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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.



Soil Atlas of Europe available for download
Jul 29, 2008

The Soil Atlas of Europe (published in 2005) has been made available for download as a pdf file (30 June 2008). The Atlas is the result of a collective effort by more the 40 National soil surveys and soil science institutions cooperating across Europe within the European Soil Bureau Network (ESBN). It is a 128 page publication and can now be downloaded as a single pdf file (414 MB), or as 3 smaller files, or as single pages.

The ESBN formalised already existing collaborations among soil surveys as the first steps towards a common soil map for the European Union. The main European added value of the ESBN has been the joint effort towards bringing together soil information collected in separate European countries, using very different methodologies, standards and scientific backgrounds, into one single geographic information system (GIS). Lengthy cross-border harmonisation sessions between bordering countries have resulted in a common fully harmonised soil geographical database of Europe at a nominal scale of 1:1,000,000. This database allowed the production of the maps that are at the heart of the Soil Atlas of Europe. The Soil Atlas of Europe uses specific maps to illustrate threats such as soil erosion, the decline of organic matter, soil sealing by housing and infrastructure, etc.

Soil Atlas of Europe  

 
Harmonized World Soil Database launched
Jul 25, 2008

FAO and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) have made a new soil database available. Recent regional and national updates of soil information were combined and incorporated with the FAO-UNESCO Soil Map of the World into a new Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD). FAO stated that the HWSD will improve the knowledge of the current and future land productivity as well as the present carbon storage and carbon sequestration potential of the world's soils. In addition to FAO and IIASA, other partners contributing to the information included: European Soil Bureau Network; Institute of Soil Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; and ISRIC World Soils.

FAO press release

Harmonized World Soil Database

 
The illegal wood market in Europe
Jul 24, 2008

WWF has published an analysis of the EU import and export of illegal wood and related products. The analysis aims to estimate the amount of timber from illegal sources reaching the market, using the EU foreign trade data from 2006 as a basis. In 2006, the European Union imported approximately 30 million cubic metres of wood and related products from illegal or suspicious origins (16%-19% of the timber imports into the EU). Approximately, half of the illegal timber enters the EU from Eastern Europe, North Asia and the Balkan Region, while a third comes from South-East Asia. By far the largest quantity of illegal timber (more than 10 million cubic metres) is imported from Russia. The four largest importers of illegal timber are Finland, the UK, Germany and Italy. The current measures (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade - FLEGT) to restrict the trade of illegal timber in the EU are discussed and requirements for action are proposed.

WWF press release

 
NovelTree research project launched
Jul 22, 2008

The European FP7 project NovelTree, coordinated by INRA in Orleans, was launched on June 25, 2008. The project, which brings together 14 European laboratories, aims to develop new tools for the improvement of forest trees (and in particular Scots pine, maritime pine, spruce and poplar) in order to meet changes in demand for wood and ensure the sustainability of forests in the context of climate change.

INRA Press release

 
Carbon accumulation in European forests
Jul 05, 2008

Ciais, P. et al. The study uses data from European forest inventories combined with timber harvest statistics from sixteen European countries for the period between 1950 and 2000. It shows that forest biomass is increasing faster than timber is being harvested.

Nature Geoscience  

 
FAO Draft Strategy for Forestry
Jul 05, 2008

A draft of the new FAO strategy for forestry is available. FAO is seeking comments from Members, as well as from the private sector, civil society and other non-governmental organizations, international organizations and others that might be interested in the work of FAO on forestry. In March 2007, the Committee on Forestry (COFO) requested that a new FAO strategy for forestry should be developed in consultation with FAO Members and other partners. The goal is to propose a new strategy to COFO at its next meeting in March 2009. The Regional Forestry Commissions are discussing the elements for the new strategy in their 2008 sessions.

FAO draft strategy  

 
EC Environment Policy Review 2007
Jul 05, 2008

The European Commission has adopted its 2007 Environment Policy Review, which reports on EU policy developments from last year, focuses on the key challenges ahead and looks in detail at EU and Member States' environmental trends and policy performance. Three major challenges requiring urgent attention are highlighted: Sustainability; Climate change adaptation; Protection of biodiversity.

EC Environment Policy Review

 
Discussion Paper - International Information on European Forest Sector
Jun 13, 2008

The discussion paper considers the questions: "Is there a need for better information exchange on the forest sector in Europe?"; and "Who is asking for it?" The paper presents the results of a reconnaissance of the international information on the forest sector in Europe, focussed mainly on the socio-economic aspects. This involved a review of the supply and the actual suppliers of forest sector information, a survey of demand, and an assessment of the relationship between supply and demand. The reconnaissance was carried out by the European Forest Institute as part of a feasibilility study on the operational implementation of a European Observatory on Forests (OEF).

EFI Discussion Paper 14  

 
Forests in Flux - Special Issue Science Magazine
Jun 13, 2008

In the 13 June 2008 issue, Science examines the future of the world's forests against a backdrop of climate change and intensifying human activity. In Science, News reports take a look at how humans have reshaped wooded landscapes across the globe; a Review explains how forests influence climate through physical, chemical, and biological processes; and a series of Perspectives discuss studies of past forest change, predictive models of forest dynamics, and aspects of sustainable forest management. In addition, Science Careers highlights careers in forest ecology, a special podcast includes interviews about seed dispersal and tree resilience, growth of an ancient date seed, and rainforest diversity; and an online video presentation discusses some of the challenges of global forest governance.

Science

 
Briefing Paper - Controlling Illegal Logging Using Public Procurement Policy
Jun 12, 2008

The briefing paper provides a brief guide to how public procurement policies for timber currently operate. Nine countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, UK) currently possess some form of timber procurement policy at central government level. Although they are all very recent in implementation, the evidence already suggests that they are having a positive effect on increasing market share for verified legal and sustainable timber.

 Briefing Paper 08/02

 
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