Bioregions Facility organised a webinar on “Forest Bioeconomy at the EU Policy Landscape – Priorities for regional action” for its regional members on 25 March 2022. The topic was introduced by EFI’s Liaison Officer in Brussels, Dr. Harald Mauser, who has been analysing and contributing to EU forest and bioeconomy related polices for several years.
For decades EU policy making regarding forests, has been fluctuating between a multifunctional forest management approach, and a nature conservation interest. Recently biodiversity conservation has gained much more importance and higher priority in political agendas, shifting this balance more to the nature conservation side. Bioeconomy has co-shaped this balancing debate, but as Dr. Mauser has observed in the recent years, there has been a shift from seeing bioeconomy as the solution, to seeing the bioeconomy as a risk. But so far, no other alternative has been presented in Brussels to the current linear and unsustainable economic model that we know we all need to overcome.
Dynamics of the forest related policy making in the EU has changed significantly in regards to the numbers. When looking back forty years at EU policy making, there were a number of international agreements that were reflected in, or complemented by, a limited number of EU political processes. Today, we still see a number of international processes and agreements, but in addition there is a much larger number of policy processes throughout the EU in form of legislation, strategies and programmes that are all related to forests and wood.
Dr. Mauser also presented activities, that in his view were particularly interesting for forest-based bioeconomy regions such as the recently announced network of forest dominant rural areas and municipalities. He believed Bioregions could offer an existing structure to such a network. He also advised that regions could benefit by building strategic partnerships and collaborating with other sectors, engaging more with society and policymakers to inform, raise awareness and build trust.
To learn more, see Harald’s presentation here (pdf). For further information or for a link to watch the recording, contact: siebe.briers @ efi.int.