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Forest Focus (2003 - 2006)

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Forest Focus is a Community scheme, running from 2003 to 2007, for harmonised, broad-based, comprehensive and long-term monitoring of European forest ecosystems. It concentrates in particular on protecting forests against atmospheric pollution and fire.
The Forest Focus Regulation was repealed by the Regulation concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment LIFE+.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 concerning monitoring of forests and environmental interactions in the Community (Forest Focus). [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

The Community scheme for forests introduced by this Regulation under the name “Forest Focus” was wound up on 31 December 2006. As of 2007 the new financial instrument for the environment is LIFE+. However, this Regulation continues to govern the measures adopted under this scheme.

Forest Focus covers the following areas:

  • protection against atmospheric pollution;
  • prevention of fires and their causes and effects;
  • biodiversity, climate change, carbon sequestration, soils and protective functions of forests;
  • continuous evaluation of monitoring activities.

Forest Focus provides for measures to:

  • promote harmonised collection, handling and assessment of data;
  • improve data evaluation at Community level;
  • improve the quality of data and information gathered;
  • develop forest monitoring activities;
  • enhance the understanding of forests;
  • study forest fires;
  • develop indicators and methodologies for risk assessment.

Instruments for improving and developing the scheme

Under this scheme, networks of observation points and plots (system for monitoring the effects of air pollution) are to be maintained in order to produce periodic inventories and carry out continuous monitoring of forest ecosystems. The forest fire information system will continue to be developed.

With a view to monitoring biodiversity, climate change, carbon sequestration, soils and protective functions of forests, the Commission is implementing measures to:

  • enhance knowledge of forest ecosystem conditions;
  • assess the impact of climate change;
  • identify indicators for assessing biodiversity status.

The Member States may carry out studies, experiments and demonstration projects, and establish pilot monitoring schemes.

To achieve the aim of continuous evaluation of monitoring activities, the Commission is to:

  • promote harmonised collection, handling and assessment of data at Union level;
  • improve data evaluation at Community level;
  • improve the quality of the data and information gathered under Forest Focus.

National programmes

To achieve the objectives of Forest Focus, two-year national programmes are to be drawn up by the Member States. These programmes are to be submitted to the Commission within 60 days after the entry into force of this Regulation. They are to include an ex-ante evaluation. Member States are also to submit mid-term and ex-post evaluations.

Each Member State is to designate a competent authority to manage its national programme.

Implementation and reporting

The Commission is to be responsible for coordinating, monitoring and developing the scheme. It is to be assisted by a Scientific Coordination Body and the European Environment Agency.

Forest Focus is to run from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2006. The planned annual budget is EUR 65 million, including 9 million for fire prevention measures. The Union is to contribute financially towards the cost of national programmes at a rate of 50% or 75% depending on the type of activity.

Candidate countries may participate in this scheme. Other European countries may also participate at their own expense.

Member States are to forward to the Commission annual data collected under Forest Focus accompanied by a report. They are to make this data available to the public. Member States are to send the Commission regular reports on the condition of their forest ecosystems.

Background

Before Forest Focus was implemented, the Community dealt with the protection of forests against atmospheric pollution and fire in Regulation (EEC) No 3528/86 and Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92, both of which expired on 31 December 2002. The Forest Focus scheme incorporated these Regulations into a single piece of legislation. As of 1 January 2007, the new financial instrument for the environment is LIFE+, which operates in an even broader context.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003

11.12.2003

-

OJ L 324 of 11.12.2003

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 788/2004

03.05.2004

-

OJ L 138 of 30.4.2004

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version (pdf ) is for reference purposes only.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1737/2006 of 7 November 2006 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning monitoring of forests and environmental interactions in the Community [Official Journal L 334 of 30.11.2006].

Commission Decision of 18 February 2004 on an action against the European Parliament and the Council for the annulment of Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 concerning monitoring of forests and environmental interactions in the Community (Forest Focus) [Not published in the Official Journal].
Article 17 of Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 establishing Forest Focus makes the adoption of executive measures subject to the regulatory procedure. As these measures are implementing a programme, they should have been made subject to the management procedure. This Decision aims to annul Article 17.

Last updated: 20.08.2007
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