10 messages for 2010 — Forest ecosystems


Courtesy of European Environment Agency (EEA)

Key messages

  • Forests cover a large part of Europe but the distribution of such ecosystems varies significantly across the continent. They fulfil multiple functions for society, providing economic, social and environmental benefits, including serving as a key reservoir of biodiversity.
  • Old growth natural and semi-natural forests are the most valuable forest type in terms of storing biodiversity (including genetic variety) and carbon.
  • Unsustainable forest management, fragmentation, airborne pollution and climate change are major threats to Europe's forest biodiversity. Interacting pressures on forest ecosystems are threatening species and habitats of European interest.
  • Using protected areas and other management measures, European countries are protecting and restoring their forest biodiversity. In addition, citizens are increasingly recognised as key stewards of Europe's forests.
  • Ensuring that actions in 2011, the International Year of Forests, are consistent with and support actions in 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity, will be a challenge.

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