The destruction of primary and old growth forests is an issue not just in tropical rainforests, but also on the European continent. The question of how to stop legal and illegal logging and protect the remaining forests on a national but also European level calls for decisive and orchestrated action – as ecosystem loss and the climate crisis are closely interconnected and their worsening impacts are not blocked by any national border. The GEF Deforestation and Climate Change project aims to explore what are the main drivers of deforestation in Europe with a focus on Romania. This exploration will happen through an online event in 2020 followed by an in-person event in Austria 2021. The aim of the project is to encourage citizens and politicians to become involved, developing and implementing solutions and alternatives to practices that threaten the well-being and livelihood of people and generations to come.
In 2021 the project partners will plan and implement the project with the main emphasis on the topics of deforestation, reforestation, climate change and sustainable forestry in Austria and Greece. Three online events will be organised with experts, NGOs, Universities and government representatives to compile a handbook on recommendations for the Greek forestry sector. These will be followed by a joint online event where partners will tackle the questions regarding agroforestry, Natura 2000 and the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU. The second part of the project will be organised in Austria with a visit to a sustainable wood shop and fact-finding mission on sustainable forestry best practices.
As part of this project, the partners developed the following articles to showcase what is at stake in Europe:
- [ENG] The EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030: Ecological change in the forest sector
- [DE] Die EU-Biodiversitätsstrategie 2030: Gelingt die ökologische Waldwende?
- [ENG] The natural forests of Europe are vanishing: Focal point Romania
- [DE] Die Naturwälder Europas schwinden: Brennpunkt Rumänien
- [ENG] Ecological forest change? What should be done to preserve Europe’s natural woodlands and heal our diseased commercial forests
- [DE] Die ökologische Waldwende Was zu tun wäre, um den Naturwälder Europas zu bewahren und die kranken Forste zu heilen
These illustrations were drawn live and detail the discussions and vision set out by our speakers.