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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.



4th WoodWisdom-Net Research Programme Seminar
Jan 11, 2012

The 4th WoodWisdom-Net Research Programme Seminar will take place on 7-8 February 2012 in Helsinki, Finland. This event will be the fourth in a series of programme seminars that started with the Opening Seminar of the WoodWisdom-Net Research Programme in February 2008 in Berlin. This public seminar will bring together researchers and stakeholders from industry, academia and policy-making organisations in the forest-based sector. It will be the:

  • Mid-term seminar of the of the 2nd Joint Call for Proposals (2009),
  • Opening seminar of the Joint Call for Proposals (2010) of the European Research Area Networks (ERA-Nets) WoodWisdom-Net 2 and ERA-NET Bioenergy, and
  • Final seminar of the Joint Call on Short Rotation Coppice (2008) within the framework of ERA-NET Bioenergy.

Participants should register by 31st January at the latest.

 

WoodWisdom-Net Research Programme Seminar registration

WoodWisdom-Net

ERA-NET Bioenergy

 
New Eye on Earth global mapping and information service
Dec 16, 2011

A new global web service allowing users to create maps and visualise data on environmental issues is now live. The new Eye on Earth global public information service brings together vast amounts of data about the environment in a powerful, visual format.

The online service has been developed jointly by the European Environment Agency (EEA), an EU body and a leading environmental network and information partner, the geographic information system developer Esri and Microsoft. The partners are showcasing the new service during the Eye on Earth Summit in Abu Dhabi from 12-15 December. Organisations across the globe are now invited to join the network and start adding data to the range of datasets already available.

The web service takes the form of online maps, which can be manipulated by users. Without the need for any technical training, people can choose to add a huge variety of layers to the map – for example showing pollution, social development, economic factors, land use, transport and so on – to create new insights. The creators of Eye on Earth hope to add other data visualisation functions in the future, alongside the mapping tools. Maps and other data can also be saved and shared through social media.

Official information providers such as national environmental institutions can upload information from their vast networks of monitoring stations. The EEA has already uploaded large amounts of data onto Eye on Earth for free and accessible use. This includes data on water, air, climate change, biodiversity and land use.

EEA press release

Eye-on-Earth service

 
Tree species maps for European forests
Dec 16, 2011

European Forest Institute (EFI) in cooperation with Alterra / Wageningen University and Research Centre has released a set of 1x1 km tree species maps showing the distribution of 20 tree species (Abies spp., Larix spp., Picea spp., Pinus pinaster, Pinus sylvestris, other Pinus spp., Pseudotsuga menziesii, other conifers, Alnus spp., Betula spp., Carpinus spp., Castanea spp., Eucalyptus spp., Fagus spp., Fraxinus spp., Populus spp., Quercus robur/Quercus petraea, other Quercus spp., Robinia spp., other broadleaves) over Europe. Basic dendrometric data were gathered for 260,000 national forest inventory plot locations from 17 countries to compile these maps. Forest plot data collected in a European-wide network (ICP Level I) have been used to extend the available data for the remaining European countries. Furthermore, forest inventory statistics have been applied. These statistics are based on forest plot data that are aggregated over regions in the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS).

In areas with available national forest inventory data, area proportions covered by the 20 species were obtained by compositional kriging. For the rest of Europe a multinomial logistic regression model was fitted to ICP-level-I plots using various abiotic factors as predictors (soil, biogeographical zones, and bioindicators derived from temperature and precipitation data). The regression results were iteratively scaled to fit NUTS-II forest inventory statistics and the European Forest Map. The predictions for the 20 tree species were validated using 230 plot data separated from the calibration.

EFI press release

Tree species maps for European forests

 
Global Forest Remote Sensing Survey shows lower forest area than previously estimated
Dec 01, 2011

The initial results of the Global Forest Remote Sensing Survey were released on 30th November 2011 in a side-event to the 17th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, being held in Durban, South Africa. New estimates of the area in forest land-use and change rates (deforestation and afforestation) have been calculated at global, region (continent) and ecological zone scales for 1990, 2000 and 2005. The findings of the Survey show the world total forest area in 2005 was 3.69 billion hectares, or 30% of the global land area. The new findings suggest that the rate of world deforestation averaged 14.5 million hectares per year between 1990 and 2005, which is consistent with previous estimates. Deforestation largely occurred in the tropics, likely attributable to the conversion of tropical forests to agricultural land.

