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The EuroForest Portal news service covers items of direct interest to the forest and forest products sector, and also items of more general environmental interest. The geographic scope for news items is generally the European (or sub-region of Europe) level, but items of global, national and sub-national interest may also be noticed. In general, announcements of events are not noticed (exceptions are made for events of international importance).

GFIS - Global Forest Information Service. GFIS is a collaborative initiative that allows sharing of forest-related information through a single gateway. The information resources accessible through GFIS are freely available, and provide direct access to the original information.

EFI press releases - News items about European forest research related issues and about EFI activities.

EFI events calendar - Information on upcoming and past events of EFI and other organisations, and links to other forest-related event calendars.

Working group II and working group III contributions to the IPCC's 5th assessment report available
Apr 15, 2014

In the last two weeks, two major reports were released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): "Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change" (WGIII) and "Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability" (WGII). The conclusions will be integrated in a Synthesis Report to be considered in the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, from 30 November to 11 December 2015.


The report "Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change" shows that global emissions of greenhouse gases have risen to unprecedented levels despite a growing number of policies to reduce climate change and concludes that it would be possible, using a wide array of technological measures and changes in behaviour, to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The Working Group III contribution assessed the options for mitigating climate change and their underlying technological, economic and institutional requirements. It transparently laid out risks, uncertainty and ethical foundations of climate change mitigation policies on the global, national and sub-national level, investigated mitigation measures for all major sectors and assessed investment and finance issues.

On the other hand, the report, titled "Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability", from Working Group II of the IPCC, detailed the impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks. It also enhanced that the risks will be
difficult to manage with high levels of warming.

The Working Group II contribution considered the vulnerability and exposure of human and natural systems, the observed impacts and future risks of climate change, and the potential for and limits to adaptation. The chapters of the report assessed risks and opportunities for societies, economies, and ecosystems around the world.

The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) aims to provide a clear and most up to date view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change. It comprises of three Working Group (WG) reports and a Synthesis Report (SYR) which integrates and synthesize material in the WG reports for policymakers. The SYR will be considered in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 27-31 October 2015, and will be a basis for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Paris, France in 2015.

IPCC press releases on WGIII report and on WGII report

More information

IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)

IPCC Working Group III
Summary for Policymakers
Final draft report

IPCC Working Group II
Summary for Policymakers
Final draft report

IPCC Working Group I
Summary for Policymakers
Final draft report

Some reactions to the new IPCC reports

The Economist news item
Nature news item
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) press release
The European Environment Agency press release

EurObserv'ER released its annual report "State of Renewable Energies in Europe"
Apr 04, 2014

The 2013 edition 'State of Renewable Energies in Europe' presents European Union renewable energy shares in 2012, including employment, turnover and investment climate and can be downloaded for free in English and in French.


The annual EurObserv’ER report ‘The State of Renewable Energies in Europe’ (edition 2013) has been released, in which not only background information is provided on the renewable energy realisations and the renewable energy share, but additionally estimates have been presented for renewable energy related employment and turnover in the EU Member States, plus – for the first time in the EurObserv’ER history – an assessment of the investment climate in the European Union.

Key data for the 27 European Union Member States:
EurObserv'ER press release

More information
The EurObserv'ER Barometer

FAO launches new satellite-based data on forest resources on the International Day of Forests
Mar 21, 2014
The note presents the latest results for the extent of forest‐land and changes in forest land use for the time period 1990 to 2010.

The new data released by the on the occasion of the International Day of Forests confirm that forest areas continue to decline globally, with the biggest losses of tropical forests occurring in South America and Africa.

According to the updated survey, the area of forest cover decreased by some 5.3 million ha/year, corresponding, over the period 1990-2010, to a net loss equivalent of nearly 4 times the size of Italy or the size of Colombia.

The updated findings of a global remote sensing survey show that total forest area as of 2010 is 3.89 billion hectares or 30 percent of the total land area of the Earth.

The work is the result of a partnership between FAO, its member countries and the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC).

New data

FAO full press release
France initiates a Strategic Committee for the timber sector
Mar 13, 2014

Two ministers of the French government (Stéphane Le Foll,  Minister for “Agriculture, Agrofood and Forestry” and Arnaud Montebourg, minister for “Industry Renewal”) presided to the new « Comité stratégique de la filière bois » (CSF bois) installation.

“CSF bois” gathers representatives of companies and industrial associations, trade unions and administrations working with the sector, under the coordination of an industrial, vice-chair of the committee, Mr. Luc Charmasson. All partners and stakeholders are expected to take part in the dynamics of the committee to reach the signature of sector agreement in the summer 2014 and propose operational measures on key points for the development of the sector.

It is the first time that the whole forest-based sector, which generates a turnover of around  50 billion €, representing more than 450,000 direct and indirect jobs in France, is recognized on a par with other strategic industrial sectors (automotive, aeronautics ...). “Facing the challenges and issues of the energy and ecological transition, it is an innovative industry of the future, whose growth prospects are strong and are the source of job creation and wealth”, stresses the official press release.

The creation of a Strategic Committee for the timber sector is the result of one of the key measures of the National Action Plan for the future of wood processing industries announced in October 2013.

Read the official press release (in French)

CSF Bois website

EEA new report: “Spatial analysis of green infrastructure in Europe”
Mar 11, 2014

coverphoto_reportThe European Environment Agency (EEA) has engaged in GI research in order to support policymaking agents and the public.

