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European Forest Week 2017

4th European Forest Week:
9-13 October 2017, Warsaw Poland


The fourth European Forest Week will take place 9-13 October 2017.  It will be held in conjunction with Las2017 (‘las’ means ‘forest’ in Polish), the Joint Session of the UNECE Committee of Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) and the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC). European Forest Week will take place in Warsaw, where Las2017 will be hosted by the Government of Poland.


The first European Forest Week was celebrated in 2008 and ever since has provided a unique opportunity for participants to increase the forest sector’s visibility and to influence pan-European and global discussions related to forests. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to contribute and organize national and local celebrations.

The European Forest Week art contest

What do Europe’s forests mean to you?
If you are aged 5-19, use your imagination and artistic talent to create a drawing or painting illustrating the European Forest Week theme: Forests, our common good Express your ideas, thoughts and feelings about European forests and share them with others around the region! Your drawing or painting could end up in a special display at European Forest Week in Warsaw, Poland, in October, and in a European Forest Week calendar.

The European Forest Week art contest is open to children and young people from 5 to 19 years of age.


Key messages

  • Europe’s forests – where biodiversity lives
    Forest policy in Europe has a strong focus on biodiversity. More than 30 million hectares of Europe’s forests have been protected to conserve biodiversity and landscape. Over the last 15 years, the area of protected forests in Europe has increased annually by half a million hectares. More than 90 percent of European countries have specific objectives related to biodiversity.
  • Europe’s forests – the natural carbon sink
    Every year the European forest biomass sequesters an average of 719 million tonnes of CO2. This corresponds to about 9 percent of Europe’s net greenhouse gas emissions. Soil is the largest forest carbon pool, followed by the above-ground biomass, litter, below ground biomass and dead wood.
  • Europe’s forests – for the climate!
    Forests cover more than a third of Europe’s land surface and the region’s forest area continues to increase. Sustainably managed forests help to slow the effects of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Forest products provide a natural and renewable carbon neutral resource.
  • Europe’s forests – nature’s savings account
    Like a savings account, the forest is growing – every year Europe gains almost 2 billion trees, the equivalent of about 900 million m3 of wood.
  • Europe’s forests – a significant source of renewable energy
    The largest single source of renewable energy in Europe comes from wood, which contributes significantly to renewable energy targets. Northern Europe has the highest per capita consumption of wood-based energy, reflecting the general abundance of forest resources and the prominence of wood-based industries in this region.
  • Forestry – key to sustainable development in Europe
    Sustainable forest management of both natural and planted forests is essential to achieving sustainable development. It is a means to reduce poverty, reduce deforestation, halt the loss of forest biodiversity, reduce land and resource degradation and contribute to climate change mitigation.
  • Think long-term like foresters
    Trees grow slowly. The foresters who plant trees today are not the ones who harvest them. The time to harvest spruce trees is after 80-120 years, fir after 90-130 and oak takes 180-300 years to grow, all beyond the lifespan of a single human being. No wonder then, that, the concept of sustainability goes back to a forest management principle described more than 300 years ago: we should not fell more trees than we can grow.