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Government official calls for foresters’ involvement in EU decisions

Forestry experts should be involved in European Union decisions on forest management, the state secretary for agriculture and rural development told a conference in Berlin on Thursday.

Speaking at the European Symposium of the German Forestry Council in Berlin, Zsolt Feldman presented the results of Hungarian forest management in terms of climate change and in bringing the public closer to the issue.

Feldman said EU legislation proposals on forestry were often made in forums on environmental protection or energy management rather than agriculture. While forestry is key to protection against climate change, European efforts must coordinate various sectors’ interests in order to be successful, he said.

Feldman rejected “attempts to bring forestry issues under European competency”, and presented Hungary’s results designed to create broad public support for the issue, such as projects to plant trees in localities and the “Forest of newborns” programme. The area of Hungarian forests has doubled in Hungary over the past century, he said.

The symposium hosted delegations from Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland, aiming to strengthen the cooperation of countries with large areas of woodlands in the European decision-making process, the agriculture ministry said in a statement.

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