At the time when the stronger development of the bioeconomy will help the European Union accelerate progress towards a circular and low-carbon economy, global experts on non-wood forest products (NWFP) are calling on European and international institutions, governments, policy makers and private sector to recognize and leverage the potential of those products and consider them as a key element of the green economy in Europe and worldwide.

This call for action arise from the “Manifesto of Alghero” drew up jointly by the participants of the Policy Forum “Untapping the potential of non-wood forest products for Europe’s green economy, which was organized on 16 and 17 March 2021 by the H2020 INCREDIBLE Consortium, led by the EFI, in cooperation with the FAO.

The “Manifesto of Alghero: A commitment to promote the contribution of non-wood forest products to inclusive and green growth and eco-social progress in Europe and worldwide” puts forward the multifunctionality of the forests, proposes some key relevance benefits of NWFPs, different implemented strategies, key issues to consider, weaknesses and threats related to NWFPs, and call for actions proposed by stakeholders.

Additionally, this Policy Forum served as an opportunity to consider the salient policies and enrich the  white paper on policy priorities for non-wood forest products in Europe, also elaborated under the INCREDIBLE project.

In this sense, experts have selected and pointed out key policy actions needed to secure successful NWFP value chains in the frame of this White Paper, which are :

a) securing their conservation and sustainable supply;

b) building competitive, equitable and sustainable value chains;

c) improving transparency, data and information flow;

d) and enabling conditions by ensuring coherence of institutional action:

  • fostering sustainable investments and improving financial support
  • fostering innovation,
  • knowledge transfer capacity building and sharing of good practices.

“In my opinion, there will not be EU Green Deal without a new deal for European forest”, Marc Palahì, Director of the EFI.

by: Riccardo Castellini (CESEFOR)