554 scientists wrote a letter to the European institutions urging them to assure "protection and restoration of natural forests is beneficial both for the climate and for biodiversity". Between "conservation of biodiversity and addressing climate change and, on the other hand, the short-term economic gain provided by logging" they say, "the former should prevail. Therefore, we urge the commission to take immediate steps to drastically reduce logging throughout the EU."
A few months ago, a number of individuals near to research and education institutions had send a letter supporting the logging industry, and claiming that "increasing the share of EU-forests under protection is not suitable to support Europe's climate protection policy" and "has no further benefits for biodiversity". The scientists dismiss such claims: "These statements reveal that the authors of the letter are either unaware of, oreven purposefully deny, fundamental and well-known facts about the role and importance of restoring and protecting forest ecosystems for climate and biodiversity" state the scientists.
"Harvesting reduces the amount of stored carbon and therefore increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Any claim of the contrary is simply wrong and is an expression of either ignorance or sowing doubt with the purpose to protect business interests. It is common practice for some industries to engage researchers in this manner" add the scientists.
"Although carbon uptake is faster in managed forests or timber plantations than in natural forests, even natural forests continue to accumulate carbon. In contrast, managed forests have a much lower carbon stock, because approximately half of the carbon that could be stored in a mature forest, is in the atmosphere instead. All carbon uptake in managed forest is therefore a payback of the historical carbon debt."
"The facts regarding biodiversity are equally simple: The lack of old trees, dead trees, and decaying wood in forests managed for timber production make them unsuitable for a large portion of the flora, fauna and funga of natural forests. The lack of biodiversity is also what makes the trees susceptible to outbreaks of insects whose natural predators are not present at natural levels in the monoculture timber plantations that have replaced natural forests over vast expansions in Europe. Protection and restoration of natural forests is beneficial both for the climate and for biodiversity"