“It’s not only about fighting climate change”
How can policy help tackle the main social demands (meaning growing populations and economies and increasing pluralistic and urbanised societies) and at the same time ensure sustainability of our forests?
It is important to be aware of the important role that forests play in the sustainability of the territory. For sustainable management of forests, it is crucial to provide the ecosystem services that are so important for society, which forested areas provide. It is not only the fight against climate change, it is about maintaining biodiversity, habitats for flora and fauna, combatting soil erosion, regulation of water resources, and so on. In a county such as Bizkaia, in which more than 60% of land is forested, it is crucial to raise awareness and include on the political agenda a real strategy to preserve and manage the territory and its forests.
How can governments influence people to understand the true value of forests and the importance of their ecosystem services?
The role that governments play in influencing people to understand the true value of forests is very important. Not only with regulations and legislative tools but through collaboration with forest owners associations and wood related industries. The transference of knowledge has to be continuous, and we have to understand what kind of sustainability we would have if we don’t manage the forest properly in a sustainable way, with clear examples of that: forest fires, erosion, landslides, etc.
What is the best way for policy makers to balance the respect for sustainable forests, the needs of the population and the needs of business companies?
It is important to remember that for the right balance, you need to take into account the three pillars of sustainability: economy, environment and social use.
For every action to be carried out in the forest or territory, the three pillars should be considered with similar importance, just to balance a sustainable action.