European Forest Resource analysis tools
Europe is not really known as the forest continent. Still it is, with 37% of the land covered by forests, comprising 227 million ha (close to the size of Brazilian Amazon). Statistically things do not look too bad: Europe has been building up more and more wood per hectare, more than ever since Medieval times. And the forest area is still increasing.
These forests – practically all managed- are enormously important for the wellbeing of the citizens, as a place for relaxation and tourism, for biodiversity protection, soil and water protection, mitigating climate change and for production of renewable resources; the EU alone produces some 20% of industrial roundwood worldwide.
Still there are large challenges. The biodiversity is modestly stable, disturbances are increasing, harvesting has gone up some 10% and is in some regions high. The carbon sink is quickly saturating. The latter we saw already starting in early 2010s. First signs of carbon sink saturation in European forest biomass | Nature Climate Change.
Moreover, the management of these forests is very complex and most of the 16 million private and public owners can barely generate a financial income from their forests.To tackle these problems in the areas of biodiversity, climate and wood supply, #climatesmartforestry was launched for the first time during COP21 in 2015.