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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.



Stakeholder meeting on Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe
Jun 05, 2013

Jointly with the FOREST EUROPE Liaison Unit Madrid and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), CEPF organized a stakeholder meeting on the implementation of the Legally Binding Agreement (LBA) on Forests in Europe. The meeting took place in Brussels on 23 May 2013.

The meeting was attended by 30 people, representing various stakeholders, and it addressed the importance of stakeholder involvement, not only in the currently on-going LBA negotiation process, but in particular later implementation. The primary objective of the meeting was to open the doors and provide stakeholders with the opportunity to express their opinion and discuss the opportunities and challenges of the LBA, prior to the final meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) in Warsaw, Poland (10-14 June 2013).

CEPF press release

INC-Forests press release

 
Dynamic Conservation of Forest Genetic Resources in 33 European Countries
May 10, 2013

Lefèvre et al. have published in the journal Biological Conservation an assessment of the state of the conservation of forest genetic resources in 33 European countries on the basis of information in the EUFGIS portal.

Abstract: Dynamic conservation of forest genetic resources (FGR) means maintaining the genetic diversity of trees within an evolutionary process and allowing generation turnover in the forest. We assessed the network of forests areas managed for the dynamic conservation of FGR (conservation units) across Europe (33 countries). On the basis of information available in the European Information System on FGR (EUFGIS Portal), species distribution maps, and environmental stratification of the continent, we developed ecogeographic indicators, a marginality index, and demographic indicators to assess and monitor forest conservation efforts. The pan-European network has 1967 conservation units, 2737 populations of target trees, and 86 species of target trees. We detected a poor coincidence between FGR conservation and other biodiversity conservation objectives within this network. We identified 2 complementary strategies: a species-oriented strategy in which national conservation networks are specifically designed for key target species and a site-oriented strategy in which multiple-target units include so-called secondary species conserved within a few sites. The network is highly unbalanced in terms of species representation, and 7 key target species are conserved in 60% of the conservation units. We performed specific gap analyses for 11 tree species, including assessment of ecogeographic, demographic, and genetic criteria. For each species, we identified gaps, particularly in the marginal parts of their distribution range, and found multiple redundant conservation units in other areas. The Mediterranean forests and to a lesser extent the boreal forests are underrepresented. Monitoring the conservation efficiency of each unit remains challenging; however, <2% of the conserved populations seem to be at risk of extinction. On the basis of our results, we recommend combining species-oriented and site-oriented strategies.

Lefèvre et al. Dynamic Conservation of Forest Genetic Resources in 33 European Countries. Biological Conservation 27(2): 373-384. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2012.01961.x

 

 
Forest biomass is key to meet EU renewable energy targets
Apr 18, 2013

A high-level science-policy seminar brought together a full house of leading forest policy scientists and decision makers last week at the European Parliament to discuss the Opportunities and challenges in meeting renewable energy targets from forest biomass: an EU perspective as well as the need for EU sustainability criteria for solid biomass.

Three presentations by invited speakers were followed by a panel discussion.

  • Can European forests supply the woody biomass needed to meet the renewable energy action plans of EU member states? (Dr. Lauri Hetemäki, EFI)
  • What are the regional long term effects of intensive forest biomass harvesting on soil fertility? (Dr. Paul Campling, VITO, Belgium)
  • What are the sustainability issues and essential indicators for biomass from the forest? (Dr. Leyre Iriarte, International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy, Germany)

 

The seminar was organized by the high-level discussion and information-sharing forum on the future of forests in Europe – ThinkForest

The programme and presentations by the invited speakers are available on the ThinkForest event web-page.

EFI press release

ThinkForest seminar

 
Barking - European wood subsidies
Apr 10, 2013

An article in The Economist puts the focus on the European aim to meet 20% of its energy demands from renewable resources by 2020. The article questions whether the subsidies for biomass energy will achieve their aim to reduce carbon emissions, and discusses the effects the policy is having on other parts of the forest sector - e.g. pushing up timber prices. The article highlights a 2011 statement from Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency - It is widely assumed that biomass combustion would be inherently carbon neutral because it only releases carbon taken from the atmosphere during plant growth. However, this assumption is not correct and results in a form of double-counting, as it ignores the fact that using land to produce plants for energy typically means that this land is not producing plants for other purposes, including carbon otherwise sequestered.

Wood - the fuel of the future. Environmental lunacy in Europe The Economist, 6 April 2013.

EEA Scientific Committee Opinion on Greenhouse Gas Accounting in Relation to Bioenergy - 15 September 2011

 
Impacts of EU Timber Regulation on trade flow in the EU and individual European countries
Feb 25, 2013

The first in a series of in-depth statistical reports have been released by the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) in its programme for monitoring the impact of the EU Timber Regulation on trade flows. The initial series of ten studies cover the state of trade and trade patterns in the EU 25 overall, and all the individual ETTF member countries; Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. The reports address key questions about the potential impact of the EUTR on the European wood trade, including whether the regulation will make timber more or less competitive against other materials, boost demand for certified sustainable forest products, or favour alternative risk-based legality verification systems, and if it will divert wood imports to other markets with less rigorous legality enforcement systems. The ETTF reports will endeavour to provide answers to these questions on an ongoing basis. They will deliver analysis of EU import and production data derived from Eurostat and a range of UN agencies, combined with statistics on other key criteria; supplier countries forest type (boreal, temperate, and tropical), FLEGT VPA status, and coverage by forest certification scheme and other systems of risk mitigation. The reports will also focus on corruption and national income levels.

