Forests are essential for the transition to a green economy. In this context, well-managed forests and forests are a vital element in the global forest ecosystem.
Spontaneous natural forests account for 93% of the world’s forested areas, with the remaining 290 million hectares being forested for exploitation.
About forests planted for exploitation:
- in Europe, they do not replace spontaneous forests
- they can grow faster and be more productive than spontaneous forests
- can be certified independently
- may represent areas of recreational activities
- can prevent soil erosion and degradation
- provides shady habitat and shelter for wildlife
- contributes to rural development
Forests planted for exploitation can be sources of renewable energy that respects the environment and provides raw materials for industry. These forests can be well managed. European and global initiatives in this field set out standards and procedures for afforestation, management and certification that protect the environment and biodiversity, while contributing to economic development.
Global afforestation will require the expansion of some types of plantations and are needed for several reasons:
- it is estimated that by 2050, an area of 250 million hectares will have to be afforested, for exploitation for various purposes, in order to meet the growing demand of the expanding population.
- of this total, 11 million hectares must be in Europe
- the paper industry is just one of the consumers of wood, along with other industries such as timber and biofuels