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EUROPEAN UNION AND FORESTS

1. Forestry Strategy
2. Forest Action Plan
3. Community action in support of sustainable forest management:


European Union and Forests

Even though the Treaty of European Union does not include a common forest policy, various kinds of provisions concerning forests are issued under different policies like the environmental, agricultural (CAP) and trade policies.



1. Forestry Strategy Top of page



The growing concern about the coherence between the forest policies of the Member States and forest-related activities at the EU level, as well as the rising profile of forests in the international policy debates and initiatives on sustainable development, were the main driving forces for the adoption of the EU Forestry Strategy.

A Resolution on a Forestry Strategy for the European Union was adopted by the European Council on the 15th of December 1998.

The Council requested the Commission to report on the implementation of the EU Forestry Strategy within five years. In response to this request, the Commission provided a detailed review of the activities implemented in the context of the EU Forestry Strategy in the period 1999-2004.

This review led to the preparation and adoption of the European Forest Action Plan for 2007-2011.

The need for revision of the EU Forestry Strategy was put in several cases such as the White Paper on Adaptation to Climate Change, the Green Paper of the European Commission for the Protection of Forests and Forest Sector Information in the EU and the recommendations of the interim evaluation of the implementation of the EU Forest Action Plan.

The first discussions on the future of the EU Forestry Strategy started in 115th Meeting of the Standing Forestry Committee (SFC) in July 2010 following a proposal from the European Commission. At the 118th Meeting of the SFC, however, on February 18, 2011 it has been decided to set up an Ad Hoc Working Group of the SFC for the future of the EU Forestry Strategy. Among the terms of reference of this Working Group is to prepare and deliver to the SFC until the end of June, 2012, a Final Report. The report should identify priorities and conceptual elements for a future EU Forestry Strategy or equivalent instrument and make recommendations for the main objectives to be set and the possible means that could be implemented.

It is estimated that the new Forestry Strategy will be approved by the Council and the European Parliament in the first quarter of 2013, following the Opinion of the SFC and the relevant European Commission Communication.

Related Documents:

Council Resolution of 15 December 1998 on a Forestry Strategy for the European Union - (1999/C 56/01)




2. Forest Action Plan Top of page

The EU Forest Action Plan was adopted on 15th of June 2006 and it builds on the report on implementation of the EU Forestry Strategy and consequent conclusions by the Council.

The EU Forest Action Plan (2007-2011) provides a framework for forest-related actions at Community and Member State level and serves as an instrument of coordination between Community actions and the forest policies of the Member States. The overall objective of the EU Forest Action Plan is to support and enhance sustainable forest management and the multifunctional role of forests.

In 2009 an interim evaluation of the EU Forest Action Plan (2007-2011) has been carried out. In early 2012 the European Commission mandated the European Forest Institute (EFI) making the final, ex-post evaluation. The handling of the whole work of the evaluation was the contribution of MS, the European Commission Services and other relevant stakeholders.

Related Documents:

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament reporting on the implementation of the EU Forestry – (COM(2005) 84 final)

Commission Staff Working Document, Annex to the: Communication on the implementation of the EU Forestry Strategy - (SEC(2005) 333)

Conclusions on an EU Forest Action Plan

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on an EU Forest Action Plan - COM(2006) 302 final



3. Community action in support of sustainable forest management Top of page





3.1. Rural Development Policy Top of page

The Rural Development as a policy sector receives great interest and high support by the EU. This led to the development of it as the second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy.

The Rural Development contributes to the realization of the Community’s priorities for sustainability and employment. The EU in its attempt to ensure the maximization of the benefits prepared the strategic guidelines on which every member state could be based in developing its national strategic plan and Rural Development Policies.

The new Rural Development Policy for the period 2007-2013 focuses on four areas in line with the four thematic axes laid down in the new rural development regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005).

These axes are:
1. improving the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sector,
2. improving the environment and the countryside,
3. improving the quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy,
4. Leader.

