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Monday, October 3, 2022

Agriculture ministers discuss the balance between environmental and agroforestry aspects

By: UKOM

On the second day of the Luxembourg meeting, EU agriculture ministers focused on the Green Deal initiatives related to agriculture and forestry. They discussed the new EU Forest Strategy for 2030 and addressed the Fit for 55 legislative package.

The Green Deal initiatives touch in an important way on the agricultural and forestry sectors that provide goods and services, regulate ecosystems, protect biodiversity, are part of the carbon cycle, enable livelihoods and ensure food security. This was also the guiding principle in today’s exchange of views on the Fit for 55 package in terms of the contribution of agriculture and forestry to achieving the target of reducing carbon emissions by 55% by 2030. Minister Jože Podgoršek said that the sectors have a triple role in climate change, as they are a source of greenhouse gas emissions while providing a natural carbon sink and a renewable source that can replace other materials and fuels. He pointed out that “both sectors are also very exposed to the effects of the changing climate and the natural disturbances on production and their long-term ability to contribute to climate and other goals”.

Yesterday’s meeting began with a discussion on the new EU Forest Strategy for 2030. Forests are extremely important from an economic and social point of view, as well as in the fight against climate change and in the protection of biodiversity. The Member States largely endorse the new strategy, while recognising the need to strike a balance between the three pillars of sustainability. “It will be important to strike a balance between the environmental and climate aspects of forestry and, on the other hand, aspects related to rural development and the green and circular economy. I believe that sustainable and multifunctional forest management will lead to the achievement of all goals, both at the EU and at the national level,” said Podgoršek, chairing this discussion.

Ministers also took note of the key messages from the recent UN Food Systems Summit, where a number of commitments on taking action to accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems were adopted. The Council also took note of an initiative to revise EU legislation on animal welfare in order to make the new legislative framework more ambitious and take into account new scientific information and include updating existing legislation in a number of areas.

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