Helsingin Sanomat wrote that the quartet ultimately aims for forests and the activities of the forest industry to be emphasized even more in the EU.
The European Commission’s upcoming proposal on collecting data and monitoring the condition of forests offers countries the first opportunity to exercise their influence. The Finnish government considers that the Commission has failed to sufficiently involve the member states in the preparatory work.
Austria and Finland have already received the support of 17 other member states for the position that forest research data should primarily be collected through national mechanisms.
“A new system should not be created at the EU level. The supreme power of forest policy belongs to the member states, Kurvinen claimed.
On Monday, Kurvinen presented several complaints about the European Commission’s previous and future legislative proposals concerning forests. He stated that the proposals have not been coordinated or examined in terms of their overall effects on the use of forests, their economic and social effects.
“I think it is wrong to look at forest policy in both Finland and the EU only through climate and environmental policy. Equal attention must be paid to competitiveness and employment, he said.
He stated that the bloc of 27 countries is trying to squeeze all member countries into the same forest policy mold, despite the fact that some member countries have almost no natural forests. It is also “very problematic” that there is very little expertise in the forest industry in Brussels.
“Knowledge related to tree, forest growth and the forest industry must be increased in the EU so that initiatives based on incorrect facts and not based on research information do not advance.”
However, Kurvinen moderated his accusations when Helsingin Sanomat was pressed to provide examples of such initiatives.
“Initiatives are not necessarily based on incorrect facts,” he replied. “In Brussels, the image of the Finnish forest industry is sometimes such that, in the worst case, some members of the organization spread pictures of the Lapland spring swamp, saying that this is what logging looks like in Finland.”
He also drew attention to the proposal to reduce the use of protected plant areas by 50%, claiming that the figure is not based on research but simply on what “looks good on an Instagram Story”.
According to him, the European Commission’s regulation on the restoration of degraded forests would be disastrous for the forest industry due to the amount of land to be protected. “A few member states are forced to pay so that the rest of the EU has a better conscience,” he sums up.
Finland has already restored wetlands and natural habitats in the Helmi and Metso programs. Kurvinen saw that the country is now being punished for its pioneering work because the programs are not recognized in the restoration decree.
Minister of the Environment and Climate Maria Ohisalo (The Greens) stated on Tuesday that the government had not made a decision on establishing a group of four countries in the EU.
“We haven’t had a discussion about this in the government,” he said comment For Helsingin Sanomat. – There has not been a joint discussion on EU issues or a joint discussion between the supervisory ministers in the ministerial committee. I await further information.”
According to him, what is worth discussing is whether even one member of the board can take the country to such a group.
Ohisalo has defended the restoration order by pointing out that the resulting costs should be compared to the annual profits made by the forest industry.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page