A voluntary partnership agreement between the European Union (EU) and Ivory Coast was signed this summer in Abidjan to address the problem of illegal logging. The EU reported that Ivory Coast has around 10 million hectares of forested area and that about 80 percent of the forestry products are exported to Europe.
‘The European Union (EU) can push biodiversity mainstreaming in many ways to reach EU 2020 targets’ said Chris Vanden Bilcke, Head of UNEP’s Liaison Office to the EU, during a conference of the European Parliament (EP) Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, which was held on Tuesday 24 September 2013 in Brussels. The speakers raised the importance of restoring nature through green infrastructure (GI); linking biodiversity science and policy; involving private sector in biodiversity conservation; integrating biodiversity measures into agricultural practices.
If biofuels received no EU policy support, the price of food stuffs such as vegetable oil would be 50% lower in Europe by 2020 than at present – and 15% lower elsewhere in the world – according to new research by the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), quoted by EurActiv, and published on 5 September.
Concern in Africa over genetically modified (GM) crops has been dismissed as “fear of the unknown” in a report by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra), which was published on 4 September.
The threat that climate change poses to Pacific Island nations shows that international action on the issue is overdue, European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard said during the 44th Leaders Meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) held in Majuro, Marshall Islands between 3-6 September 2013.
The impact of EU biofuels on the increase in the global food prices in the recent years has been insignificant, Dr. Harald von Witzke, Professor and Chair for International Agricultural Trade and Development at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany said at a conference of EU-Biofuel Policy hosted by the Representation of Bavaria to the European Union (EU) on 5 September in Brussels.
Taking into consideration the indirect land-use change emissions (known as ILUC) of traditional biofuels is the best available option to reduce negative environmental impacts, Chris Malins, expert from the nonprofit organization “International Council on Clean Transportation,” writes for EurActiv.
At the full plenary session of the European Parliament, taking place on 11-12 September in Strasbourg, the proposal to cap traditional biofuel production and accelerate the switchover to a new generation of products from other sources, such as seaweed and or certain types of waste will be put to a plenary vote.
In this week’s CTA Brussels video interview, Dr. Stefano Padulosi - senior scientist at "Bioversity International" - talks about the advantages the NUS can have for developing countries. He presents a project that aims at promoting traditional crops, by working with all the actors across the value chain, including the demand side. The project wants to raise the awareness of the user community on the nutritional values of these species, and finally raise the demand - seen as a key factor for the commercialization of the final product.
With the financial support of the EU, a Spanish water company has recently produced the first micro-algae for biofuels use with wastewaters.