European Forest Industries welcome UN International Day of Forests
The European forest owners, managers, forest industry and professionals - represented by CEPF, Copa-Cogeca, ELO, EUSTAFOR, CEI-Bois, CEPI, FECOF, UEF and USSE - have welcomed the International Day of Forests established by the UN General Assembly for today 21 March.
According to the representatives of the European forest sector, EU needs to better communicate the strong link between forests and water: "Forests have a close relationship to our water resources and sustainable forest management is of crucial importance for ensuring a multitude of water-related benefits."
The above-mentioned forest industry organisations also highlight how European forests enable access to this vital resource: "Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible fresh water for domestic, agricultural, industrial and ecological needs. Forests influence the amount of available water and regulate surface and groundwater flows while maintaining highest water quality. Forests reduce the effects of floodings, and prevent and reduce dryland salinity and desertification. Forests act as natural water filters, minimizing soil erosion on site and reduce sediment in water bodies."
Another key point to underline is the impact that climate change has on water and the role of forests. "Climate change is one of the major challenges facing today’s society. The impacts of climate change are an imminent threat to water security, and forests themselves are vulnerable to climate change. An increased frequency of extreme weather events has an impact on both forests and water, and may result in more catastrophic events like landslides, floods and droughts", the representatives of the European forest sector write.
"Europe’s forest sector is at the forefront of combatting climate change by contributing to both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Active forest management is crucial to enhance forests adaptive capacity, making them more resilient to meet a changing climate and maintaining the vital water-related services provided by forests."