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A new beginning in the fight against illegal timber

By Saskia Ozinga

The first batch of timber considered legal under Europe’s most innovative ever anti-illegal logging policy arrived in the UK this month. 

Comment on COP22: Forest highlights from Marrakech

Fern ForestWatch special from the Marrakech Climate Summit

by Kate Dooley

“Eradicate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, before they destroy humanity and the planet” Statement from Bolivia, during the final closing plenary of Marrakech COP22

Fern cautiously welcomes the EU and Vietnam Voluntary Partnership Agreement

By Vũ Thi Bích Hợp (the Center for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD)) and Rudi Kohnert (Fern)

On 18 November, a significant milestone was reached in the fight to protect Vietnam’s forests.

The EU and Vietnam agreed ‘in principle’ on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) , establishing a legal framework promoting legal logging, ensuring that the nation’s forests are managed in line with social and environmental laws and  that timber products from Vietnam are verifiably legal.

Where are forests in Europe’s plans to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality?

by Indra Van Gisbergen

In September 2015, after the largest consultation in the history of the United Nations, more than 150 world leaders agreed on a new agenda to “free the human race from the tyranny of poverty”.

The Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) lay out 17 universal goals, targets and indicators to frame the agendas and policies of UN member states for the next 15 years.

Launched amid great fanfare with the support of celebrities from Beyoncé to Usain Bolt and Stephen Hawking, the SDG’s aims include ending “poverty in all its forms everywhere”; achieving “food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture”, and taking “urgent action to combat climate change and its impact”.

But between outlining these lofty ambitions and realising them, lies an enormous gulf: the daunting and fiendishly complex task of agreeing on the policies required.

Fred Pearce Guest Blog: Green Invasion

Europe’s once peaceful forests are being invaded - in the name of green energy. To meet European Union policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting renewable electricity and heating, governments from France to Romania are providing huge subsidies for the expansion of biomass burning in large power plants. 

BLOG: Bioenergy and social injustice in North Carolina

by Linde Zuidema

Our Bioenergy campaigner, Linde Zuidema, has been visiting the South-East United States to witness how forests are being destroyed to produce wood pellets for the EU energy market. Here she discovers the impact of the industry on local communities in North Carolina.

Blog: European Commission risks repeating mistakes with its flawed proposals on bioenergy sustainability

by Linde Zuidema

Today Politico has leaked the European Commission’s draft Winter Package on Climate and Energy which is expected to be released on November 30. The draft includes a major overhaul of the EU’s electricity market, and new rules for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

PHOTO BLOG: A story of southern destruction

By Linde Zuidema

Seeing is believing, and witnessing first-hand the devastating effect that the European Union’s renewable energy policy is having on the forests and wetlands of the Southeast United States, offers overwhelming evidence of the urgent need to act.

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