There are 178 million hectares of forests and other wooded land in the EU, about 42 % of its land area. Over the past 20 years, forests have increased by 5% - approximately 0.3 % per year - although the rate varies substantially between countries. Approximately 133 million hectares or 32% of the EU's land area is covered by forests that are available for wood supply.
Ecologically, the EU's forests belong to many different biogeographical regions and have adapted to a variety of natural conditions, ranging from bogs to steppes and from lowland to alpine forests. Socioeconomically, they vary from small family holdings to state forests to large estates owned by companies, many as part of industrial wood supply chains.
Eurostat produces yearly data using two questionnaires,
* The Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire (JFSQ) on production and trade in wood and wood products. The JFSQ is part of a worldwide exercise in which Eurostat is responsible for the EU and EFTA countries. Our partners are UNECE, FAO and ITTO * Integrated environmental and economic accounting for forests (IEEAF); countries are currently providing data on economic accounts for forestry and logging. IEEAF is part of a Eurostat environmental satellite accounts initiative that started in the late 1990s.
The Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire provides us with
The IEEAF questionnaire
There is renewed interest from the countries in producing these data, the collection of which we re-started in 2008 after a break of several years. They show
We have early access to data on wood resources produced by our partner FAO. This is mainly the five-yearly Forest Resources Assessment, where all countries in the world are asked to report and forecast numbers on topics such as forest area, wood resources and removals.
We also have early access to similar five-yearly data collected by FOREST EUROPE, UNECE and FAO, e.g. on deadwood and carbon in deadwood, biomass, litter and forest soils. The data are published by the three organisations in their periodical report, for example in State of Europe’s Forests 2011 - Status and Tends in Sustainable Forest Management in Europe.
We use all available data to produce classical data series, as published on Eurostat's database, and different kinds of indicators for special publications.
The EU promotes sustainable forest management with the following objectives:
* Create and preserve jobs and otherwise contribute to rural livelihoods * Protect the environment by preserving the soil, minimising erosion, purifying water, protecting aquifers, improving air quality, absorbing carbon, mitigating climate change, and preserving biodiversity * Protect settlements, roads and other infrastructure from mudslides and avalanches * Monitor the state of forests to meet environmental agreements * Improve the competitiveness of forest-based industries in the internal market * Promote the use of wood and other forest products as environmentally friendly products * Reduce poverty in developing countries by furthering forest law enforcement, fair trade conditions and halting deforestation and illegal logging
In line with these policies, the EU adopted a five-year forest action plan in 2006. This plan provides for:
* Actions enhancing the multi-functional role of forests at the level of both the EU and the Member States * Co-ordination between the EU actions and the forest policies of the Member States
For many years, Eurostat has worked in close cooperation with international organisations in the Intersecretariat Working Group (IWG) on Forest Sector Statistics, with the aim of reducing the duplication of work.
The IWG brings together Eurostat, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) in collecting forest sector statistics; the European Commission’s Directorates- General for Agriculture and Rural Development, for Enterprise and Industry, and for the Environment are also represented.
The primary tool for statistical cooperation is the joint Eurostat/UNECE/FAO/ITTO forest sector questionnaire (JFSQ) on production and trade of roundwood and forest industry products, which is used by all organisations; each agency collects data from the countries for which it is responsible. Within this framework, Eurostat is responsible for the replies of EU and EFTA Member States.
The domain "forestry" contains data on production and trade of roundwood and forest industry products. The data cover the area of EU-25 and EFTA countries, candidate countries, Canada, USA and Russian Federation. The major groups of primary forest products included are: roundwood, sawnwood, wood-based panels, pulp and paper and paperboard.
* [IEEAF Handbook 2002] * [Le compte specifique de la sylviculture et de l'exploitation forestiere en France] * [The specific account of forestry and logging in France] * [Measuring Capital: OECD Manual 2009, Second Edition]