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Forest Information Billboard
Issue 3, September 2014

UNECE-FAO UNDA project capacity building workshop in Yerevan, Armenia, September 2014. Photo: Elina Warsta.

Forest Reporting


 

Material of the Future – Ecological Lignocellulosic Nanocomposite EBM

Wood Technology Institute, along with Chemical Plant „Silikony Polskie" Ltd., has developed  ecological lignocellulosic nanocomposite for construction and furniture industry EBM (Ecology, Building, Manufacture of Furniture) and a silicone binder for its production.

Under the project financed by the National Centre for Research and Development, two inventions were made: the hot-pressed panel composite made of medium-sized and small-sized hardwood, including material from plantations and agricultural crops, as well as the silicone binder forming network in condensation system, which is used for the production of the composite.

The results of VOC tests confirmed that the ecological nanocomposite contains neither formaldehyde nor any other compounds harmful to the human health and environment, unlike composites commonly available. At present approximately 90% of wood-based panels is manufactured using resins containing formaldehyde in spite of the fact that formaldehyde is considered a carcinogenic compound. The new material has many advantages like full resistance to microbiological decay and fire resistance. A panel's durability and resistance to moisture is at different levels depending on the technological option, but it can be much higher than that required according to EN 312:2011 standard for all types of particleboards (P2-P7) and according to EN 300:2007 standard. 

The developed formaldehyde-free composite is an innovative multi-purpose wood-based panel for application in construction and furniture industry, and for equipping interiors e.g. in kindergardens, schools, hospitals or public buildings. 

More information can be found at: www.itd.poznan.pl/pl/index.php.

 

RERAM Project: Resource Efficiency is Always a Win-Win Situation for Wood Industries
Wood Technology Institute, along with Chemical Plant „Silikony Polskie" Ltd., has developed  ecological lignocellulosic nanocomposite for construction and furniture industry EBM (Ecology, Building, Manufacture of Furniture) and a silicone binder for its production.

Under the project financed by the National Centre for Research and Development, two inventions were made: the hot-pressed panel composite made of medium-sized and small-sized hardwood, including material from plantations and agricultural crops, as well as the silicone binder forming network in condensation system, which is used for the production of the composite.

The results of VOC tests confirmed that the ecological nanocomposite contains neither formaldehyde nor any other compounds harmful to the human health and environment, unlike composites commonly available. At present approximately 90% of wood-based panels is manufactured using resins containing formaldehyde in spite of the fact that formaldehyde is considered a carcinogenic compound. The new material has many advantages like full resistance to microbiological decay and fire resistance. A panel's durability and resistance to moisture is at different levels depending on the technological option, but it can be much higher than that required according to EN 312:2011 standard for all types of particleboards (P2-P7) and according to EN 300:2007 standard.

The developed formaldehyde-free composite is an innovative multi-purpose wood-based panel for application in construction and furniture industry, and for equipping interiors e.g. in kindergardens, schools, hospitals or public buildings. 

More information can be found at: www.itd.poznan.pl/pl/index.php.

 

UNEP and IUCN Join Forces to Bolster Re-forestation
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) sign collaboration to support the restoration of 150 million hectares of forest landscapes by 2020 – to combat climate change and improve livelihoods. The new collaboration will bring together two major ongoing global initiatives to restore degraded forest landscapes worldwide: the UN- REDD and its 55 partner countries and the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration.

Link to press release.

Link to guest editorial by Tim Christophersen on the untapped potential of forest restoration.

 

News about the Natural Resources Institute Finland
As a part of the reform of Finland’s research and innovation system, the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) will be merged, together with the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (RKTL), MTT Agrifood Research Finland and the statistical services of the Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Tike), to form the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). The new institute will begin operations on 1 January 2015. Natural Resources Institute Finland will be the second largest research organization in Finland, employing about 1 700 people, and operating in several locations across the country. The head office will be located in Helsinki.

All activities and responsibilities that Metla has taken care of, will be maintained in Luke as well. In the beginning, the merger will appear in new contact addresses, in new visual look and in new web page address (luke.fi).

Further information: Martti Aarne (martti.aarne@metla.fi) and Elina Mäki-Simola (elina.maki-simola@metla.fi)

 

Forest Ownership Questionnaire

The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section and COST Action FACESMAP continue their joint work on the development of the forest ownership reporting in the ECE-region. The first draft of the questionnaire was a subject of a broad review with the involvement of national and international experts. Specific comments and recommendations were provided by the First Core Group meeting (April 2014) and the Team of Specialists meeting on Sustainable Forest Management (May 2014). More general comments on the expectations towards the questionnaire were received from the Round Table Discussion on forest ownership that took place during the 36th Working Party meeting in Geneva (June 2014). The questionnaire was also presented and discussed at the COST Action FACESMAP meeting in Freiburg (September 2014).

The second draft of the questionnaire, developed on the basis of the received feedback, will be reviewed by the Team of Specialists meeting on Sustainable Forest Management (23 October 2014). The outcome of this review will be presented and discussed at the 72nd Session of the UNECE Committee on Forest and the Forest Industry in Kazan (November 2014).

