Happy Birthday EFI!

The day included a keynote presentation on ‘European forests and forest policies for the 21st century – ready for risks and opportunities’ from Dr. Gert-Jan Nabuurs, Alterra, Wageningen University. Dr. Nabuurs pointed out the emerging challenges that face the forest sector in Europe. These include a vulnerable forest resource, which shows a declining increment for the first time since 1960, and a sector that faces large socio-economic challenges before it can meet the needs of the bio-economy. Other keynotes came from Mr. A.V Panfilov, Russian Federal Forestry Agency, who spoke about Russia’s needs for efficient forest policy, and from Mr. Kriton Arsenis, Member of the European Parliament.

The discussions on risks and challenges continued further on 26 September, with a seminar dealing with a proposal to establish a facilitation platform – “a European Forest Risk Facility” under the leadership of EFI. A start-up project will investigate how such a facility may provide added value, and improve the information and understanding of biotic and abiotic risks affecting European forests. It will also look into options for supporting the collaboration and coordination of relevant national bodies to develop joint actions, and measures to prevent, mitigate and control risks. It aims to build a unique European network of experts on forest risks during the course of the project. The 1.5 year start-up project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection.

"The need for the risk Facility has increased dramatically due to climate change. In Central Europe, storms have caused extensive damage and forest fires are an almost yearly occurrence in Southern Europe and in Russia. These issues create a lot of work nationally as well as regionally, and EFI's mission is to gather information and knowledge together in order to provide policy support” said the Institute's Deputy Director Marc Palahí.

For more information is available at EFI's 20 - year anniversary website.

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