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Aftermath of the December windstorms in Europe’s forests: Emergency clean-up work initiated, planning for future. ECE Timber Committee sets up information clearing house

Published: 18 January 2000

Geneva

The December storms caused major damage in many European forests to stands of trees, wildlife habitat, buildings, utilities, roads, etc. Foresters are now assessing the damage, initiating sanitation cuttings and planning for reforestation. Ms. Carol Cosgrove-Sacks, Director, ECE Trade Division, states, "One of the important roles of the Timber Committee is to facilitate the transfer of information between countries on catastrophes in forests and their possible impacts and abatement. To this end we have established a new site under the Timber Committee website to share information and facilitate the recovery." (www.unece.org/trade/timber/)

European governments, including France, Germany and Switzerland where substantial forest damage occurred, are preparing plans to assist with disaster relief. The consequences of the storms are far reaching, both in time and in their impacts on forests and forest products markets (see earlier ECE/TIM/99/4 press release for the range of potential impacts). Current forest harvest plans will be modified to account for the newly fallen timber. New plans are being made for re-establishment of forests and wildlife habitat through natural regeneration and planting.

Reliable information is necessary for the whole process and national and international forest authorities are at present engaged in collection and analysis. Ms. Cosgrove-Sacks continued, "The Timber Section of the ECE Trade Division is helping by devoting a portion of its website to updated information on the consequences of the storms: location and extent of damage, measures taken by governments and links to additional information."

For further information please contact:

Mr. Kit Prins

Chief, Timber Section
Palais des Nations, room 456
United Nations Economic Commission
for Europe (UN/ECE)
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Telephone: +(41 22) 917 2874
Fax: +(41 22) 917 0041
E-mail: Christopher.Prins@unece.org
Website: http://www.unece.org/trade/timber


United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05