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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.



New partnership established to address threats to forests in Mediterranean
Apr 06, 2011
A Collaborative Partnership on Mediterranean Forests has been established to address major threats to the forests of the region being exacerbated by the severe impact of climate change. The partnership was announced at the Second Mediterranean Forest Week, which is taking place in Avignon, France (5-8 April 2011). The Collaborative Partnership will help raise awareness on the wealth of vital functions Mediterranean forests provide. These include soil and water protection, landscape values, carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation. The partnership involves 12 institutions and organizations including FAO and will focus primarily on six countries in the southern and eastern Mediterranean: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. The new partnership offers a way for stakeholders in the region to address the mounting challenges facing Mediterranean forests and draw greater attention to their value and the urgent need to protect them.

FAO press release

Collaborative Partnership on Mediterranean Forests

Mediterranean Forest Week
 
Forests in Europe and North America are growing but remain vulnerable to threats
Mar 24, 2011

Experts convened for a seminar in Geneva on 21 March 2011 titled How successful is Sustainable Forest Management in the UNECE Region? State of forests and forest management in the UNECE region in the context of current needs and challenges. The aim was to review the status of and trends in forests and forest resources in Europe and North America. The seminar consisted of three sessions: (1) A picture of the present and the past: overview of twenty years of SFM; (2) Wood resources - status, trends and challenges Session; (3) Criteria and Indicators - How useful are they for SFM assessment?

Findings from the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) were discussed and preliminary findings from the State of Europes Forest 2011 were considered. The State of Europes Forests 2011 report will be officially launched in June 2011 at the Ministerial Conference for the Protection of Forests in Europe (Sixth FOREST EUROPE), in Oslo, Norway.

In 2010, the total forest area in Europe, North America, the Caucasus and Central Asia (the UNECE region) was over 1.6 billion hectares - half of which is in the Russian Federation, and 37% of which is in the United States and Canada. Altogether, the UNECE region includes 40% of the world's forests, most of these forests being classified as boreal or temperate. Since the 1990s, the forest area in Europe, North America, Caucasus and Central Asia has been increasing steadily. Forest area in the region has grown by 25 million hectares over the last 20 years (a size equivalent to the surface of the United Kingdom), or an average of 1.25 million ha per year (equivalent to an area slightly smaller than Montenegro).

UNECE press release

UNECE seminar: How successful is Sustainable Forest Management in the UNECE Region?

 
European Investment Bank delivers record lending for climate action in 2010
Feb 24, 2011

In 2010, the European Investment Bank (EIB) increased financing for climate action projects to €19 billion, representing 30% of its lending in the European Union, and up from €16 billion in 2009. In 2010, total EIB lending reached €72 billion – €63 billion in the EU, and €9 billion outside the EU – supporting over 460 large-scale projects. This marks a gradual return to pre-crisis levels as the Bank adapts its activity to the economic environment.

Climate action projects are projects in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, transport, forestry, innovation (RDI) and climate adaptation. To qualify as climate action projects, they have to meet stringent criteria for their contribution to CO2 reduction, energy efficiency goals or sequestration of CO2. Only projects involving the most innovative technologies (e.g. solar, wind, biomass) qualify. Alternatively, the climate adaptation component will have to account for at least 50% of the total project cost.

EIB press release

 
UK government halts sale of public forests in England
Feb 18, 2011

A controversial proposal to sell Forestry Commission lands in England has been halted. The consultation on the future management of the Public Forest Estate has been halted and all forestry clauses in the Public Bodies Bill will be removed, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman confirmed on 17 February 2011. Mrs Spelman also announced that an independent panel of experts will examine forestry policy in England and report back to her in the autumn.

DEFRA press release

Forestry Commission England press release

 
State of the World's Forests 2011 published at UNFF9
Feb 10, 2011

The ninth biennial issue of State of the Worlds Forests (SOFO 2011) was launched at the ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF9). The chapters assembled for SOFO 2011 draw attention to four key areas that warrant greater attention during the International Year of Forests and beyond: (1) regional trends on forest resources; (2) the development of sustainable forest industries; (3) climate change adaptation and mitigation; and (4) the local value of forests. Each of these themes has implications for the various upcoming assessments of progress towards sustainable development, including the Rio+20 Summit in 2012, and the Millennium Development Goals Review Conference in 2015.

