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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.



Consultation on the EU environment policy priorities for 2020
Apr 04, 2012

Environment Action Programmes have guided the development of EU environment policy since the early seventies. During this period, environment legislation was consolidated and completed to cover almost all environmental media, with the exception of soil. With the 6th EAP in its final year, the European Commission continues to pursue an ambitious environment policy aimed at ensuring a high level of environmental protection and guided by the principles enshrined in the Treaty of precaution, prevention, rectifying pollution at source and polluter pays.

Against this background, the Commission is considering how a 7th Environment Action Programme could best provide added value in the rapidly evolving environment policy context.

The purpose of this consultation is to collect the views of all stakeholders, at EU and national level, and the public at large on the environment policy priorities up to 2020. Informed opinions are sought on the priority areas to be addressed and on the most effective tools for the EU to employ in addressing the challenges described in the consultation document.

The consultation is open until the 1st June 2012.

Consultation on the EU environment policy priorities for 2020: Towards a 7th EU Environment Action Programme

 
Dirty Money in Illegal Logging Can be Tracked and Confiscated—World Bank Reports
Mar 21, 2012

Every two seconds, an area of forest the size of a football field is clear-cut by illegal loggers around the globe. A new World Bank report released on 20 March 2012 shows how countries can effectively fight illegal logging through the criminal justice system, punish organized crime, and trace and confiscate illegal logging profits.

The report, Justice for Forests: Improving Criminal Justice Efforts to Combat Illegal Logging, affirms that to be effective, law enforcement needs to look past low-level criminals and look at where the profits from illegal logging go. By following the money trail, and using tools developed in more than 170 countries to go after dirty money, criminal justice can pursue criminal organizations engaged in large-scale illegal logging and confiscate ill-gotten gains.

The World Bank estimates that illegal logging in some countries accounts for as much as 90 percent of all logging and generates approximately US$10–15 billion annually in criminal proceeds. Mostly controlled by organized crime, this money is untaxed and is used to pay corrupt government officials at all levels. The new report provides policy and operational recommendations for policy makers and forestry and law enforcement actors to integrate illegal logging into criminal justice strategies, foster international and domestic cooperation among policy makers, law enforcement authorities and other key stakeholders, and make better use of financial intelligence.

World Bank press release

Justice For Forests - report can be accessed at http://www.worldbank.org/amlcft

 
EC proposes to improve common greenhouse gas accounting rules for forestry and agriculture
Mar 13, 2012

In adopting a new proposal on accounting of greenhouse gases emissions, the European Commission has taken a first step towards incorporating removals and emissions from forests and agriculture into the EU climate policy. The proposed Decision establishes accounting rules for greenhouse gas emissions and removals in the forest and agriculture sectors, the last major sectors without common EU-wide rules. Forests and agricultural lands cover more than three-quarters of the EU territory and naturally hold large stocks of carbon, preventing its escape into the atmosphere, which makes them important for the climate policy. Increasing this trapped carbon by just 0.1 percentage point – for example through improved forest or grassland management - would remove the annual emissions of 100 million cars from the atmosphere.

Yet until now, the efforts of farmers and forest owners and their good practice aimed at securing carbon stored in forests and soils, have not been or only been partly recognised. The reason for this has been the challenges that come with collecting robust carbon data from forests and soils and the lack of common rules on how to account for emissions and removals. Now, following the decision of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on revised accounting rules from soils and forests adopted in December 2011, the EU is determined to close the gap in common accounting in its climate policy. This will provide new opportunities, for instance, to reward farmers for their contribution in the fight against climate change in the context of the common agricultural policy.

DG Climate Action press release

Q&A on accounting rules and action plans on greenhouse gas emissions and removals resulting from activities related to land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF)

EurActiv - Hedegaard hails first step towards rural CO2 emissions rules

 
Soil degradation accelerates in Europe
Feb 29, 2012

A new report published by the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that the main soil degradation processes are accelerating in many parts of Europe, often as a result of human activities. The report presents an overview on the state of soil in Europe using data from the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) and from research activities within the JRC. It shows that soil resources in many parts of Europe are being overexploited, degraded and irreversibly lost. These trends are accelerated by inappropriate land management practices, industrial activities and land use changes. Bringing together data which are often fragmented and incomplete, ESDAC – a focal point for pan-European data and information on soil – allows trends such as soil sealing, contamination, erosion and loss of organic carbon to be captured.

The core of the report was prepared for the Assessment on Soil, which forms part of the The European Environment - state and outlook 2010 Report (SOER) 2010.

