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NEWS

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.



Call for Evidence on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)
Oct 10, 2008

The European Commission is asking interested stakeholders to submit evidence on the economic consequences of biodiversity loss.

The contributions are for Phase II of TEEB, a global study on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity launched in 2007 as part of the G8 Potsdam initiative on biodiversity. Evidence in the form of scientific papers, reports and studies, valuation studies, or examples of policy implementation, is needed in all areas of the project. Submissions are welcome from all sectors including scientific and research institutions, governments, local authorities and managers of natural resources, the private sector, NGOs and other experts in Europe and around the world.

The project is structured around a key scientific report (D0) and several reports targeted towards four specific end-user groups: D1 - Report for policy makers (national and international level); D2 - Report for administrators (regional and local level); D3 - Report for business and industry; D4 - Report for consumers and citizens.

At the moment, only the outline and questionnaire for D1 (report for policy makers) are online. Contributions to D1 are requested until the 30 December 2008.

The outlines and questionnaires for the other deliverables will be made available shortly. The call will remain open until 31 March 2009.

TEEB phase II call

TEEB

 
IUCN Publish Review of the 2008 Red List of Threatened Species
Oct 06, 2008

The most comprehensive update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was unveiled at IUCN’s World Conservation Congress in Barcelona on 6 October 2008. The 2008 IUCN Red List update includes:

  • A complete reassessment of the world’s mammals, showing that nearly one-quarter (22%) of mammal species are globally threatened or Extinct - there is insufficient data to make an assessment for a further 836 species (15%);
  • The addition of 366 new amphibians, many listed as threatened, and the confirmed extinction of two additional species, reaffirming the extinction crisis faced by amphibians - nearly one-third (31%) are threatened or Extinct;
  • A complete reassessment of the world’s birds indicates that one in seven (14%) are threatened or Extinct - birds are one of the best-known groups with sufficient data to make an assessment for 99% of species.

The Review also includes reports on:

  • Broadening the coverage of biodiversity assessments;
  • The Mediterranean: a biodiversity hotspot under threat;
  • Species susceptibility to climate change impacts.


IUCN Red List

 
Launch of new stage of GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security)
Oct 03, 2008

A new stage of GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) was announced by Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, on 19 September 2008 at a dedicated conference in Lille, organised in cooperation with the French presidency of the EU. The objective is to monitor the state of the environment on land, at sea and in the atmosphere and to improve the security of the citizens in a world facing an increased risk of natural and other disasters.

Information gathered and relayed will help to improve the management of natural resources, monitor the quality of our waters and air, plan our cities and prevent urban sprawl, ease the flow of transportation, optimise agricultural activities and promote renewable energy. Furthermore, GMES will enhance people’s safety in numerous ways, for example by providing early warnings of natural disasters, thereby helping prevent loss of life and damage to property. It also will provide a basis of enhanced modelling activities to help better understand the drivers of climate change. [The new stage was briefly called Kopernikus, but is now GMES].

EC press release

GMES at EC overview

GMES web page

 

 
Publication - Impacts of Europe's changing climate - 2008 indicator-based assessment
Oct 02, 2008

The report presents past and projected climate change and impacts in Europe by means of about 40 indicators and identifies sectors and regions most vulnerable with a high need for adaptation. The report covers the following indicator categories: atmosphere and climate, cryosphere, marine biodiversity and ecosystems, water quantity (including river floods and droughts), freshwater quality and biodiversity, terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity, soil, agriculture and forestry, human health. Furthermore the report shows the need for adaptation actions at EU, national and regional level and the need for enhanced monitoring, data collection and exchange and reducing uncertainties in projections. The report is a joint effort of the European Environment Agency (EEA), the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC-IES) and the World Health Organisation Europe (WHO).

EEA press release

EEA Report No. 4/2008

 
UNECE/FAO releases provisional 2007 forest products data
Sep 29, 2008

The UNECE/FAO Timber Section has made available on its web site the complete set of provisional 2007 forest products data. Data include removals, production of sawnwood, panels, pulp and paper for over 60 items and trade in both value and volume for these items. Data cover the last five years and are provided for the UNECE region of Europe, the CIS and North America. Analysis of these figures can be found in the Forest Products Annual Market Review.

