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Protection of European forests against atmospheric pollution and against fire: ESC Opinion

An Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee (Session of 25 March 1992) concerns two Commission proposals:
- A proposal for a Council Regulation (EEC) amending Regulation (EEC) No 3528/86 on the protection of the Community's forests against atmospheric pollution (COM(91) 43...
An Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee (Session of 25 March 1992) concerns two Commission proposals:
- A proposal for a Council Regulation (EEC) amending Regulation (EEC) No 3528/86 on the protection of the Community's forests against atmospheric pollution (COM(91) 431);
- A proposal for a Council Regulation (EEC) on protection of the Community's forests against fire (idem).

The Committee approves the two proposals, subject to comments set out in the text, and is convinced of the central role to be played by forestry in respect of both agricultural policy and overall economic policy objectives. Inter alia it draws attention to the need for a structural policy to safeguard forests in Europe, as their ecological and economic value can no longer be disregarded and made subordinate to other considerations, and deplores the fact that an initial action programme (adopted by the Council in principle in May 1989) has only now been finalized. The Committee recommends that the European Environment Agency (EEA) should eventually assume the role of coordinating pollution monitoring. In the meantime, databanks on this topic should be closely coordinated with the CORINE network.

Attention is drawn to the need for coordinated research into the correlation between the health of forests and atmospheric pollution, the need to study biotic factors, and the requirement for projects directed towards prevention, standardization of data collection, and staff training. In the area of fire prevention, the Committee makes reference to public awareness, the need for an integrated and consistent strategy, and increased cooperation between States.

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