The continental biogeographical region covers over a quarter the European territory and extends in a broad band from west to east, starting in central France and stretching to the Ural mountains, on the border with Asia. Forests represent a significant area of the region. Besides Scandinavia and the Carpathians, the continental region includes the last remnants of European pristine forests. These forests are a powerful carbon sink preventing climate change. Moreover, these forests are a safeguard for the sustainable development of the communities of the region. Conservation and sustainable management of forests in the continental region are vital according to the Bern Convention on Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, the Habitats Directive, the Convention on Biological Diversity, Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1753 (2010) on Forests: the future of our planet and other international agreements.
Forest management practices in the continental region differ significantly. Uncontrolled and unsustainable forestry leads to forest degradation, poses a threat for thousands of rare flora and fauna species, and harms the well-being of the local communities. The problem is exacerbated by climate-driven spruce and pine decline. Current forestry practices do not reflect other ecosystem services than timber provision.
Considering the unique role of the forests of the continental region in climate change mitigation, conservation of rare flora and fauna species, sustainable development of the region, the Assembly should call for protection of the forest of the continental region by means of: