European poplar wood offers the best quality in the world. However, the industry is facing an alarming, continuous and gradual decrease of planted areas.
This decline is primarily due to the numerous restrictions affecting poplar cultivation, which is in turn considered as agriculture or as forestry, never well-defined in environmental and landscape regulations in place or being developed.
Clear regulations from the European institutions regarding forests in general and poplar plantations in particular are absolutely needed as soon as possible, for the survival of many rural and industrial actors are at stake. In the absence of a swift action, the European Union would moreover have no other alternative than importing more wood, in spite of the current uncertainties, while large areas are available and can become productive in less than two decades if an adapted poplar culture is put in place.
Through a clear regulation in favour of the forest, the European Union will enable Member States to move beyond national, regional or local constraints, which are now hampering the development of an industry striving for its existence and development.
As we have demonstrated in this publication, poplar offers many economic, social and environmental advantages needed for the creation of a competitive, connected and greener economy. It would therefore be regrettable to neglect such a resource!