 JRC press release

EEA press release

DG Environment press release

Report - The State of Soil in Europe

 

 
WWF report shows European countries are still failing forests
Feb 23, 2012

EU countries are not doing enough to stem the flow of illegal and unsustainable timber, or regulating its sale, despite the upcoming introduction of two pieces of legislation to halt its import, according to a recent Barometer report by WWF. The 2012 Government Barometer survey found the highest scorers (with 12 points out of maximum 18) were Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. The UK has been the most consistent high scorer on performance, but has become one of the slowest in terms of improving its performance. So far only four countries are ready to receive licensed timber, under the FLEGT Regulation, which came into force in 2005. As many as nine countries have still to put in place any of the necessary implementing measures for the EU Timber Regulation, which is due to be implemented on 3 March 2013.

WWF-UK press release

WWF 2012 Government Barometer

 
NASA map sees earths trees in a new light
Feb 21, 2012

A NASA-led science team has created an accurate, high-resolution map of the height of the Earths forests. The map will help scientists better understand the role forests play in climate change and how their heights influence wildlife habitats within them, while also helping them quantify the carbon stored in the Earths vegetation.

Scientists from NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; the University of Maryland, College Park; and Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, Mass., created the map using 2.5 million carefully screened, globally distributed laser pulse measurements from space. The light detection and ranging (lidar) data were collected in 2005 by the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System instrument on NASAs Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat).

The map depicts the highest points in the forest canopy. Its spatial resolution is 0.6 miles (1 kilometer). The map was validated against data from a network of nearly 70 ground sites around the world.

NASA JPL press release

JPL  3D land mapping project

 

 
Evaluation of the EU Forest Action Plan
Feb 07, 2012

The European Commission has appointed the European Forest Institute to conduct the Ex-Post Evaluation of the EU Forest Action Plan (FAP). The evaluation collects stakeholder views about the EU Forest Plan implementation in 2007-2011 with an online survey. The survey is open for contributions from the public until February 14. Please note, that you will need to register for the survey. Your response will be handled confidentially in the ex-post evaluation analysis.

EC Forest Action Plan web page

 

 
Global Forest Resources Assessment interactive database now online
Feb 03, 2012

A new interactive online database provides access to most of the collected information in FAOs comprehensive and most recent Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA 2010). The main module has options to use multiple output formats and generate simple diagrams, providing easier and more flexible access to FRA data.

The database includes 25 of the FRA 2010 tables grouped into eight categories: Extent and characteristics; Ownership and management; Forest establishment; Volume, biomass and carbon; Forest health; Employment and human resources; Education and research; Revenues and expenditures.

Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010: Interactive Database

Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010

 
Trees4Future - Major European forest research infrastructures opening up
Jan 27, 2012

Major forest infrastructure will be opened up to researchers from the public and private sectors across Europe thanks to the newly started project Designing trees for the Future (Trees4Future). For the first time key infrastructures within the European forest based sector, including databases, state-of-the-art analytical tools and predictive models will be integrated and made available via a user-friendly, central access portal.

The four-year Trees4Future project aims to integrate major forestry resources and infrastructures, to provide the European forest-based and wider research community with easy and comprehensive access to currently scattered sources of information and expertise. This will make a significant contribution to helping the European forest-based sector respond, in a sustainable manner, to increasing demands for wood products and services in a context of changing climatic conditions and addressing the grand societal challenges.

The project will create a centralized access point via its web portal to major European databases in the area of forest genetics and forest ecology, and start to develop common protocols and reference standards for traits and species. Calls for transnational access will be made, so that researchers can take advantage of the joint expertise, services and data of the 28 partners in the project.

EFI press release

 
European Forests: Central to the World We Live in - new video from EFI
Jan 16, 2012

The European Forest Institute has released a new multimedia video on European forests. Called European Forests: Central to the World We Live in, it gives an overall picture of Europe's most versatile ecological infrastructure, tracing a path from south to north and from west to east. As we tour around Europe, we ask why forests continue to be so important to each region, even in the 21st century.

But forests face risks. They face threats caused by climate change, such as drought and storms, and we also have to tread a delicate balancing line between the need for more biomass for energy and maintaining biodiversity.

With our video, we hope to encourage people to work together to overcome the urgent challenges and threats from climate change, and connect research and policy makers to ensure that our forests remain the jewel in the crown of Europe's environment.

EFI press release

EFI Youtube channel: European Forests: Central to the World We Live in  

 
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