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Division of Forest and Forest Resources

Implications for Norwegian forestry of the EU's Green Deal

Active Last updated: 11.06.2024
End: dec 2024
Start: jan 2022

The purpose of the project is to map, identify, and analyze implications for the forestry sector of the EU's Green Deal (European Green Deal, EGD), as well as to communicate this knowledge.

Start - end date 01.01.2022 - 31.12.2024
Project manager Gunnhild Søgaard
Division Division of Forest and Forest Resources
Department Forest and Climate

The EU's Green Deal (European Green Deal, EGD) is a roadmap for a societal transformation in the EU and Europe aiming for climate neutrality (net-zero) by 2050, an economic reform with the ambition to decouple economic growth from resource use, and an action plan for social levelling. Through the project, we will identify, monitor and analyze implications for the forestry sector for key elements of the EGD.

Work Package 1 – European Green Deal

Identify, monitor and analyze the central political processes of importance for the development of Norwegian forest policy. Establish a structured arrangement for analyses of political processes in the EU on the development in Norwegian forest policy.

Work Package 2 – Consequences for the development of forest resources in Norway

Quantitative studies of possible consequences for the development of forest resources at the national level.

Work Package 3 – Consequences for the forestry industry and society. Challenges and opportunities

WP 3 will include analyses based on results from WP 1 and 2. While WP 2 focused on the forest resource alone, here we will acknowledge that the forest is part of the LULUCF pillar and that the path to the goal of net-zero (and later increased uptake) will also be influenced by developments in the other parts of the sector. This includes seeing the forest as part of the LULUCF pillar, and the overall scope for achieving the net-zero goal.

Work Package 4: Communication

Communication to decision-makers, administration, industry actors, NGOs, and the general public is an important part of the project.

Work Package 5: Synthesis

Publications in the project

To document


What is at stake? The new Forest Strategy for 2030 for the European Union (EU) was adopted in July 2021, creating a new drive for forest policymaking on an EU level. Its main reference is the European Green Deal that puts forests in the light of a decarbonised society until 2050, and emphasises carbon sequestration, biodiversity protection, and forest restoration. The strategy aims to improve the quality and quantity of EU forests, enhance their multifunctionality and resilience, and address challenges linked to the increasing strain on forests through human activities and natural processes, including climate change. The Strategy’s priorities include: 1. supporting the socio-economic forest functions and boosting bioeconomy within its sustainability boundaries; 2. protecting, restoring and enlarging forests in the EU; 3. ensuring a strategic forest monitoring, reporting and data collection and 4. encouraging dialogue and stakeholder engagement. Compared to earlier versions, the new EU Forest Strategy has become more concrete and comprehensive in its vision and tries to tie in different objectives of the plethora of EU forest-related policies (such as e.g., bioeconomy enhancement, biodiversity protection, climate mitigation and adaptation etc.). The implementation of the new EU Forest Strategy and meeting its goals has therefore potentially larger implications for national authorities than earlier ones, through its stronger embedding in the overall political framework of the EU, although the Strategy as such is not legally binding. What are the study’s aims? This study assesses whether and to what extent national and regional policy developments meet the EU Forest Strategy goals. It analyses those policies in 15 countries in and outside the EU, as well as in three regions in Spain. The countries are: Austria (AT), Czech Republic (CZ), Finland (FI), Germany (DE), Ireland (IE), Italy (IT), Lithuania (LT), the Netherlands (NL), Norway (NO), Poland (PL), Romania (RO), Slovakia (SK), Slovenia (SI), Spain (ES), and Sweden (SE). Although not a member of the EU, Norway was included into this study as it is closely related through the EEA agreement and a bilateral agreement on cooperation with the EU to fulfil the 2030 climate target. What patterns emerge? There is a striking diversity of socio-economic, environmental and political settings for forests and forestry in Europe and even within countries, which affect the impact of the Forest Strategy. Differences related to both ecological site conditions (determining the type of forest), basic socioeconomic factors (such as ownership), societal demands and needs as well as private sector interests, and urban or rural forest settings determine past and current forest governance and management practices in European countries. At the same time, there are common issues for forest governance and management across Europe, relating to: • a considerable divide of forestry and conservation interests found in all studied countries; • the increasing impact of climate change and related forest disturbances (with regionally different consequences for forests and forestry); and • the embeddedness of European forest governance and markets within larger structures, for example related to (global) energy and resource trade and investment patterns. Other patterns relate to ‘silences’ in member states’ policies, e.g., missing references to forest-sector specific internal threats to biodiversity, as well as to the risk (and reality) of conversion of old growth forests, or missing action and strategies to collect data that is not (yet) part of ‘traditional’ monitoring and reporting activities and systems. ...........................