The programming period 2007-2013 provides a unique opportunity to refocus support from the newly established European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) on growth, jobs and sustainability.

In order to support rural development and achieve the objectives and priorities, EU takes a series of measures. Among these, the forestry measures can be found. These measures, which aim to the maintenance and development of the economic, ecological and social functions of forests in rural areas, can be found under all axes as stated above.

Under axis 1 (improving the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sector) the following forestry measures which will contribute to a stronger and more dynamic forestry sector can be found:

1. Measures aimed at promoting knowledge and improving human potential through:
- vocational training and information actions, including diffusion of scientific knowledge and innovative practices,
- use of advisory services by forest holders and
- the setting up of forestry advisory services.

2. Measures aimed at restructuring and developing physical potential and promoting innovation through:
- improving the economic value of forests,
- adding value to forestry products,
- cooperation for development of new products, processes and technologies,
- improving and developing infrastructure related to the development and adaptation of forestry.

Under axis 2 (improving the environment and the countryside) which is of great interest to Cyprus Department of Forests, the following forestry measures related to the sustainable use of forestry land can be found:

1. First afforestation of agricultural land
2. First establishment of agroforestry systems on agricultural land
3. First afforestation of non-agricultural land
4. Natura 2000 payments
5. Forest-environment payments
6. Restoring forestry potential and introducing prevention actions
7. Support for non-productive measures

The above measures aim to the protection and enhancement of the natural resources and landscapes in the rural areas. All of them can be applied to private forests whereas the first, third, sixth and seventh measure, are also applied to state forests.

Under axis 3 (improving the quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy) the following measures can be found:

1. Measures to diversify the rural economy like the encouragement of tourism activities

2. Measures to improve the quality of life in the rural areas like the conservation and upgrading of rural heritage.

The legal framework of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 is the Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 as well as its Implementing Regulations of the Commission (EC) No 1974/2006 and (EC) No. 65/2011.

The new Rural Development Programme of Cyprus covering the period 2007 - 2013 was approved by the European Commission on 24th November 2007. The Department of Forests is the implementing unit of the following Measures:

2.4 "Afforestation"
2.5 "Restoring forestry potential and introducing prevention actions"
2.6 "Maintenance and improvement of the social and ecological role of the forests"

The European Commission in the framework of CAP reform by 2013, on 12 October 2011 has presented a set of legal proposals amongst which is the first official draft of the new Rural Development Regulation for the period 2014-2020. A new consultation on the regulation has already started and will last until the end of 2012.

Related Documents:

Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 of 21 June 2005 on the financing of the common agricultural policy

Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

Council Decision 2006/144/EC of 20 February 2006 on Community Strategic Guidelines for Rural Development (programming period 2007 to 2013)

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1974/2006 of 15 December 2006, laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)


3.2. Protection against forest fires and air pollution Top of page




Air pollution and forest fires are major problems in Community forests. For this purpose the EU worked closely with world-class program known as «ICP-Forests». This cooperation built on a series of Regulations, the latter of which was the Forest Focus, a comprehensive program of monitoring the health of forest ecosystems, covering biotic and abiotic factors, such as air pollution, fires, etc. It was the legal basis for co-financing of actions till 2006.

Then in 2009, followed by the program FutMon, which was co-financed by the Regulation Life + (Reg. 614/2007). It has provided support to mid-2011 on the harmonization of forest monitoring by linking existing with new monitoring mechanisms at national, regional and community level. The last two years, the intensive monitoring of forest operations have been modified both by reducing the number of sample plots to be monitored, and by increasing the limits of intensive measurements. Following the EU decision, to interrupt financing the program, 18 out of the 25 countries that participated in it decided to continue to implement it, both for the remainder of 2011 and for 2012. Cyprus is one of the countries that it has chosen to continue participating in the program.

