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New law proposed by the EU Commission to improve resilience of European forests

The Commission has proposed a new forest monitoring law that aims to create a comprehensive forest knowledge base, address information gaps, and enable better response to growing pressures on forests. Natural hazards and unsustainable human activity have severely impacted the European forests which are crucial for fighting climate change, protecting biodiversity, and supporting rural areas and the economy.

The new monitoring system would enable the collection and sharing of comparable forest data obtained through Earth Observation technology and ground measurements. It aims to:

  • help make forests more resistant to ever-increasing environmental hazards
  • strengthen the capacity of forests to provide for cleaner air
  • facilitate forest planning
  • ensure cooperation among Member States to set long-term forest plans.

A recent report of the Commission shows that in 2022, a record number of wildfires led to the burning of 900 000 hectares of land which corresponds to roughly the size of Corsica – the second-highest number on record. Due to the impact of increasing temperatures on certain species, forest land values are predicted to decline by 27% by the end of the century. These consequences can be reversed by the Nature Restoration Law and provision of quality data on EU forests. The forest monitoring proposal is a key deliverable of the EU 2030 Forest Strategy and the European Green Deal.

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