Forests help urban communities to adapt to climate threats, such as providing shade, lowering ambient temperatures during heat waves and reducing the risk of floods in the case of extreme weather events. Urban forests also provide key ecosystem services, such as air and water filtration or stopping and reversing the loss of pollinators, which are essential for healthy human communities in cities. Urban green spaces have a positive impact on social cohesion and help build stronger communities and can also increase the value of surrounding property by up to 10%
Forests and other wooded land cover over 40% of the EU’s land area and 30% of the Czech Republic, with a great diversity of character across regions. Afforestation and natural succession have increased the EU’s forest area by betwen 0.2 – 0.4% per year over recent decades. Globally, however, forest area continues to decrease. Forests are multifunctional ecosystems, serving economic, social and environmental purposes. They offer habitats for animals and plants and play a major role in mitigating climate change and other environmental services.
Forests contribute to rural development and provide around three million jobs in the European Union. Wood is still the main source of financial revenue from forests. Wood is also considered an important source of raw material for emerging bio-based industries. Forest biomass is currently the most important source of renewable energy and now accounts for around half of the EU’s total renewable energy consumption.
Forests also provide a large range of other products, such as cork, resins, mushrooms, nuts, game and berries. Ensuring sustainable forest management is essential if these benefits are to be delivered in a balanced way. Pressures on forests, such as habitat fragmentation, spread of invasive alien species, climate change, water scarcity, fires, storms and pests call for enhanced protection.
Under the European Green Deal, the Commission has announced a new EU forest strategy that will build on its biodiversity strategy, cover the whole forest cycle and promote the many services forests provide. The strategy will aim to ensure healthy & resilient forests that contribute to biodiversity, climate goals & secure livelihoods, and that support a circular bioeconomy. It will focus on EU forest protection, restoration & sustainable management, and on world forests where not already covered.
In the Czech Republic focus on forests
The Ministry of Agriculture is the competent administrative body, which is in charge of, among other things, regional forest development plans and the definition of forest stands.
The competence of the Ministry of the Environment in relation to the protection of forest ecosystems results primarily in the protection of the forest as an important landscape element.
Lesy ČR is a state-owned enterprise (LČR) which main activity of the enterprise is the management of more than 1.2 million hectares of forest property owned by the state and 38,000 km of designated watercourses and torrents.
City of Prague Forests (LHMP) is one of the largest organizations of the capital city of Prague. Their main task is, care for Prague’s nature, for example managing more than 2,900 hectares of Prague forests and meadows, as well as caring for Prague parks, gardens, orchards and memorial trees. HLMP also manages small watercourses and reservoirs, a rescue station for wildlife and the main composting plant of the capital city of Prague.
The Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences (FLD) of the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague (CULS) is divided into 9 departments, which cover the entire field of education, science and cooperation with practice in the field of forestry and woodworking. FFWS CULS deals with the cultivation of new tree species that have better resistance to climatic changes. The staff of the faculty also deals with the neglected issue of introduced and less represented domestic tree species, which they study in terms of environmental effects.
Forestry and Game Management Research Institute (FGMRI) is a forestry research institute, the founder of which is the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic. The main activity is the solution of scientific research projects in the forestry and game management sector and participation in the implementation of results in practice. Another activity is the provision of expert and advisory services for the state administration and forest owners of all categories.
Support from EU
CEPF represents private forest owners in Europe, promotes the values of sustainable forest management, private property ownership and the economic viability of the forest sector.
The European Forest Institute - EFI
The European Forest Institute is an international organisation established by European States. They conduct research and provide policy support on forest-related issues, connecting knowledge to action. The EFI Strategy 2025 is based around three interconnected and interdisciplinary themes: Bioeconomy, Resilience and Governance
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