State of the World's Forests 2011

 
Results of UK review of forest certification schemes
Feb 01, 2011

A review of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has been released by CPET (Central Point of Expertise on Timber Procurement - a body of the UK government). The 2010 review covered a full review of the FSC and PEFC schemes - it did not, as previous reviews, include a full review of other schemes, as they are now endorsed by PEFC. The results of the 2010 review conclude that both FSC and PEFC continue to deliver evidence of sustainability in compliance with the UK Government timber procurement policy. Both schemes have made improvements since the last assessment in 2008, passing the new social criteria and ensuring that the conversion and national implementation criteria were met.

CPET press release

Review of forest certification schemes: Final report
 
New Study Suggests Global Pacts Like REDD Ignore Primary Causes of Destruction of Forests
Jan 24, 2011

A new study (issued 24th January 2011) by some of the top experts on forest governance finds fault with a spate of international accords, and helps explain their failure to stop rampant destruction of the most vulnerable forests. The report suggests that global efforts have too often ignored local needs, while failing to address the most fundamental challenge to global forest management - that deforestation usually is caused by economic pressures imposed from outside the forests.

The product of some 60 experts in political science, policy studies, law and international relations, the new report represents the most comprehensive scientific assessment to date of international forest governance. The detailed results of the work of the expert panel, which was constituted under the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and coordinated by IUFRO, will be presented to the Ninth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) (24th January-4th February 2011) as part of the launch of the International Year of Forests.

IUFRO press release

GFEP Assessment Report – IUFRO World Series 28
 
Natura 2000 network further expanded - a good day for salmon, otters and beech forests
Jan 21, 2011

The flora and fauna of Europe are now better protected than at any time in the history of the European Union. Natura 2000, the European network of protected natural areas, has been expanded by nearly 27 000 km2. This includes a major addition of marine areas covering more than 17 500 km2 which will increase protection for many endangered marine species. Natura 2000 now covers almost 18% of the EU landmass and more than 130 000 km2 of its seas. The main countries involved in this latest expansion are the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Spain and Poland. Natura 2000 is the centrepiece of the European battle to halt biodiversity loss and safeguard ecosystem services.

The latest update concerns 15 Member States and increases the number of Sites of Community Importance by 739. The recent additions cover six bio-geographical regions – the Alpine, Atlantic, Boreal, Continental, Mediterranean and Pannonian regions. They include 459 new sites in Poland representing a total area of 8 900 km2 including several major freshwater lakes and river systems with their associated floodplains and natural forests. The Czech Republic has added 229 sites. These include key areas of natural beech forests and wildlife rich meadows home to a wealth of fauna and flora.

DG Environment press release

 
EFI to host the EU REDD Facility
Jan 21, 2011

The European Forest Institute (EFI) will host the newly established EU REDD Facility. The EU REDD Facility aims at assisting developing countries by providing effective support to the emergence of REDD national frameworks, assisting the European Commission and the EU Member States in providing such an effective support, and helping developing countries in building their capacity and improving forest governance so as to help them meet their REDD objectives.

The EU REDD Facility will provide support to targeted developing countries in building their capacity and improving forest governance in support of both REDD and FLEGT objectives, as well as guide the development of EU financed REDD actions.

A contribution of €3 million has been pledged by the European Commission to start the EU REDD Facility.

EFI press release

 
European Commission Green Paper on forest protection and information
Jan 12, 2011

The results are now available of the public consultation on the EC Green Paper on Forest Protection and Information in the EU: Preparing forests for climate change. The consultation was opened on 1 March 2010, and at the closure of the consultation on 31 July 2010, 261 responses had been received.

The results were presented and discussed at the 117th meeting of the Standing Forestry Committee (SFC) (3 December 2010). The SFC exchanged views on the Report presenting the results of the consultation of the Green Paper. The SFC recommended that the Commission establishes an ad hoc SFC working group on forest monitoring and information to continue this work.

Summary Report on the stakeholder consultation of the EC Green Paper on forest protection and information

Public consultation on the green paper On Forest Protection and Information in the EU: Preparing forests for climate change

SFC meeting reports

 

 
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