The Survey was conducted as part of the Global Forest Resources Assessments led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and was undertaken by a partnership between FAO and its member countries, the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), South Dakota State University, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

FAO press release

Global Forest Remote Sensing Survey

 
ECN/EEA report on National Renewable Energy Action Plans
Nov 30, 2011

As defined in Article 4 of the European Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) each European Member State has provided a National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) to the European Commission, detailing projections for renewable energy development up to the year 2020. By that year, the cumulative consumption of renewable energy in all European Member States should result in an overall share of renewable energy of 20% across the European Union (EU).

The Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), assigned by the European Environment Agency (EEA) has collected all energy-related data in a database and a data report, which are available for download. In this version of the document (dated 28 November 2011) all 27 European Union Member States have been covered, and for 20 countries supplementary information provided by the Member States has been integrated.

This report presents an overview of all data that have been published in the National Renewable
Energy Action Plans (NREAPs). The data report highlights a set of cross-sections of the database that has been compiled from the NREAP documents. The underlying database and the images from the report are also available.

ECN - Energy research Centre of the Netherlands press release

EEA press release

 
Major expansion of protected natural areas in Europe
Nov 23, 2011

Natura 2000, the EU network of protected areas, has undergone a significant expansion. Nearly 18 800 km2 have been added, including a major addition of marine areas covering 17 000 square kilometres which will increase protection for many endangered marine species. The network now covers almost 18% of the EU landmass and more than 145 000 km2 of its seas. The main countries involved in this latest expansion are the UK, France, Belgium, Greece, Cyprus, Hungary, Lithuania and Italy. Natura 2000 is the centrepiece of Europes battle to halt biodiversity loss and safeguard ecosystem services.

Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for the Environment said: Natura 2000 is at the moment one of the most effective tools we have in Europe to combat biodiversity loss, and it plays a key role in our strategy to protect our natural heritage. I particularly welcome the improved coverage of European seas: protecting Europes marine environment and its unique features has never been more important.

DG Environment press release

Details on the new additions to the Union lists of Natura 2000 sites 

 
IPCC special report on managing risks of extreme events
Nov 22, 2011

The Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) was approved on 18 November 2011 by member governments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The full report will be published in February 2012.

The report addresses how integrating expertise in climate science, disaster risk management, and adaptation can inform discussions on how to reduce and manage the risks of extreme events and disasters in a changing climate. The report evaluates the role of climate change in altering the characteristics of extreme events.

The report was a collaborative effort of IPCC Working Group I, which focuses on the physical science basis of climate change, and Working Group II, which focuses on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability.

IPCC press release

Special Report Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)

 
First International Fascination of Plants Day set for May 18, 2012
Nov 04, 2011

The first international Fascination of Plants Day will take place on 18 May 2012. It is launched under the umbrella of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO). The goal of this activity is to get as many people as possible around the world fascinated by plants and enthused about the importance of plant science for agriculture, in sustainably producing food, as well as for horticulture, forestry, and all of the non-food products such as paper, timber, chemicals, energy, and pharmaceuticals. The role of plants in environmental conservation will also be a key message.

Fascination of Plants Day

EPSO webpage

 

 
International softwood markets 2011 - future developments remain uncertain
Oct 28, 2011

Following a partial recovery of the markets for sawn softwood in 2010, and fairly good sales in the first half of 2011, the markets for sawn softwood production and consumption have slowed down again, tempering the expectations for 2011 and 2012, in particular in Europe, as delegates at the 6th International Softwood Conference held in Copenhagen on 20 and 21 October 2011 reported.

Though the statistical data gathered for the conference point towards increasing production and consumption levels for both 2011 and 2012, the participants in the conference did not consider these as satisfactory and probably even too optimistic. The economic outlook in almost all European countries has weakened considerably and this weakening will probably last for a longer period.

International Softwood Conference press release

 
UNECE Region forest products markets rebound after two years of falling production and consumption
Oct 21, 2011

A joint meeting of the 36th Session of the FAO European Forestry Commission and the 69th Session of the UNECE Timber Committee was held in Antalya, Turkey 10-14 October 2011. At the Timber Committee meeting an agreed Market Statement was developed and released. The market statement is organised into three main sections: an overview of forest products markets in 2011 and 2012 (including policy developments affecting forest products markets, contribution to the green economy, certified forest products markets); economic and construction developments; Market sector developments (wood raw materials, wood energy, carbon markets, sawn softwood, sawn hardwood, panels, pulp and paper, value-added and engineered wood products). A revival in the demand for forest products across the UNECE region in 2010 was reported, following two years of falling production and consumption.

Joint meeting 36th session of FAO EFC and 69th session of the UNECE TC

TC market statement

 
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