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IUFRO News Vol. 49, Issue 4, April 2020

Read a message by the IUFRO President to mark the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, an article about the threats of globalization to forest health, a report about the first virtual GFEP meeting, and much more…

In his message, which is also available on video on the IUFRO YouTube channel, John Parrotta points out that, like the COVID-19 pandemic, our multi-faceted environmental challenges do not respect national borders.  We are all affected by – and must share responsibility for - the climate crisis; biodiversity loss and biological invasions; air, water and marine pollution; deforestation; as well as land degradation and desertification. Viable solutions absolutely depend on international collaboration and application of the best available scientific knowledge and experience, he says.

Even though environmental awareness has increased markedly, especially in the effects of climate change and deforestation, researchers from the Forest Pathology Unit of the Palencia Campus of the University of Valladolid (iuFOR; UVa-INIA) are drawing attention to one particular threat to forests that people are not so aware of. The introduction of exotic pests and diseases is one of the biggest environmental challenges worldwide, they say, and the losses caused by invasive alien species are estimated to be at least 12,000 million euros annually in Europe alone.

Instead of meeting physically in Vienna from 15-17 of April 2020, the Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on Forests and Poverty met virtually. The aim of this 3rd Panel Meeting was to intensify the exchange on the work in progress and to jointly consider the review comments and conclusions of the assessment report on Forests and Poverty. Given the current situation globally, the Panel Members had to reconsider the schedule towards finalizing and launching the outcomes of this assessment. They concluded, however, that a publication and launch of the assessment report and associated Policy Brief will be feasible in the later second half of 2020.


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