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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.



State of the World's Protected Areas 2007
Feb 16, 2009

The Protected Areas Programme of UNEP-WCMC published the 2007 edition of the State of the World's Protected Areas Report, the first in what will be an annual report on protected areas. The report was designed to highlight protected area accomplishments made at local, national, regional and global levels using information from the World Database on Protected Areas and other sources. Local protected areas are featured alongside reviews focused on marine and terrestrial protection, and social aspects of protected area management such as livelihoods impacts.

State of the World's Protected Areas 2007

 
IPCC announces start of the Fifth Assessment Report
Feb 12, 2009

The IPCC is currently starting to outline its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) which will be finalized in 2014. As has been the case in the past, the outline of the AR5 will be developed through a scoping process which involves climate change experts from all relevant disciplines and users of IPCC reports, in particular representatives from governments. As a first step, experts, governments and organizations involved in the Fourth Assessment Report have been asked to submit comments and observations in writing. These submissions are currently being analysed by members of the Bureau. Further input from governments and organizations is expected at the 30th Session of the IPCC (21-23 April 2009, Antalya, Turkey). The scoping meeting of experts to define the outline of the AR5 is scheduled for mid-July 2009.

IPCC

 
Report on climate change adopted by the European Parliament
Feb 05, 2009

The report on "2050: The future begins today – Recommendations for the EU's future integrated policy on climate change" (2008/2105(INI)) was adopted by the European Parliament on 4 February 2009. The report contains recommendations on the EU's future integrated climate policy to pave the way for a low-carbon economy, and seeks to coordinate the Parliament's common position on the negotiations on a future international agreement on climate change. 'Forests', 'energy', 'soil protection' and 'water management' are among the issues addressed by the report. The publication of the report marks the end of the work by the Temporary Committee on Climate Change.

Report on 2050: The future begins today – Recommendations for the EU's future
integrated policy on climate change

EC press release

 

 
PEFC calls on global forest leaders to engage in forest certification
Jan 29, 2009

With the establishment of a Stakeholder Forum, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) has expanded the role of forest leaders within its governance structure and calls on all interested parties to become actively engaged in shaping the future of forest certification. The Stakeholder Forum offers an opportunity for international non-governmental and governmental organisations, companies, UN agencies and others to collaborate on forestry-related issues and to provide positive contributions to the workings of PEFC.

PEFC press release

 
New Interactive Database on Indicators of Sustainable Forest Management in Europe
Jan 19, 2009

The Timber and Forestry programme of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have announced the release of a new web-based resource tool designed by the international community to enable researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and the general public to access data on Europe’s forests. The database is a comprehensive research tool based on the report State of Europe’s Forests 2007, and includes data which have so far not been published.

UNECE Statistical Database

UNECE press release

 
Finland - Decline in Timber Sales in 2008
Jan 16, 2009

Finnish forest industry procured a total of 38.5 million m3 of wood from privately owned domestic forests in 2008. Due to the weakened situation in the sawmilling sector, softwood log purchase volumes fell by half from the previous year.

Finnish Forest Industries Federation press release

 
UK Review of forest certification schemes
Jan 08, 2009

The results of the 2008 review of certification schemes to monitor continued compliance with UK government’s timber procurement policy are now available. The final report of the 2008 review of forest certification schemes conclude that the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) (the latter two now endorsed by PEFC) - continue to deliver evidence of sustainability. The fifth scheme - the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme MTCS system (formerly MTCC) - which was found to deliver legality in the last assessment is, in the process of introducing revised requirements. The 2008 review concluded that the scheme will provide evidence of sustainability once these revisions are fully in place. The review was carried out by the UK Central Point of Expertise on Timber Procurement (CPET).

CPET press release

 
Interaction between water and forest - challenge to water policies and forest management
Jan 08, 2009

Incorporating results from forest hydrology studies in water policies can help avoid uncertainty and confusion caused by the current difficulties in transferring research findings to different countries and regions, varying forest types and species and diverse forest management regimes. In addition, institutional mechanisms to enhance synergies in forests and water administrations are needed at national and regional levels.

These key messages to the decision makers were formed during the international conference “Water and Forests: a convenient truth?” held in October 2008. The conference gathered together renowned scientists to addressed the topic not only at a global level, but also highlighting the situation in the Mediterranean area.

The conference agreed that it is clear that forests are linked to water yield. Forests use more water than shorter types of vegetation caused by their higher evaporation. Water use efficiency differs between forest species; and soil water availability fluctuates at each stand. Canopies protect the ground from runoff which also means higher interception. Root systems influence the groundwater recharge. Consequently, forest management practices should be adjusted to reach desired impacts on water by using a mix of different tree species and of varying ages, or by designing forest structure and open areas (e.g. from harvesting). Follow up of such measures is required as it is essential to determine the influences of forest management actions in water at each stand.

One of the other main findings shows that global climate models predict marked changes in seasonal snow‐ and rainfall with more uncertainties than in temperatures. Also, they forecast a significant decrease in rainfall in the Mediterranean basin and an increase of rainfall during in winters in Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, when designing large‐scale forest plantations for carbon sequestration, water shortage should not be accentuated. Shade provided by riparian forests may help reduce thermal stress to aquatic life as climate warming intensifies.

EFI press release

 
Mid-term assessment EU Biodiversity Action Plan
Dec 19, 2008

The EU will fail to meet its target of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 unless there is significant additional effort over the next two years. This is the key conclusion of the first comprehensive assessment of progress in implementing a Biodiversity Action Plan to halt biodiversity loss in the EU. Despite some encouraging results, notably with the further extension of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas and important investments in biodiversity, the integration of biodiversity and ecosystem concerns into other sectoral policies remains an important challenge. The new Communication from the Commission identifies priorities for further action.

EC press release

EU Biodiversity Action Plan

 
Modelling environmental change in Europe: towards a model inventory (SEIS/Forward)
Dec 16, 2008

This technical report provides a non-exhaustive overview of modelling tools currently available to simulate future environmental change at a European scale. Modelling tools have become an important cornerstone of environmental assessments, and play an important role in providing the data and indicators needed to describe the state of, trends in and prospects of the environment. The report presents a general characterisation of environmental models based on the themes covered, the geographical coverage and the analytical structure of the respective models. A pool of some 80 models is introduced, many of which have been used by the European Environment Agency in its recent environmental assessments and reports, a limited number of which are described in more detail. This review identifies gaps in the availability, accessibility and applicability of current modelling tools, and stresses the need to further stimulate the development and application of environmental forecasting techniques.

EEA Technical Report No 11/2008

 
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