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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.

Joint ministerial declaration on reducing emissions from deforestation
Dec 16, 2008

At the UN climate change conference in Poznan, Poland, a joint ministerial declaration was launched on 12 December 2008 by like-minded countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. The statement commits a number of developed and key tropical developing countries to take early action to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation – a process known as REDD – in the developing world. The rainforest countries involved show their willingness to develop national REDD strategies in cooperation with relevant stakeholders, including indigenous peoples, other civil society groups and the private sector. Developed countries agreeing to the statement affirm that they stand ready to help developing countries build up their capacity to develop national strategies, and to reward those which move quickly to show measurable and verified emission cuts.

The Poznan Statement on REDD was endorsed at a side meeting of the Poznan conference. The rainforest countries involved are Brazil, Cameroon, Congo, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Indonesia, Madagascar, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Surinam, Singapore, Thailand and Uganda. Among developed countries the statement was endorsed by Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, the European Commission, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK.

EC press release

Extension of Natura 2000 Network
Dec 15, 2008

Europe's rich patchwork of protected flora and fauna grew further today with a major extension of Natura 2000, the EU's network of protected natural areas. The additions include 769 new sites and a total area of 95,522 km2. Most of the sites are in the newer Member States. Romania and Bulgaria have now added areas to the network for the first time, including areas along the Black Sea that are home to numerous varieties of rare and threatened plants and animals. Natura 2000 now includes around 25,000 sites, covering almost 20% of the EU’s landmass, making it the largest interconnected network of protected areas in the world. It is the EU's key weapon in the fight against biodiversity loss.

EC press release

Finnish Forest industry production on the decrease
Dec 10, 2008

The demand for Finnish forest industry products in 2008 has been adversely affected by the slowdown in euro area GDP growth, the drop in housing construction, the high level of interest rates and the uncertainties on the financial markets. Sawnwood production and sawnwood export volumes and prices are down in 2008 by about one-fifth on the figures for 2007, which was a boom year in the sawmilling industry. Production and exports in the paper industry are also down in 2008.

The Finnish Forest Sector Economic Outlook is an annual report (published at the end of November) providing an analysis of the current year and forecasts for the coming year.

Metla press release

Finnish Forest Sector Economic Outlook 2008-2009

Policy options for EU strategy on invasive species
Dec 05, 2008

The European Commission (EC) has presented a series of policy options for developing a strategy to deal with species from abroad which are threatening European biodiversity. Invasive alien species (IAS) are a major threat to native plants and animals in Europe. Invasive species can disrupt local flora and fauna and cause considerable damage to nature and human health. They can also have significant economic impacts: controlling invasive species and repairing the damage they do is estimated to cost European economies at least €12 billion each year. Although some EU countries have legislation to protect their national biodiversity, there is no harmonised approach across the EU. The Communication puts forward a number of policy options for a coordinated approach and measures that can be put in place immediately, including a Europe-wide early warning system to report new and emerging species.

Feedback from stakeholders and other EU institutions will be taken into account by the Commission in finalising its proposal for the EU strategy which it intends to bring forward in 2010.

EC press release

DG Environment page on IAS

EC Discussion Paper on IAS

Forest Day 2 - Shaping the Global Agenda for Forests and Climate Change
Dec 03, 2008

Forest Day 2 is a parallel event to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 14. Forest Day 2 will bring together the world’s pre-eminent forest stakeholders, agenda setters and policy makers to address the key forest and climate issues: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD); Climate Change adaptation; Poverty, livelihoods, equity and justice; Data collection, baselines and methodologies; Rights, compliance, law and enforcement; Forest investment and environmental service payments. The event is co-hosted by CIFOR, the Polish Government, Polish State Forests National Forest Holding, and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF).

One side event on 'The Importance of Forests in Mitigating Climate Change from National and Pan-European Perspectives' will be presented by MCPFE and the State Forests National Forest Holding of Poland.

Forest Day 2 report

Russian National FSC standard approved
Dec 02, 2008

The National Standards Accreditation Committee of the FSC has approved the Russian National FSC Standard. The standard came into effect on 11 November 2008. It is a public document, available on request from the FSC Working Group in Russia or the FSC Policy and Standards Program.

FSC press release

Strategic framework for forests and climate change
Dec 02, 2008

The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) will present a proposal for a coordinated forest sector response to the climate change agenda in a side-event on Friday 5 December during COP 14 of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Poznan.

Since April 2008 the 14 member organizations of the CPF have worked on a concerted effort to draw a strategic framework for the forest-sector response to the global climate change agenda. It puts forward a case for tactical role of sustainable forest management in achieving long-term climate change mitigation and as a robust framework for effective adaptation. The framework can be downloaded from the forests and climate change pages of the CPF web-site.

CPF Climate Change

UNFCCC COP 14 Side Events Schedule

Russia defers increases to roundwood export duties
Nov 20, 2008

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that the proposed increases on duties on roundwood exported from Russia, which had been due to be implemented from 1 January 2009, will be postponed for 9-12 months.

International Forest Industries

Finnish Forest Industries

Timber certification systems approved by the Netherlands
Nov 20, 2008

The Dutch Timber Procurement Assessment Committee (TPAC) has announced the first results of its work with the assessment of four timber certification systems for sustainable forest management. Three systems – FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), and the national PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) schemes for Germany and Finland – meet the Dutch procurement criteria for timber. Timber certified by these systems corresponds with approximately 30% of the total volume of timber imported into the Netherlands. The decision on the conformity of FSC implies that all national FSC standards conform to the Dutch criteria. The assessment of PEFC International has not yet been concluded.

TPAC press release

Commission proposes to improve implementation of environmental law
Nov 20, 2008

The Commission has set out plans to improve the implementation of the European Union's 200 or so laws on environmental protection. This fits within a wider Commission strategy for improving implementation of EU law announced in 2007, and coincides with the publication of the new Annual Report of the Commission on monitoring the application of Community Law in general. The Communication stresses the need for close cooperation with Member States to ensure that national implementing rules are correct and adopted on time, and that shared goals are effectively achieved. Where serious problems persist – such as tolerance of illegal landfills or multiple failures to treat urban waste-water – the Commission will favour strategic legal action over a piecemeal approach.

Communication on implementing European Community Environmental Law

EC press release

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