Related Documents:

Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 concerning monitoring of forests and environmental interactions in the Community (Forest Focus)

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1737/2006 of 7 November 2006 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning monitoring of forests and environmental interactions in the Community

Regulation (EC) No 614/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+)

3.3. Nature protection Top of page



The Department of Forests, possessing the necessary technical expertise, undertook a lot of obligations that arise from the relative Directives of EU for the protection of nature, like the mapping of "Natura 2000" network. For the Natura 2000 area found within the state forests, the Department of Forests proceeded to the preparation of management plans and took a number of necessary actions for the management and monitoring of ecosystems and species.

The national legislation for harmonization with the Council Directives 92/43/EEC and 79/409/EEC is the following:

The protection and management of wild birds and game Law of 2003, Law 152(I)/2003
The protection and management of Nature and wildlife Law of 2003, Law 153(I)/2003
The protection and management of Nature and wildlife (Amendment) Law of 2006, Law 131(I)/2006


Related Documents:

Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April, 1979, on the conservation of wild birds

Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May, 1992, on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora

The protection and management of wild birds and game Law of 2003, Law 152(I)/2003

The protection and management of Nature and wildlife Law of 2003, Law 153(I)/2003

The protection and management of Nature and wildlife (Amendment) Law of 2006, Law 131(I)/2006



3.4. Marketing of forest reproductive material Top of page



This subject concerns with the proper marketing of forest reproductive material in such a way to ensure the disposal in the market of reproductive material of good quality as well as with known geographic origin. In this way, the newly created forests by reforestations and afforestations will be adapted to the environment and they will also have higher productivity.

The Production and Marketing of Plant Propagating Material Laws of 1991 to 2002 (60 of 1991, 21(I) of 1995 and 44(I) of 2002) and the Production, Marketing and Controls of Forest Reproductive Material Regulations of 2003 and 2007 constitute the national legislation for harmonization with Council Directive 1999/105/EC.

Related Documents:

Council Directive 1999/105/EC of 22 December, 1999, on the marketing of forest reproductive material

The Production, Marketing and Controls of Forest Reproductive Material Regulations of 2003, ΚΔΠ 285/2003 (in Greek)

The Production, Marketing and Controls of Forest Reproductive Material (Amendment) Regulations of 2007, ΚΔΠ 202/2007 (in Greek)



3.5. Protective measures against the introduction and spread into the Community of organisms harmful to plants and plant products Top of page

It concerns with protective measures against the introduction and spread into the Community of organisms harmful to forest plants and plant products (Council Directive 2000/29/EC). These measures include the issuing of phydosanitary certificates, the declaration of protected zones, actions in order to grant a permission to a product to enter in the Community, etc.

The Law 147(Ι) of 2003 “On protective measures against the introduction and spread of organisms harmful to plants or plant products” and the Law (Amendment) 93(I) of 2005 “On protective measures against the introduction and spread of organisms harmful to plants or plant products” constitute the national legislation for harmonization with Council Directive 2000/29/EC.

Related Documents:

Council Directive 2000/29/EC of 8 May, 2000 on protective measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the Community

Law 147(Ι) of 2003 “On protective measures against the introduction and spread of organisms harmful to plants or plant products”

Law (Amendment) 93(I) of 2005 “On protective measures against the introduction and spread of organisms harmful to plants or plant products”

Law (Amendment) 91(I) of 2011 “On protective measures against the introduction and spread of organisms harmful to plants or plant products”

Law (Amendment) 60(I) of 2012 “On protective measures against the introduction and spread of organisms harmful to plants or plant products”

Brochure of Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment - “Harmful Organisms to plants and plant products”



3.6. Action plan for combating illegal logging and subsequent trade Top of page

Responding to public concerns on severe environmental damage caused by illegal logging and deforestation, the European Commission adopted in 2003 an Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).

The ultimate goal of the Action Plan is to ensure that timber exported from third countries to EU comes only from legal sources. Therefore, a key element of the Action Plan is a voluntary scheme to ensure that only legally harvested timber is imported into the EU from countries agreeing to take part in this scheme. These licenses will certifying that the timber has been harvested legally in accordance with relevant national legislation.

The Council in 2005 adopted Regulation (EC) No. 2173 establishing the legal framework for imports into the EU timber from countries that have concluded bilateral FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU.