It is expected that the final version of the joint ECE/FAO/ COST Action FACESMAP questionnaire on forest ownership will be produced by the end of 2014 and the reporting process is planned for 2015.

For more information please contact sebastian.glasenapp@unece.org or visit http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=35144.


Publications


 

New: Forests Under Pressure – Local Responses to Global Issues

A comprehensive study of the conditions that assist sustainable forest development will be published at the upcoming IUFRO World Congress on 5-11 October 2014 in Salt Lake City, USA.

The volume has been produced by the IUFRO Special Project on World Forests, Society and Environment (IUFRO-WFSE) coordinated by Dr. Pia Katila of the Finnish Forest Research Institute. It analyzes local- and regional-level initiatives from various parts of the world and uses them to shed light on the conditions (and combinations of conditions) that enhance – or hinder – progress toward (SFM) and forest-related sustainable development at the local level. The book examines 27 local- and regional-level case studies, presents a synthesis of the studies and the main findings derived from the cases, and discusses several of the issues in the context of future outlooks and scenarios.

Read IUFRO Congress Spotlight #26 about this publication at:  www.iufro.org/media/iufro-spotlights/

For details about the IUFRO World Congress, please go to: iufro2014.com

 

Academic Resource: REDD+ Sourcebook Now Available Online
The UN-REDD Programme and Environment and Education Training Unit (UNEP) are pleased to announce the launch of Forests in a Changing Climate:  A Sourcebook for Integrating REDD+ into academic programmes.

The REDD+ Sourcebook was launched at a Webinar attended by members of faculty and postgraduate students from Kenyan Universities, the culmination of a coordinated project between the UN-REDD Programme, EETU and Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Speaking at the Webinar, Ben Cashore, Professor of Environmental Governance and Political Science at Yale University shared that Yale was proud to be part of a project which seeks to understand and analyse REDD+. “Our approach was to employ authors from a variety of backgrounds, namely PhD students at the cutting edge of their field of expertise: from economics, law, politics, and not just science.  REDD+ is moving so fast, this teaching tool offers students the latest material”.

Press Release

Climate Change is Fueling Forest Disturbances

 

Europe’s forests are increasingly under pressure from wind, bark beetles, and wildfires

Climate change is already altering the environment. Long-lived ecosystems such as forests are particularly vulnerable to the comparatively rapid changes in the climate system. A new international study in Nature Climate Change1 shows that damage from wind, bark beetles, and wildfires has increased drastically in Europe’s forests in recent years. “Disturbances like windthrow and forest fires are part of the natural dynamics of forest ecosystems, and are not, therefore, a catastrophe for the ecosystem as such. However, these disturbances have intensified considerably in recent decades, which increasingly challenges the sustainable management of forest ecosystems”, says Rupert Seidl, BOKU Vienna, the principal researcher involved in the study.

The authors show that damage caused by forest disturbance has increased continuously over the last 40 years in Europe, reaching 56 million cubic meters of timber per year in the period 2002 – 2010. Scenario analyses for the coming decades also suggest a continuation of this trend: the study estimates that forest disturbances will increase damage by another million cubic meters of timber every year over the next 20 years. The scientists identified climate change as the main driver behind this increase: under assumed stable climatic conditions in their calculations, no substantial further increases in forest disturbances were expected. Damage from forest fires was particularly estimated to increase on the Iberian Peninsula, while bark beetle damage increased most strongly in the Alps. Wind damage would be seen to rise most notably in mid latitudes.

For more information contact:

Rupert Seidl, Werner Rammer, BOKU, rupert.seidl(at)boku.ac.at, werner.rammer(at)boku.ac.at; Hans Verkerk, EFI, hans.verkerk(at)efi.int; Mart-Jan Schelhaas, Alterra, Wageningen UR, martjan.schelhaas(at)wur.nl

Link to the publication is here.

UN-REDD Programme - Latin America and Caribbean together with Host Countries Produce Series of Videos on REDD+ in Ecuador, Panama and Paraguay
For a first hand introduction by the communities who inhabit the forests of Ecuador, Panama and Paraguay, click on the links below.  These three short videos explore the forests of the Central and South American countries to enable understanding about the challenges, opportunities and realities of forest ecosystems experienced by the people who inhabit them.

Ecuador (Spanish): Un Bosque de Oportunidades en Ecuador

Ecuador (English): A Forest of Opportunities

Panama (Spanish): Un Bosque de Oportunidades en Panamá

Paraguay (Spanish): Un Bosque de Oportunidades en Paraguay

Paraguay (English): A Forest of Opportunities

For further information contact: alex.laguna@unep.org

Link to Press Release

 


Events


 

XI International Junior Forest Contest
Traditional International Junior Forest Contest took place in St Petersburg, Russia, on 8–12 of September 2014. Organised by Federal Forestry Agency, Contest is aimed to encourage international youth cooperation and environmental awareness; disseminate knowledge on current tendencies, problems and prospects of global forestry.

