IMPORTANT UPDATE

We would like to confirm that both the EUSTAFOR General Assembly and
10-Year Anniversary Celebrations
will take place, as planned, in Brussels
5-6 April 2016

One of the main concerns for participants remains transportation.

The Zaventem airport is in the process of setting up a temporary terminal. Even if this temporary terminal goes into operation by the end of this week, the airport will not be able to handle all of its regular traffic. Many flights have been rerouted to other regional airports (many to Charleroi/Brussels South with easy shuttle service to the Midi train station in Brussels) and other nearby cities (Amsterdam, Paris) with rapid train connections to Brussels. Please chec

k with your airlines to see what has been proposed for your flight.

Most of the train stations in Brussels are open to traffic, but passengers can enter and exit stations through only one entry point.

The metro is offering limited services, but all tram and bus lines in Brussels are up and running.

We Look Forward To Seeing You At Our Events!

More Information About Our Events…

Sustainable management of state forests highly promoted this spring

In addition to its participation “Forest City Project” (see above) EUSTAFOR contributed to the spring issue of Revolve Magazine, publishing an article which explains the sustainable and multifunctional forest management practiced in European state forests. The article’s title “Managing European Forests Responsibly – for People, Climate and Nature” was also the title of EUSTAFAOR’s 10th anniversary events organized in the European Parliament during the 1st week of April.

The article focuses on explaining the economic, environmental and social values offered to the European societies by sustainably managed state forests. In particular, the role of forests in the mitigation of climate change, the contribution of state forests to the European bioeconomy and how important Europe’s state forests are for biodiversity were explained.

The entire spring issue of REVOLVE Magazine, including EUSTAFOR’s article (page 10), is available online here.

Revolve_Magazin_EUSTAFOR_Article

On 21 March the forest will be a step closer to you!

From the International Day of Forests on March 21 to the World Environment Day on June 5, The Forest City Project will bring the forest into Brussels. EUSTAFOR is a Partner of the Project.

FCP_banner_440x160_Eustafor

The campaign is organized by the communications agency Revolve Media in co-operation with a number of Brussels-based organizations. The kick-off will be on March 21 which is also the International Day of Forests. It will extend throughout the spring with different public activities and campaigns in the lead-up to World Environment Day on June 5, 2016.

IMG_1515

EUSTAFOR became a strategic partner of the project because we agree on the common goals of this campaign to bring people into the forest in order for them to benefit from the services forests provide.
The project will use large format photo displays (cubes). Initially they will be displayed for two weeks, as of 21 March, at the Esplanade in front of the European Parliament in Brussel. After April 5 they will be moved to the Square de Meeus, a park close to the European Forestry House where they will remain until World Environment Day on 5 June 2016 (flyer).

Forest_City_Project-min

 

Can you sit on CO2? Please take a seat!
And have a look:

 

 

This bench is made out of 1 m³ wood, which grows in European state forests every 0,16 seconds.

It was build and provided by EUSTAFOR’s Latvian member Latvijas Valsts Mezi.

European Forest Owners, Managers, Industry and Professionals Welcome the International Day of Forests “Forests and Water”

“To build a sustainable, climate-resilient future for all, we must invest in our world’s forests.” (UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon)

The European forest owners, managers, forest industry and professionals, represented by key stakeholders of the European forest sector: CEPF, Copa-Cogeca, ELO, EUSTAFOR, CEI-Bois, CEPI, FECOF, UEF and USSE, welcome the declaration by the UN General Assembly of the International Day of Forests on 21 March which this year has the theme “Forests and Water”.

a small stream in the forest

Water is a vital element of all natural resources and essential to life, but nearly 80 percent of the world’s population is exposed to high levels of threat to water security. There is a growing imbalance between water supply and demand in the world, and also in Europe we increasingly need to ensure adequate water quality and quantity.

The European forest sector welcomes the opportunity to emphasize the role of forests and water. We consider that EU needs to better communicate the strong link between forests and water. Forests have a close relationship to our water resources and sustainable forest management is of crucial importance for ensuring a multitude of water-related benefits.

As representatives of the European forest sector we would like to highlight some of the important ways in which our forests enable access to this vital resource. Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible fresh water for domestic, agricultural, industrial and ecological needs. Forests influence the amount of available water and regulate surface and groundwater flows while maintaining highest water quality. Forests reduce the effects of floodings, and prevent and reduce dryland salinity and desertification. Forests act as natural water filters, minimizing soil erosion on site and reduce sediment in water bodies.