The objective of the current report is to propose, develop and test a theoretical framework for the identification and mapping of Green Infrastructure (GI) elements at landscape level, taking into consideration their multifunctional character and the potential of ecosystem services' supply. The proposed methodology will help policymakers and practitioners define a landscape GI network to identify areas where key habitats can be reconnected and the overall ecological quality of the area improved. It provides a useful starting point for identifying priority areas for conservation and potential restoration.

The study maps a network of natural and semi-natural spaces and other environmental features in Europe with a good capacity to deliver 'ecosystem services', like air filtration, erosion protection, regulating water flow, coastal protection, pollination, maintaining soil structure, water purification, and carbon storage. The report also identifies key habitats for large forest-dwelling mammals and the analysis of connectivity among them.

This experimental methodology, applicable at different scales, indicates that healthy areas of green infrastructure cover approximately a quarter of Europe's land.

EEA report

EEA press release

photo © EEA

Center for International Environmental Law launches ForestDefender
Mar 07, 2014

Webtool gathers internationally-protected rights related to forest governance in a easily accessible and useable format

ForestDefender is a legal database that provides a snapshot of international human rights and obligations relevant to forest governance. It captures the large amount of information found from various sources and presents it in a way that is easily accessible to and usable by lawyers, activists and community members alike.


ForestDefender is your go-to place if you want to:

•    Find information about a specific country’s involvement in REDD+
•    Discover what international obligations your country has to its people or extraterritorially
•    Build a stronger command of a particular right
•    Gain a better understanding of the rights implicated by a specific legal instrument

The Center for International Environmental Law is a registered non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Washington, DC.  Since 1989, CIEL has worked to strengthen and use international law and institutions to protect the environment, promote human health and ensure a just and sustainable society.

Find out more at:

Photo credits: ForestDefender - CIEL

Global Forest Watch: current information on world forests for a better management
Mar 03, 2014

"Find out what is happening in the forest now" is the slogan of the new project which aims at "viewing forest change in near real time, assessing deforestation worldwide, and publishing meaningful web maps that support sustainable management of forests".


Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a free dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system which uses satellite technology, open data and crowdsourcing. The platform and its "timely, reliable and decision-relevant information" is addressed to governments, companies, NGOs, and the concerned citizens.

GFW is supported by a diverse partnership of about forty organizations that contribute through data, technical capabilities, funding, and expertise. The partnership is convened by the World Resources Institute (WRI), in collaboration with Google, Esri and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), amongst other partners and funders.

WRI information

Global Forest Watch website

GFW Launch Event page


EEA and MNHN present a new report on recent terrestrial habitat mapping work
Mar 03, 2014
report_cover‘Terrestrial habitat mapping in Europe: an overview’ is the first review and analysis of terrestrial vegetation and habitat mapping initiatives across Europe, including the methodologies used and the project organisation. It shows the development of relevant concepts and techniques, as well as the ongoing efforts to harmonise information at the European level.

As we can read in the report's introduction, although plant science remains at the core of the approach, habitat mapping increasingly finds applications in land planning and management and is often a necessary step in preparing nature and biodiversity conservation plans. The editors believe that a good knowledge of the condition and distribution of habitats is thus an important element to inform long-term and forward planning decision making, in the frame of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy.

This report is the result of a collaboration between the Service du Patrimoine Naturel of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) — the French National Reference Centre (NRC) for biodiversity — and the European Environment Agency (EEA) - European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (ETC/BD), coordinated by the MNHN in Paris.

EEA press release

Download the report here (PDF)
JRC leads study on the potential impacts of the EU Cohesion Policy on land use
Feb 20, 2014
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) presents the results of the study on the potential future territorial and environmental impacts of the Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 in the report "Direct and Indirect Land Use Impacts of the EU Cohesion Policy. Assessment with the Land Use Modelling Platform".

The main goal of the study was to identify trade-offs between investments and land use in the EU’s regions, and provide insights on how potentially detrimental land-use impacts could be minimised.

The JRC took a modelling approach and investigated two main scenarios for future land-use change; one that does not include the Cohesion Policy (the reference scenario), and one that does. These scenarios were simulated using the Land Use Modelling Platform (LUMP).

The comparison of the different scenarios showed that the Cohesion Policy may result in increased land take due to direct investments in infrastructure and a higher demand for land as a result of economic growth. In addition, it was found that expected improvements to the European road network will impact on the location of economic activities and residents, thus influencing land use change patterns.

The authors of the study recommend that these effects be offset by putting adequate spatial planning policies in place that encourage more efficient urban land use and investment in green infrastructure (natural areas and environmental features), thus preserving the provision of goods and services by ecosystems.

JRC report

JRC news item

JRC Land use modelling Platform (LUMP)
UNECE-FAO Integrated Programme of Work on forests 2014-17 approved
Feb 18, 2014

The programme's experts cover issues such as wood energy, sustainable forest products, forest policy, statistics, monitoring of forests, outlook on the forest sector, communication on forests and green jobs.

The UNECE confirmed its commitment to its work on forests in partnership with FAO in the region, with the Executive Committee’s decision to approve the UNECE-FAO Integrated Programme of Work on forests for the period 2014-17.

The UNECE-FAO Integrated Programme of Work is a very comprehensive plan to monitor, promote, support, implement and communicate about sustainable forest management in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe and North America.

Eight teams of international experts and specialists were approved at the same time as the programme of work. Through these teams, experts will cover issues such as wood energy, sustainable forest products, forest policy, statistics, monitoring of forests, outlook on the forest sector, communication on forests and green jobs.

Experts will work to provide the forest sector with the best available and up-to-date information and knowledge in the region to ensure that the forest will be one of the main contributors to the transition towards a green economy.

UNECE press release

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