Forestry key to creating ‘green jobs’

The forestry sector has a major role to play in creating “green jobs” and in boosting growth in EU rural areas.

Copa Cogeca, the umbrella body for European farmers and agricultural co-ops, made the claim when welcoming a new draft report on the sector.

The document on the new EU Forestry strategy, which was debated by the European Parliament Agriculture Committee, highlights the need to better the sector and its potential.

Pekka Pesonen, the group’s secretary general, said that only a competitive and economically viable European forest sector is able to deliver.

“Forests cover 40% of the EU area and have a huge potential to boost the economy, combat climate change and ensure biodiversity, water quality and resource efficiency. Wood plays a key role in helping the EU to reach its renewable energy targets,” he said.

Mr Pesonen said he was glad the draft report by MEP Elisabeth Köstinger recognises the crucial role forests play and the need to increase competiveness and to avoid an increase in bureaucracy.

He said the document highlights the huge contribution sustainable forest management makes to combating climate change and for the bioeconomy and how important it is to better use the instruments available to boost innovation.

“It opposes legally binding rules for prioritising the use of wood, supports a market orientated approach, recognises the vital contribution the forest sector makes to the Europe 2020 Strategy and promotes opportunities to further develop the bio-economy as one of those opportunities that cannot be missed,” he said.

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