this paper sketches briefly the genesis and merits of the pan-European C&I set with particular regard to its implementation experiences. Since the set (6 criteria and 35 quantitative and 17 qualitative indicators) has been endorsed already in 2003 by the pan-European forest ministers, considerable implementation experience is available that allows for a comparative assessment. In a second step, the paper analyses the newly arising demands and recent activities and tests their potential as well as emerging policy need for further updating C&I. The focus of the paper lies thus on the analysis of the development and merits of the pan-European C&I set, related implementation experiences as well as on studying changing requirements for indicators for SFM to meet more current policy needs.
Book
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EU forests and the forest sector play a significant role in the EU greenhouse gas balance. These forests and their products reduce emissions, enhance sinks, store carbon and provide a continuous stream of ecosystem services, including wood products, energy and biodiversity conservation. EU forests and the forest sector currently produce an overall climate mitigation impact that amounts to about 13% of the total EU emissions. A new bottom-up approach to mitigation commitments has emerged in the UNFCCC climate negotiations process, opening the way to greater flexibility. New data has also enabled scientists to understand how to better use the forest sector in tackling climate change. This means that there is great scope to enhance the role of EU forests in tackling climate change. The new EFI From Science to Policy study “ A new role for forests and the forest sector in the EU post-2020 climate targets ” aims to support EU policy makers in answering this complex question. It concludes that with the right incentives and investments, a significant contribution can be expected from EU forests, forestry and the forest-based industries. There could be a combined, additional effect on top of the existing sink and substitution of as much as 9% of current EU CO2 emissions – some 400 Mt CO2/y by 2030.
Technical Report
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The objectives of the ex-post evaluation of the EU Forest Action Plan were to: - Build on the mid-term evaluation and provide a review of the implementation, effectiveness and appropriateness of the EU FAP. - Analyse whether the objectives of the EU FAP have been met, the Action Plan has led to any side effects, the instruments used are appropriate, relevant, effective and efficient and what the role of the key actors was. - Examine if the EU FAP was the most suitable framework for forest-related actions and instruments of coordination between the Community and Member States. This was carried out in the light of key developments for the forest sectors in the Member States, and at European and international levels.
Article
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One of the major challenges facing participants in the global climate change negotiations is to find a scheme of burden sharing that can be accepted as "fair" by all or at least most governments. In this article we first explore which basic principles of fairness seem to be sufficiently widely recognized to serve as a normative basis for such a scheme. We then examine a set of proposals for differentiating obligations that have been submitted by governments in the negotiations leading up to the Kyoto Protocol to see which principles have been honored. In the concluding section we discuss the implications of our analysis for the design of more specific burden sharing rules.
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The European Commission's Farm to Fork (F2F) Strategy sets ambitious targets to transform the whole food system towards greater sustainability, but we are critical about its strong focus on technical innovations while neglecting the social and structural aspects in transforming food systems. Also, the target of 25 per cent of EU's agricultural land under organic production by 2030 can only be reached if policy measures go beyond production to include processing and retail, and develop the demand side; otherwise, we could witness collapsing markets with strongly decreasing farm prices. An Organic Action Plan needs to include flexibility for implementation, accounting for the respective national situations; and specific objectives for each farming sector should be formulated. The strategy's call for a ‘shift to healthy, sustainable diets’ needs a comprehensive approach, involving all relevant stakeholders, such as processors, retailers and consumers to identify the most suitable leverage points and support changes in consumption patterns and habits. The Member States need to equip their AKIS accordingly and educate advisors, researchers, knowledge brokers and others for the required change in attitudes and practice. With a view to the necessary comprehensive transformation, the AKIS should be extended to a Food and Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System. read-only version: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/share/author/2ZDP3JQVDQN93QFDWUAH?target=10.1111/1746-692X.12294
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The European Union's new Farm to Fork Strategy will initiate several well-defined actions, but its potential to foster genuine change of EU food systems depends on the resolution of four key governance challenges, and political momentum during the implementation phase.
Technical Report
The project has collected and analyzed data and opinions on the implementation of criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management using national enquiries, expert interviews and regional workshops.
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In this essay: I provide a brief history of habitat fragmentation research; I describe why its “non‐questions” (‘Is habitat fragmentation a big problem for wildlife species?” and, “Are the effects of habitat fragmentation generally negative or positive?”) are important to conservation; I outline my role in tackling these questions; I discuss reasons why the culture of habitat fragmentation research is largely incapable of accepting the answers; and I speculate on the future of habitat fragmentation research.
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