EurActiv: ”Finnish MEP: ‘Political fight begins’ over Europe’s old-growth forests”


Sarvamaa spoke to EURACTIV ahead of the publication of the European Commission’s biodiversity strategy for 2030 where forestry is expected to play a key role.

Read the whole article on forest conservation, commercial use of forests and global deforestation from here >


”There is no one size-fits-all solution [for commercial use of forests]. For example in my member state – Finland – there is no commercial exploitation of forests in protected areas. They are protected, period. Now, of course I’m all for protecting primary forests. Regarding old-growth forests we need to have definitions at EU level in place first. For example, what percentage of forests in Europe is “old growth”? That depends on the definition.”

”Bioenergy is part of the bio-economy, which is too often overlooked. It is a complex issue that has many aspects to it. Whether you buy your biomass from China or Sweden, makes a dramatic difference. We might be able to replace parts of oil imports with forest-based biofuels. At least 80% of global deforestation is caused by massive plantations like soy, coffee, and cacao in South America, Indonesia, and tropical countries. So yes, I think Europe should impose stricter criteria for imports of agricultural products coming from those countries.”

”From what I hear, the Commission’s environment DG wants to change the definition for sustainable forest management as part of the upcoming biodiversity strategy for 2030. I really hope that if DG environment will look at all three aspects of the equation: 1) environment and biodiversity, 2) the economy, and 3) social aspects. If we start to re-define sustainable forest management from one aspect only, we will definitely end up losing on all fronts. And from what I hear, this is unfortunately what DG environment has decided to do.”