The third session of the Bayer Life Talks took place virtually on 16 March 2022 between 15:00 and 16:15 CET. Further details on the topic and key themes of the event can be found below.
Forests are critical to the functioning of our planet. They host 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, regulate the water cycle, produce oxygen and act as carbon sinks, sucking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Economically, hundreds of millions of people globally depend on forests for their livelihoods.
Although the rate of forest loss and degradation has slowed globally since 2000, according to the European Commission, annual tropical forests are disappearing at a rate of around 13 million hectares – approximately the size of Greece – while Europe’s forests are under increasing pressure despite steady gains during the last decade.
Over the last 5 years, EU policymakers have begun to look more closely at the vital role forests play in fighting against climate change, and relevant for the current global context, the extent to which the protection of forests lessens the risk of zoonotic diseases and global pandemics.
In 2019, the Commission adopted a communication that looked at the protection and restoration of the world’s forests, and more recently in July 2021, it adopted its EU Forest Strategy for 2030, aimed at ensuring the future for Europe’s forests, an essential tool in the EU’s kit and anchored in the flagship European Green Deal. In November, the Commission adopted its proposal for a regulation on deforestation-free products, which was also presented to the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee.
How can the increasing European and global demand for food, feed, energy and timber be balanced against the need to protect forests?
Can science, technology and innovation provide some of the answers to tackling deforestation both in Europe and around the world?
What role should business play in influencing global supply chains and supporting sustainability?
Ultimately, what is at stake for Europe as we consider the role of forests and their interactions with our complex economic and environmental necessities?
15:00 – 15:10
15:10 – 16:15
Roundtable Discussion & Q&A
Chairman, Forum Europe
Head, Public Affairs EU, Bayer AG
Deputy Director-General, DG Environment, European Commission
Director, Forests, World Resources Institute
Managing Partner, Agroicone
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