"Forest owners in Europe believe the economic functions of forests are crucial in fostering a green economy," said Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen.
"The generation and maintenance of green jobs and income, rural development, long term economic viability and competitiveness of our sector, call for an active and sustainable management of our forests and a stronger promotion of the use of wood."
Pesonen added: "Forests are part of the solution to cope with climate change but only if they are sustainably managed and have competitive downstream industries to refine wood into a variety of products."
He explained the forest sector contributed to Europe’s greenhouse-gas-mitigation strategy, which included storage of carbon in forest ecosystems, in harvested wood products, and the substitution of fossil based products and energy.
Talks on formalising the farming-forestry agreement were due to finish this week in Vienna and the forest-focused groups included Confederation of European Forest Owners, Union of Foresters of Southern Europe and European Landowners’ Organization.
Copa-Cogeca is made up of Copa, the European farmers’ representative group, and Cogeca, the long-established umbrella organisation of agricultural cooperatives.