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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.



Satellites unravel complex relationship between northern forests and climate
Jan 12, 2011

The European Space Agency (ESA) Earth-observing satellites are helping to understand the intricate role that Eurasia's boreal forest plays in the chemical make-up of the atmosphere and the global climate system. By fostering new use of Earth observation data through the Atmosphere-Land Interaction Study (ALANIS), insight is being gained into how boreal forests contribute to greenhouse gas and aerosol concentration, and into the processes governing the interplay between the surface of the Earth and the atmosphere. ALANIS will focus on three themes: (1) Boreal lake/wetland dynamics and methane emissions; (2) Boreal forest fire plumes and greenhouse-gas/aerosol dispersion; (3) Natural and anthropogenic aerosol dynamics in the boreal region. Preliminary results of the project were presented at the ESA/iLEAPS/EGU conference on Earth Observation for Land-Atmosphere Interaction Science in November 2010.

ESA press release

ALANIS web-page

Earth Observation for Land-Atmosphere Interaction Science conference, 3-5 November 2010

 
New rules on illegal timber come into force across EU
Dec 07, 2010
New rules to prevent illegal timber being sold on the European market came into force across the EU on 2 December 2010. The legislation will strengthen efforts to halt illegal logging which causes serious environmental damage and biodiversity loss and undermines the efforts of those trying to manage forests responsibly. The Regulation, which was first proposed by the Commission in 2008, was adopted by the EU last month and will apply in all Member States from March 2013. EU operators selling timber and timber products for the first time on the EU market – whether they come from the EU or are imported – will need to know where their timber is from. They will have to take steps to make sure that it has been harvested according to the relevant laws of the country of harvest. Traders along the supply chain within the EU will need to keep records of who their timber or timber product was bought from and to whom it was sold.

Member States will be responsible for applying sanctions to operators who break the rules. Legality is defined by reference to the legislation of the country where the timber was harvested. Timber products from countries that have entered into Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreements with the EU will be considered to be in compliance with the Regulation. The Regulation will apply to a wide range of timber and timber products, including solid timber products, plywood and board products, furniture, pulp and paper.

Although the Regulation has now entered into force, the date of application in all Member States will be 3rd March 2013.

DG Environment press release

Regulation (EU) No 995/2010
 
Environment State and Outlook 2010 (SOER 2010) - Butterflies or business - Europe can have both!
Dec 01, 2010

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released (30 November 2010) its fourth Environment State and Outlook report — SOER 2010 — a comprehensive assessment of how and why the European environment is changing, and what we are doing about it. SOER 2010 concludes that a fully integrated approach to transforming Europe to a resource-efficient green economy can not only result in a healthy environment, but also boost prosperity and social cohesion. The new assessment shows that global demands for natural resources to feed, clothe, house and transport people are accelerating. These mounting demands on natural capital are exerting increased pressure to ecosystems, economies and social cohesion in Europe and elsewhere. However, SOER 2010 confirms that well-designed environmental policies continue to improve Europe's environment without undermining Europe's growth potential. A complete shift to a resource-efficient green economy requires that all environmental resources – biodiversity, land, carbon, rivers, the seas and the air we breathe – are fully considered in production, consumption and global trade decisions. SOER 2010 also highlights a greater understanding of the links between climate change, biodiversity, resource use and people’s health — and how tools like spatial planning, ecological tax reform, pollution prevention, precaution and resource accounting can underpin a natural capital-based approach to their management.

EEA press release

SOER 2010

 
Sustainable forest management in Europe contributes to global biodiversity goals
Oct 28, 2010

The FOREST EUROPE policies play an important role in combating global biodiversity loss. These are the findings of a recently completed assessment, which has been carried out in relation to the 10TH Conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which is taking place until 29 October in Nagoya, Japan.

The analysis demonstrates that FOREST EUROPE has addressed the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity and helped to transmit global provisions on forest biodiversity to the European level. In particular, regional activities have been carried out to implement the ecosystem approach in forests. This strategy has been elaborated by the Convention on Biological Diversity for the integrated management of land, water and living resources to promote conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way. Specific actions have also been taken by the FOREST EUROPE participating countries to enhance protected forest areas and forest law enforcement. The FOREST EUROPE policies for sustainable forest management will be an important instrument for achieving new biodiversity targets for 2020, which are expected to be adopted in Nagoya.

FOREST EUROPE - Enriching Forest Biodiversity

FOREST EUROPE press release

 
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) - synthesis report
Oct 22, 2010

The economic importance of the natural assets of the world is now firmly on the political radar as a result of an international assessment showcasing the enormous economic value of forests, freshwater, soils and coral reefs, as well as the social and economic costs of their loss, was the conclusion of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) report launched (20 October 2010) by TEEB study leader, Pavan Sukhdev, at the 10th Conference of Parties meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP10) in Nagoya.

