Finland, along with Sweden, Austria and Slovenia, have formed an informal strategic partnership, “For Forest”, aimed at deepening cooperation on forest management and policies within the EU.
The agreement, signed by the four ministers in Luxembourg, can be interpreted as a way of tackling growing pressure to protect and preserve forests through new legislation.
Such a partnership for forests between these four countries is welcome, says Finnish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Antti Kurvinen (centre).
Asked by the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper on Tuesday (October 18), Kurvinen said it would be a mistake to look at the forestry sector solely from the angle of climate and environmental policy. Competitiveness and employment issues must also be kept in mind, as the climate crisis cannot be solved without a well-functioning European forestry industry, he added.
According to him, Brussels suffers from a cruel lack of expertise in forest management compared to the good existing knowledge on climate issues and nature conservation.
One of the objectives of the “For the Forest” group will be to block initiatives based on “erroneous or unscientific facts” and to advance “sense and sustainable” legislation, Kurvinen said.
He also underlined the importance of keeping forest policy in the realm of national decision-making, “ as foreseen by the EU Treaty ”.