In 2014, 27 countries delegated 44 contestants aged 14-22 to present their research works to international Jury. Themes of researches included forestry and silviculture, forest flora and fauna, forest law, inventory, alternative use of wood, and forestry education.  Jury members represented Belarus, Brazil, Kenia, Kirgizia, South Korea, Poland, Russia as well as international bodies - UNECE and FAO, EFI, World Bank. Jury were unanimous in giving First prize to research by 1-year University student from Russia. His research on morphology of Picea was ranked best among 33 works.

Second place was shared by students from Vietnam with report on Earth remote sensing, and school student from Kirgizia who studied introduced species. Representatives of Azerbaijan analyzed affects from recreational activities whereas the Russian student reported on valuable trees. Both researches received bronze.

All the contestants represent young forestry science of their countries. There were prizes for everybody.  Aside from Contest, students and guests participated in excursions. Challenging work and rich entertainment programme helped young people to overcome language barriers and become good friends.  Organisers thank all participants of XI Contest and wish to welcome young international forestry experts in Russia at next Contest, in autumn 2015!  

For more details, please visit http://www.rosleshoz.gov.ru/english/media/actions/13.

FOREST EUROPE Workshop on Valuation of Forest Ecosystem Services
Belgrade, Serbia, 24-25 September 2014

As part of its Work Programme, FOREST EUROPE organizes a Workshop on Valuation of Forest Ecosystem Services (VFES). Political and technical issues on this topic will be discussed, and experiences of VFES within the pan-European scope, and regional and national levels will be shared during the meeting.

More information is available here.

FOREST EUROPE Round Table on Updating the Sustainable Forest
Management Tools
Cuenca, Spain, 3 November 2014

During this Round Table, proposals to consolidate pan-European policies and tools in SFM will be explored.
 
Discussions will be based, among others, on the results of the FOREST EUROPE Expert Group to Propose Improvements in Tools for Sustainable Forest Management, which work is now focused on a proposal of an updated set of pan-European indicators.

More information is available here.

Round Table on Topics for the 7th FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference
Cuenca, Spain, 4-5 November 2014

Participants in the meeting will discuss on possible topics for the 7th FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference, to be held in Madrid (Spain) in October 2015.

More information is available here.

FOREST EUROPE Expert Level Meeting for the Preparations of the Extraordinary Ministerial Conference
Cuenca, Spain, 6-7 November 2014

According to the Oslo Ministerial Mandate, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe shall present its work to a FOREST EUROPE Extraordinary Ministerial Conference (EMC) for its consideration and possible adoption.


The EMC will be held in October 2015, back to back with the 7th FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference. The preparations for the EMC will start with this Expert Level Meeting.

More information is available here.

Addressing Deforestation: joining forces to stimulate demand for sustainable forest products – PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue
Paris, France, 20 November 2014

Deforestation remains a major threat to the world’s forests. While the main drivers of deforestation are fairly well documented, successful implementation of solutions is proving more complex. Only by delivering the right variety of measures in combination – from policy level through to business, lending and consumer actions - will we be successful in delivering realistic land-use alternatives to halt deforestation.

The forest sector is more advanced in delivering viable sustainability solutions than other sectors linked to driving deforestation, especially with respect to the availability and uptake of sustainable forest management certification. And while there is continual need for advancement in uptake, especially in deforestation prone regions, enhanced efforts are urgently needed to strengthen consumer interest, commitment and trust in the sustainability credentials of forest products. The racketing up of demand-side pressures for sustainable forest products will also contribute to a strengthened business case against deforestation.

Held during PEFC Forest Certification Week, PEFC’s 5th annual Stakeholder Dialogue seeks to strengthen our collective understanding on consumers’ perception, engagement & commitment to sustainable forest products. With a forward looking focus, the event will encourage exchange amongst diverse stakeholder representatives to identify new collaborative approaches and actions to stimulate demand for sustainable forest products and to strengthen the profile of the forest sector utilizing forest certification. 

Up to 300 diverse stakeholders and key actors across the national and international forest sector landscape and along the forest products supply chain – including forest managers, manufacturers and marketers; civil society groups; governments and international organizations focused on addressing deforestation challenges with sustainable forest management solutions, especially solutions supported by certification.

For further information visit: pefc.org/pefc-week-2014/home

or contact Thorsten Arndt (t.arndt@pefc.org).

Timberland Investment Conference
Florida, USA, 18-20 February 2015

The University of Georgia Langdale Center for Forest Business announces its biennial Timberland Investment Conference February 18-20, 2015.  The conference will feature speakers from the US Federal Reserve, Harvard Housing Center, and the Rayonier CEO and present the latest on timberland investment in developed and emerging markets, academic research, and legal and operational issues.  The venue is the Ritz Carlton Lodge, Amelia Island Florida, USA.  

For further information visit:  www.ugacfb.com

UNECE-FAO UNDA project capacity building workshop in Yerevan, Armenia, September 2014. Photo: Elina Warsta.

How to contribute? The deadline for the next issue is 15 Decemberr 2014. More information is available here. We work in cooperation with the Global Forest Information Service.