The reports have been commissioned from trade analysts and commentators Forest Industries Intelligence (FII), with support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and complement the quarterly trade statistics reports FII produces for the ETTF Newsletter.

ETTF press release

 
Summary - Plenary Meeting of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Jan 29, 2013

The first session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-1) met from 21-26 January 2013, in Bonn, Germany. Over 500 participants attended the meeting, representing IPBES member and non-member governments, UN organizations and conventions, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and various stakeholder groups. Although some issues remained unresolved, including rules of procedure on the admission of observers, delegates left the snowy city of Bonn with a feeling of accomplishment, celebrating concrete achievements such as the election of the IPBES Chair, Bureau and Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP), the adoption of an initial budget, and agreement on steps toward the development of an initial IPBES work programme. Delegates lauded the spirit of cooperation and dedication displayed at the historic first plenary of IPBES. They felt optimistic that now fully operationalized, IPBES would be ready to bridge the science and policy gap to tackle challenges related to biodiversity and ecosystem services.

IISD highlights from IPBES-1

IPBES web-site

 

 

 
The impacts of invasive alien species in Europe
Jan 18, 2013

Biological invasions are one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss. Invasive alien species (IAS) may have far-reaching and harmful effects on the environment and natural resources for generations. IAS also affect human life and health and cause serious economic damage to agriculture, forestry and fisheries, which is estimated to be at least €12 billion per year in Europe. The purpose of this report is to raise awareness among key stakeholders, decision-makers, policymakers and the general public about the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of IAS. Twenty-eight dedicated species accounts are provided to highlight the various types of impacts. These species accounts are based on thorough, up-to-date scientific information from recent research and studies, and highlight the multifaceted impacts of IAS at both the global and regional levels.

EEA Technical Report No 16/2012 The impacts of invasive alien species in Europe

 
Forest Sector in the European Union in Statistics - Eurostat Pocketbook 2012
Jan 09, 2013

The 2012 edition of the Eurostat Agriculture, fishery and forestry statistics pocketbook presents selected tables and graphs (using the most recent data - mainly 2010 and 2011) providing an overview on developments and the situation in the agricultural, fishery and forestry sectors in the European Union (EU-27) as well as EFTA (European Free Trade Association) and candidate countries when data are available.

The chapter dealing with forestry and the wood-based industry is divided into three sections: (1) Macroeconomic indicators for the sector; (2) Forestry and logging (industrial roundwood, fuelwood, output, gross value added, employment); and (3) Wood-based industry (production and trade of sawnwood, wood-based panels, plywood, fibreboard; trade between the EU and other countries/regions).

A special chapter deals with the 50th anniversary of the EU Common Agricultural Policy

The pocketbook was published at the end of December 2012.

Eurostat press release

Eurostat Pocketbook Agriculture, fishery and forestry statistics - Main results - 2010-11

 
The Condition of Forests in Europe - ICP Forests - 2012 Executive Report
Jan 07, 2013
The headlines from the 2012 Executive Report of the ICP Forests programme include: Central and southern European deciduous forests and Alpine coniferous forests show higher levels of damage; Sulphur deposition has substantially decreased across Europe over the past decades; Nitrogen excess continues to affect nutrient cycles; Forest growth and climate change models project increased growth, however further development of the models is needed.

For more than 25 years forest condition in Europe has been monitored by ICP Forests. The programme is the only harmonized terrestrial forest monitoring network in Europe with around 7000 level I plots and 500 level II plots. Finally the report mentions that the future of the ICP Forests monitoring programme is at risk as long-term financing is not secured and is relying exclusively on national contributions. The report was published at the end of December 2012.

The Condition of Forests in Europe - ICP Forests - 2012 Executive Report

ICP Forests
 
Global forest land-use change 1990–2005 - new publication from FRA2010
Dec 20, 2012

FAO's new report, Global forest land-use change 1990-2005, presents the key findings on forest land use and land-use change between 1990 and 2005 from FAO's 2010 Global Forest Resources Assessment Remote Sensing Survey. The report focuses on forest land use, and not land cover. Overall, there was a net decrease in global forest area of 1.7% between 1990 and 2005, at an annual rate of 0.11%. This equates to an annual shift from forest land use to other land uses of 3 million ha per year between 1990 and 2000, and of 6 million ha per year between 2000 and 2005. There are major regional differences in the net rates of forest area change: Europe, including the Russian Federation, had a net loss of 0.5 million ha annually. Only Asia and North America experienced gains in forest area.

This survey was the result of a partnership between FAO, countries and the European Commission Joint Research Centre. It is the first report of its kind to present systematic estimates of global forest land use and change.

FAO, JRC 2012. Global forest land-use change 1990–2005. FAO Forestry Paper 169.

FRA 2010

 

 

 

 
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