In 2008, the Commission adopted Regulation (EC) No. 1024/2008 laying down detailed measures for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2173/2005 on the establishment of a FLEGT licensing scheme for imports of timber into the European Community.

The Law 125 (I) of 2010 "On the application of the FLEGT licensing scheme for imports of timber into the European Union Law of 2010" constitute the national legislation for the harmonization with the Council Regulation (EC) No. 2173/2005 and Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1024/2008. Among others, the Law 125(I)/2010, appoints the Forestry Department as the competent authority for the implementation of both of the same Law and the Regulations (EC) No. 2173/2005 and (EC) No. 1024/2008.

In addition to the FLEGT license, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe have adopted the Regulation (EU) No. 995/2010. This regulation defines the basic obligations of the operators (natural or legal persons) who place timber and timber products in the market. More specifically provides for:

• The prohibition on the EU market for the first time, illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber
• the imposition to the operators, the use of a due diligence system, through which the legality of timber and timber products will be controlled and
• the obligation for merchants and traders to keep records for their customers and suppliers.

Timber and timber products covered by this Regulation, as listed in annex, includes: Firewood, logs, wood in the rough, sawn timber, sheets for veneering, plywood, plates and particle board (chipboard, MDF, OSB), pulp, wood furniture, prefabricated buildings, etc. The used timber and waste wood products that have completed their life cycle are excluded. Wood and wood products covered by valid FLEGT or CITES certificate, is considered to comply with the requirements of this Regulation.

The Regulation (EU) No. 995/2010 which is legally binding for the 27 EU member states will come into force on 3
rd of March, 2013. Under this obligation, the Republic of Cyprus has appointed the Department of Forests as the Competent Authority for the implementation of this Regulation.

For the uniform application of the timber Regulation (Reg. (EU) 995/2010), by all MS, the Commission has adopted the Delegated Regulation (EU) No 363/2012 of 23 February 2012 on the procedural rules for the recognition and withdrawal of recognition of monitoring organizations as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market. The Commission at the moment is also preparing for this purpose an Implementing Regulation on the Controls for the Monitoring Organizations and Guidelines.

Related Documents:

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) - Proposal for an EU Action Plan

Council Conclusions — Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) – (2003/C 268/01)

Council Regulation (EC) No 2173/2005 of 20 December 2005 on the establishment of a FLEGT licensing scheme for imports of timber into the European Community

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1024/2008 of 17 October 2008 laying down detailed measures for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 2173/2005 on the establishment of a FLEGT licensing scheme for imports of timber into the European Community

European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 363/2012 of 23 February 2012 on the procedural rules for the recognition and withdrawal of recognition of monitoring organizations as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market.

The Law 125 (I) of 2010 "On the application of the FLEGT licensing scheme for imports of timber into the European Union Law of 2010"

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 363/2012 of 23 February 2012 on the procedural rules for the recognition and withdrawal of recognition of monitoring organizations as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market.



3.7. International Tropical Timber Agreement Top of page


The new International Tropical Timber Agreement of 2006 (ITTA 2006) was approved on the 27th of January 2006 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in order to replace the International Agreement of 1994 (ITTA 1994).

This Agreement aims to the economic development of all these countries producing tropical timber through its trade and the protection of tropical forests through their sustainable management.

The signing of the International Agreement on Tropical Timber by the European Union took place in November 2007 and approved by Council Decision 5812/11.

Furthermore, the European Community declaration, defines the powers delegated by the Member States to the European Community in areas covered by the agreement. More specifically:
• with regard to trade issues, the EU has exclusive competence under the common commercial policy;
• for environment and development cooperation, the European Community shall exercise powers together with the Member States.

At national level the decision to ratify the Agreement approved by the Council of Ministers on December 5, 2007. In 2008, the House of Representatives voted on the International Agreement on Tropical Timber (Ratification) Law 11(III) of 2008. A competent authority for the purposes of this Agreement has been appointed the Department of Forests of Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.