UNECE/FAO Forest Products Statistics 2003-2007

Forest Products Annual Market Review 2007-2008

 
Four new EFI Regional Offices to be established
Sep 29, 2008

The Annual Conference of the European Forest Institute (15-20 September 2008) accepted four proposals to establish new Regional Offices of EFI in different locations across Europe. This development follows the establishment of the first EFI Regional Office EFIMED in 2007. The Conference cast a vote on the issue after considering the process of establishment and hearing the recommendation by the EFI Board.

The approved proposals are:

  • EFIATLANTIC in Bordeaux which concentrates on issues of west-European relevance in the region of Atlantic rim.
  • EFICEE in Vienna with a geographical coverage in the Central-Eastern Europe.
  • EFICENT with a rotating office in Freiburg (Germany), Zurich (Switzerland) and an observatory in Nancy (France) in Central Europe.
  • EFISEE in Croatia covering the region of South-East Europe.

EFI press release
 
EU parliament calls for more resources for the conservation of tropical forests
Sep 24, 2008

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) called on the European Commission and European Member States to increase the financial resources available for the conservation and ecologically responsible use of tropical forests and to promote economically viable alternatives to destructive logging, mining and agricultural practices.

The parliament welcomed the conclusion of the 2006 ITTA (International Tropical Timber Agreement) but considered that the outcome falls well short of what is required to address the loss of tropical forest.

Public procurement policies should require timber and timber products to be derived from legal and sustainable sources so as to encourage public authorities’ practical commitment to good governance in forestry and to combat corruption, says the resolution.
 
Labelling initiatives enabling consumers to be confident that the timber they are buying is not merely legal but originates from sustainably-managed forests as potentially usefully supplements to international agreements could be useful.
 
MEPs regard the proposed trade agreement with the countries of south-east Asia to be of particular importance. They consider that any agreement must contain a meaningful sustainable development chapter which addresses the issues of forest preservation and the fight against illegal and unsustainable logging.

EU Parliament press release

EU Parliament Motion for Resolution

 
Analysis of the changes in the Russian Forest Code and related regulations
Sep 22, 2008

The new Forest Code in Russia was enacted on 1 January 2007. In order to analyse the changes in the Forest Code and related regulations, Stora Enso and WWF Russia joined forces in the project 'Ensuring the Legal Origin of Wood'. The development of the Russian Forest Code and related regulations was monitored from 2006 until spring 2008. The purpose of the project was to analyse those aspects of the new Forest Code and related new regulations which are essential for ensuring the legal origin of the wood purchased in Russia. The changes in the regulation concerning forest user rights, wood harvesting and wood transportation were assessed. The project also conducted a case study in the Vologda Region where the public authorities and forest enterprises were interviewed. As a second step of the project, Stora Enso will integrate the results into its own wood traceability system which has been in use in Russia for ten years to date; the results of this project are expected to contribute to its continuous improvement.

WWF was particularly interested in the issues enforcement and the improvement of forest legislation. At the same time, this work is a joint input into such processes as the Europe-North Asia Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (ENA FLEG).

The 78-page report is in Russian with an English summary (4 pages).

WWF Russia news

 
State of the World's Birds 2008
Sep 22, 2008

The State of the Worlds Birds, a new publication and website, was launched at BirdLife International’s World Conference in Buenos Aires on 22 September 2008.

In 2002 the world’s governments made a commitment to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. The State of the World’s Birds provides a progress report, based on birds. The messages are mixed. More is known, and clearer actions have been identified, than in the last assessment from 2004. Global awareness of the issues and their urgency is growing. Yet the state of the world’s biodiversity, reflected by its birds, is still getting worse – and faster than ever.

In Europe, an analysis of 124 species of common birds has revealed that, over a 26-year period, 56 species (45%) have declined across 20 European countries, with farmland birds doing particularly badly.

 The report is available in English, French and Spanish.

State of the World's Birds [website]

 
European paper sector reaches new heights in recycling
Sep 19, 2008

The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) published their latest Monitoring report and announced that the paper and board recycling rate in Europe reached 64.5% in 2007, which confirms that the industry is on track to meet its voluntary target of 66% by 2010. The total amount of paper collected and sent to be recycled in paper mills was 60.1 million tonnes, an increase of 7.6 million tonnes (or +14.5%) since 2004, the base year for the target.

ERPC publications

 
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