This week, the European Commission is hosting the “International Conference on Forests for Biodiversity and Climate” in Brussels to discuss pressures on EU forest ecosystems due to, among others,  climate change as well as how to best protect forests and their biodiversity for a climate neutral and climate resilient land.

The European paper industry has a strategic interest in keeping healthy and growing forests in Europe. We offer a wide range of renewable and recyclable wood fibre-based solutions to EU citizens, from packaging to textile, including hygiene and tissue products, and our raw material comes mainly from European sustainably-managed forests.

As an important milestone will be marked this year with the UN climate negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow and at the biodiversity conference in October in Kunming (China), as they include climate and biodiversity protection as strong components of political debates in reaching the UN SDGs, our industry recalls that biodiversity protection is an integral component of sustainable forest management (SFM).

Today, Carina Håkansson, CEO of the Swedish Forests Industries Federation (SFIF), speaking on behalf of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (Cepi) welcomed the launch of the Forest Information System for Europe (FISE): “Forest-related information has to be science-based and undisputed to provide the basis for future policies supporting forests and the forest sector deliver their contribution to the Green Deal”.

The protection of biodiversity is not only extremely important in itself, but also a part of our efforts to reach the EU 2050 carbon neutrality goal.

In light of the current debate on the best way to protect the biodiversity in forests, the European paper industry believes that the evaluation of the implementation of the current Biodiversity Strategy should be known before setting goals for a 2030 biodiversity strategy. In this way all relevant actors can contribute to the discussion and highlight what solutions are currently working in the best way.