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European Commission Publishes Green Paper on Forests and Climate Change

1 March 2010: The European Commission has published a Green Paper setting out options for an EU approach to the protection of forests in the context of addressing climate change. The Paper was prepared to provide the basis for a public consultation on whether additional action is needed at the EU level.

The Green Paper presents the general situation and global relevance of forests, illustrates the characteristics of EU forests and their functions, identifies the main challenges facing Europe's forests in a changing climate, and presents tools available to protect forests. It makes reference to the role of forests under the UNFCCC, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

A public consultation on the Green Paper will run from 1 March to 31 July 2010 on the "Your Voice in Europe" website (http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice ). The public debate is expected to focus on how climate change is modifying forest management and protection in Europe and how EU policy should evolve to enhance its contribution to Member State initiatives. Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, stressed that forests are essential to the EU's climate strategy, and that public input will help design effective EU policies related to climate and forests. [EC Press Release] [The Green Paper]