The International Agreement on Tropical Timber of 2006 (ITTA 2006) finally came into force in December 2011 replacing the previous agreement of 1994 (ITTA 1994).

Related Documents:

The 2006 International Tropical Timber Agreement


Council Decision 2007/648/EC of 26 September 2007 on the signing, on behalf of the European Community, and provisional application of the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 2006


European Community Declaration in accordance with Article 36(3) of the Agreement


Council Decision 2011/5812/EC of 14 February 2011 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the 2006 International Tropical Timber Agreement

Announcement of the International Organization for Tropical Timber of December 12, 2011 on the implementation of the new International Agreement on Tropical Timber, 2006




3.8. International dialogue on forests Top of page

The EU participates actively in the international dialogue on forests both at regional level (FOREST EUROPE - Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forests in Europe - MCPFE) as well as at global (the United Nations Forum on Forest - UNFF, etc).

3.8.1 UNFF

After 15 years of negotiations on forests, at the seventh session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF-7), held in 2007 a NLBI (Non Legally Binding Instrument) on SFM was agreed for all types of forests. During the same UNFF session the MYPOW (Multi Year Program of Work) was also agreed with a time horizon until 2015.

The purpose of the NLBI is:

(a) To strengthen political commitment and action at all levels for effective implementation of sustainable management of all forest types and to achieve the shared global objectives on forests?

(b) To promote the role of forests in achieving the internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in poverty eradication and environmental sustainability?

(c) To provide a framework for national action and international cooperation.


The Eighth Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF-8), held in 2009 and had as its main agenda item, "Forests in a changing environment - Instruments for the implementation of sustainable forest management".

The Ninth (last) Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF-9), held in New York from January 24 until February 4, 2011 and had as its main agenda item, "Forests for People, livelihoods and poverty eradication."

The Tenth Session of UN Forum on Forests (UNFF-10), is scheduled to take place in Turkey in 2013, having its main agenda item, "Forests and Economic Development".

Related Documents:

UNFF-8 - Resolution on forests in a changing environment, enhanced cooperation
and cross-sectoral policy and programme coordination, regional and sub-regional inputs


UNFF-9 Resolution on Forests for People, Livelihoods and Poverty Eradication

3.8.2 FOREST EUROPE - MCPFE

The European Community is an active member of FOREST EUROPE (Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe – MCPFE) and has signed all Declarations and Resolutions of the six Conferences that have taken place since 1990, when the process was launch:

- Strasburg 1990
- Helsinki 1993
- Lisbon 1998
- Vienna 2003
- Warsaw 2007
- Oslo 2011

The FOREST EUROPE is a high level political initiative for co-operation and it is based on a chain of Ministerial Conferences and follow-up experts meetings. It addresses common opportunities and threats related to forests and forestry, and promotes sustainable management of forests in Europe.

Following the Ministerial Conference in Warsaw (2007), launched a regional foresight exercise being a Legally Binding Agreement (LBA) for all types of forests across Europe.

Oslo Decisions
At the 6th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, FOREST EUROPE, held from June 14-16, 2011, in Oslo, Norway, the responsible Ministers for Forests in Europe have adopted the following two packages Decisions (Decisions of Oslo) on the future of forests in Europe:

(a) "Oslo Ministerial Decision: European Forests 2020" and
(b) "Oslo Ministerial Mandate for Negotiating a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe".

The first package of Decisions covers the voluntary course of the initiative FOREST EUROPE, as followed until now. The basic provisions concerning the adoption of a shared vision, common goals and objectives for Europe's forests by 2020 and its mission FOREST EUROPE after the Oslo Conference. It includes, national and European voluntary actions to achieve the goals and objectives.

With the second package of Decisions given the mandate by the responsible Ministers for forests, to open negotiations for a Legally Binding Agreement (LBA) for forests in Europe and it is establishing an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, to negotiate, based on specific internal procedural rules and with specific timetables for commencement and completion of negotiations (not later than 31/12/2011 and before 30/6/2013, respectively).


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