TEEB has documented not only the multi-trillion dollar importance to the global economy of the natural world, but also the kinds of policy-shifts and smart market mechanisms that can embed fresh thinking in a world beset by a rising raft of multiple challenges. The good news is that many communities and countries are already seeing the potential of incorporating the value of nature into decision-making, said Mr. Sukhdev, a banker who heads up the Green Economy Initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). He was speaking at the launch of the two-year study, which has involved hundreds of experts from around the world, at the CBD COP10.

The TEEB study calls for wider recognition of the contribution by nature to human livelihoods, health, security, and culture by decision-makers at all levels (local to national and business to citizens). It promotes the demonstration, and where appropriate, the capture of the economic values of nature services through an array of policy instruments and mechanisms.

TEEB synthesis report

TEEBweb

 
Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 - final report
Oct 14, 2010

Forest biodiversity is threatened by a high global rate of deforestation and forest degradation as well as a decline in primary forest area. In many countries, however, there is a continued positive trend towards the conservation of forest biological diversity via dedicated conservation areas. Globally, around 13 million hectares (ha) of forests were converted to other uses (including agriculture) or were lost through natural causes each year between 2000 and 2010. That is down from around 16 million ha per year during the 1990s. These are some of the key findings of the final report of the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010), the most comprehensive assessment of the state of the world forests ever undertaken. Information has been collated from 233 countries and territories for four points in time: 1990, 2000, 2005 and 2010. The results are presented according to the seven thematic elements of sustainable forest management: the extent of forest resources; forest biological diversity; forest health and vitality; productive functions of forest resources; protective functions of forest resource; socio-economic functions of forest resources; and the legal, policy and institutional framework guiding their management and use.

The report of FRA 2010 was published at the start of the latest biennial meeting of the FAO Committee on Forestry and World Forest Week in Rome (4-8 October 2010).

FAO press release

FRA 2010

 
New atlas highlights the value of soil biodiversity in Europe and reveals how it is under threat
Sep 28, 2010

The Joint Research Centre has published an indicator-based map of potential threats to soil biodiversity, in order to guide decision-makers in protecting this crucial resource. The biodiversity within soils plays a vital role in agriculture and in the water and carbon cycle. The atlas highlights areas within Europe where soil biodiversity is most at risk of decline relative to the current situation – notably parts of the UK, the Benelux countries and Northern France, although there are areas of high risk also in several other EU Member States. It provides a comprehensive source of information for researchers, policy makers and teachers. The 128-page atlas is the result of collaboration between departments of the European Commission and partners from academia, industry and organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Press release

European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity

 
Public consultation: role of agriculture and forestry in achieving the EU climate change commitments
Sep 23, 2010

The objective of this consultation is to collect views from citizens, organisations and public authorities on how land use activities may contribute to climate change mitigation; if land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) should count towards the EU greenhouse gas reduction commitment; and, if so, the ways in which this could be done. The EU has committed unilaterally to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, and by up to 30% if conditions are right. Emissions and removals in the LULUCF sector are currently not part of the EU commitment. However, and in accordance with Decision 406/2009/EC (Articles 8 and 9), the Commission shall assess modalities for the inclusion of associated emissions and removals in the reduction commitment and, as appropriate, make a proposal. The consultation was opened on 10 September and runs until 5 November 2010.

Consultation - role of EU agriculture and forestry in achieving the EU's climate change commitments

 
Biodiversity: Commission seeks views on future options for EU biodiversity policy
Sep 14, 2010

The European Commission has launched a web-based consultation to gather input from a wide range of stakeholders on policy options for the European Union's post-2010 EU biodiversity strategy. Opinions are sought from citizens, stakeholders, public administrations, business and civil society on issues including the shortcomings of the existing biodiversity policy, the new approach that the Commission is proposing, farming and biodiversity, the economics of biodiversity, and biodiversity governance inside and outside the EU. The results will feed into the new strategy which is under development. The consultation runs until 22 October 2010.

Consultation - Protecting our natural capital: an EU strategy to conserve biodiversity and ensure the provision of ecosystem services by 2020

 
Launch of the European biodiversity baseline report and Biodiversity Information System for Europe
Sep 14, 2010

At the opening session of the Green Week conference in Brussels (1 June 2010), the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA) unveiled two new tools to combat biodiversity loss: BISE (the Biodiversity Information System for Europe) and 'Biodiversity baseline'. BISE is a web portal centralising information about European biodiversity in a single location. The baseline offers a comprehensive snapshot of the current state of biodiversity and will be used to monitor progress in the renewed efforts to halt biodiversity loss.

EEA press release

Biodiversity Information System for Europe (BISE)

Biodiversity Baseline

 
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