In the context of this year’s International Day of Forests, we also need to mention the impact that climate change has on water and the role of forests. Climate change is one of the major challenges facing today’s society. The impacts of climate change are an imminent threat to water security, and forests themselves are vulnerable to climate change. An increased frequency of extreme weather events has an impact on both forests and water, and may result in more catastrophic events like landslides, floods and droughts.

However, forests can also help reducing the impacts of such events. Europe’s forest sector is at the forefront of combatting climate change by contributing to both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Active forest management is crucial to enhance forests adaptive capacity, making them more resilient to meet a changing climate and maintaining the vital water-related services provided by forests.

Logos_Press_Release_International_Day_Forests_2016

Forests can help meeting the EU climate policy targets through bio-economy

Forests and the forest sector can play an unprecedented role in meeting the EU climate policy targets and the objectives of Paris Agreement of December 2014 through bio-economy. It was one of the conclusions of a ThinkForest seminar  held in Brussels on 15 March 2016.

IMG_3067 (1)

Mr Kimmo Tiilikainen, Finnish Minister of Agriculture and the Environment,  stated that forests and the bio-economy need to play a central role in meeting climate policy objectives. Finnish government is investing in bio-economy and considers it to be a key means to reach the Paris Agreement target of achieving a balance between emissions and removals by 2050.

A systemic change is needed to create a fossil-free society and at the same time secure economic growth. To achieve that, we need to develop new biomass-based products. We need new bio-chemicals, biomaterials and bio-textiles in addition to the use of timber as a construction material or other traditional wood-based products.

European forests and forest-based sector have a great potential to move towards the post-petroleum era and the transition to a low-carbon economy. Ms Marie Donnelly, director of the European Commission DG Energy, emphasized the role that bioenergy will play in post-2020 climate change policy. To successfully implement the Energy Union the EU needs advanced biofuels coming into the market. The latter requires new technologies and innovations and ensuring sustainable sourcing or renewables. Consequently she reconfirmed the Commission’s determination to get sustainability criteria for solid biomass.

Biology and forests will be the basis for this next industrial step, summarized Mr Göran Persson, the Chair of the seminar and President of ThinkForest. This is one of the most promising developments ahead of us – he concluded.

EUSTAFOR In The Scope Of Discussions On The Future Of Forestry And Wood Processing In Bosnia & Herzegovina

On 25-26 February 2016 EUSTAFOR’s Executive Director Piotr Borkowski participated in an International Conference: The future of forestry and wood processing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, held in Kupres, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The two-day conference was organized by the newest member of EUSTSAFOR – Sumsko Gospodarsko Drustvo “HERCEGBOSANSKE SUME” – with an ultimate aim to present of the potential of forestry and wood processing sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Southeast Europe.

The main topics discussed concentrated on current market developments and trends in the forestry and wood processing industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the necessary adaptations of existing Bosnian legislation on forest manaKupres_Conference_2016_Websitegement and wood processing industries to the EU standards. Furthermore, aspects related to sustainability of forest management, challenges in the management of private forests, growing energy crops and short rotation coppice to meet increasing demand for biomass, mobilization of low quality wood and residues to meet increasing demands for forest biomass for bioenergy were discussed by around 200 participants from across the country and the entire Balkan sub-region.

In his opening address, Mr Borkowski stated that “it is of particular importance that, in Europe, wood processing remains close to wood harvesting operations and that State Forest Management Organizations are perceived as reliable partners in the wood markets. Today a good policy framework is needed in Europe that supports and guarantees a competitive position of both wood-producing and woodworking sectors”.

The conference also provided good opportunities to present EUSTAFOR to the wider group of state forest managers from other parts of Bosnia & Herzegovina and other Balkan countries, such as Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia, etc.

Back to back with the main events of KUPRES 2016 Conference, the Executive Director visited forests managed by HERCEGBOSANSKE ŠUME, 30% of which remain inaccessible due to unrecovered mine fields. Specific sylvicultural systems applied in the management of mountainous forests, challenges related to pest eradication within inaccessible forests as well as aspects related to the adjustment of forest related regulations to EU standards and use of EU funds for implementation of trans-boundry projects were broadly discussed.

Further information about the KUPRES 2016 Conference is available here.
Read more about Sumsko Gospodarsko Društvo “HERCEGBOSANSKE ŠUME

Kupres_Conference_2016_Website_2