Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Forests

Brussels hosts conference on forests 6-7 September

logsThe European Bureau for Conservation & Development (EBCD) in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and others are holding a conference in the European Parliament to mark the International Year of Forests.

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European forests – A case for biodiversity and sustainability

bio-diversityAlmost half of the European land mass is covered by forests and the number is increasing. In addition almost all forest areas are open to the public. Europeans love their forests for recreation, culture and of course for its economic benefits.

“Generally, European forests are in pretty good shape”, says Richard Aishton, who is coordinating a project to improve Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in the European Neighborhood Policy East Countries and Russia.“In the last twenty years European forests have grown, and I’m actually quite impressed with the EU. They seem to understand the long term value of maintaining their forests and the new trade law that will be effected in 2013 explicitly mentions biodiversity in our forests”, Aishton adds.

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European Forestry - an Economy of the Future?

GranmeisSome might think that protecting forests is an expensive luxury requiring huge resources so that we have pretty scenery to look at while driving to the golf course. But the fact is that the forests of Europe are of huge economic importance, and could provide the inspiration for the essential green restructuring of the European economy. There is already big money being made from forests. According to the Confederation of European Forest Owners, the annual turnover of the forest-based industry is €450 billion, contributing 9% to the GDP of the European manufacturing sector. Other goods like Christmas trees, berries, fruit and cork come directly from the forests and are important sources of income for many Europeans. But seeing forests only in terms of their economic significance does not really reflect the true worth of the continent’s forests. European forests also provide essential ecological services to humans, animals and plants everywhere, merely by forming 25% of the world's forests.

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International Year of Forests- Celebrations and Observances around the World

iyf-2011Every year an area of rainforest the size of New Jersey is cut down and destroyed, causing severe damage to the environment. On the 20th December 2006 The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness of sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. Now, the International Year of Forests is in full swing and the celebrations and events planned offer us an opportunity to reflect on, and appreciate, all the benefits we derive from the world’s forests, as well as giving us a chance to mobilize for better protection of this precious resource.

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3 Questions to Denise Zmekho Director of the film "Children of the Amazon"

3 Questions to Chris Vanden Bilcke, Director for the UNEP liaison office in Brussels talks about the International Year of Forests and the dangers of forest fragmentation


F
acts:

    • Forests cover 44 percent of Europe’s land area and they continue to expand. At just over 1 billion hectares, or 1.26 hectares per capita, 25 percent of the world’s forests are in Europe.

 

    • About 80 percent of Europe’s forests are in the Russian Federation.

 

    • More than 90% of the forests in Europe are open to public access, and the area of forest available for recreation is increasing.

 

    • From 2000 to 2010 the area of protected forests increased by about 5 million hectares. By 2010, about 10 percent of forests in Europe without the Russian Federation are protected with the main objective to conserve biodiversity.

 

    • Forests provide a wide variety of goods and services other than wood. In some European regions, non-wood goods and services provide more revenue than wood sales

       

Source FOREST EUROPE