EU

Independent Report Evaluates FLEGT, EU and Indonesia Agree to Licensing Scheme [viewed]

eu_indonesiaMay 2016: An independent evaluation report has concluded that the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan (FLEGT) has been effective in raising awareness of illegal logging particularly in partner producer countries, and has contributed to reducing demand for illegal timber in the EU. The report also concludes that FLEGT needs to address new challenges, in particular with regard to deforestation and forest conversion. In other news, the EU and Indonesia have announced their readiness to start the first-ever FLEGT licensing scheme.

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FAO IUU Agreement Set to Enter into Force, CMS, World Bank, Others Promote Action on Sustainable Fisheries [viewed]

fao_cms_wb16 May 2016: Twenty-nine countries and the European Union (EU) have deposited their instruments of adherence to the Port State Measurement Agreement (PSMA) with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). The entry into force of the PSMA, on 5 June, marks the world's first binding international agreement on illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing and is expected to support efforts to ensure responsible fish stock management and sustainable fisheries.

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Event: European Ecosystem Services Conference [viewed]

The European Ecosystem Services Conference will meet under the theme, ‘Helping nature to help us,' and will focus on the role that healthy ecosystems play in supporting human well-being and the protection of nature. The meeting agenda includes: keynote presentations from policy, practice and science; a networking day where businesses, practitioners, policymakers and researchers will showcase their work; interactive sessions to demonstrate working examples of ecosystem services and natural capital; field excursions to see ecosystem services in action; and scientific sessions. The conference is being organized by the EU-funded research projects ECOPLAN and the Ecosystem Services Partnership, among others, and hosted by the University of Antwerp.  

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Event: SDG on Water: Business as Usual in Brussels? [viewed]

This conference aims to highlight the importance of the water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the European Union, with a particular focus on SDG 6 (To ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all). It will provide examples of SDG implementation that go beyond business as usual and bring about transformational change. Participants will also discuss: a roadmap to achieve the SDG on water; existing tools for meeting the SDGs in Europe, including sustainability standards; strengthening water governance in cities; and collective action in agriculture.  

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Event: First Great Green Wall Global Conference [viewed]

Since its inception in 2007, the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) has evolved into a pan-African sustainable landscape program to address land degradation and desertification, boost food, environmental and economic security, and support communities' adaptation to climate change. The First Conference on the GGWSSI will gather representatives from more than 20 Sahelian countries and partners to discuss the further scaling-up of implementation based on commitments made at the Paris Climate Change Conference with a view to: develop a “road map for transformational action on 
the ground,” including a Great Green Wall results framework; confirm political commitments in support of the initiative; strengthen the GGWSSI Community of 
Practice; and set new strategic directions for GGWSSI 
communication and knowledge management. The Conference will be organized around three days of technical sessions to exchange and share knowledge about programs and projects in support of the Great Green Wall, and a one-day high-level segment bringing together African Ministers and development partners. Practical interactive seminars will also take place on innovation, communication and knowledge services. Coordinated and sponsored by diverse partner organizations, the conference will draw on experiences from ongoing Great Green Wall projects, including: the World Bank and Global Environment Facility (GEF) supported Sahel and West Africa Program (SAWAP); the AAD programme, which is implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and funded by the partnership programme between the EU and Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP-EU); and the Front Local Environnemental pour une Union Verte (FLEUVE), an EU-funded Great Green Wall project coordinated by the Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).  

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EU FLEGT Facility Releases Factsheet on VPAs and the SDGs [viewed]

euflegt30 March 2016: The EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Facility has released a factsheet and a briefing exploring how Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) between the EU and timber-exporting countries contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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EEA Assesses State of Water, Forests in Europe [viewed]

EEA21 March 2016: The European Environment Agency released two publications before World Water Day on 22 March. The reports indicate that forest cover has increased in Europe since 1990, but water stress is increasingly common in many countries, with more than 14% of the population living under conditions of water stress during the summer months.

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World Water Day Marked Globally, WWDR 2016 and IRP Reports Highlighted [viewed]

world_water_day22 March 2016: On the occasion of World Water Day, UN agencies highlighted water stress as a problem for economic growth and human health, and called for decoupling water use from economic growth through holistic water management plans that take into account the entire water cycle.

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Event: Second International Legume Society Conference [viewed]

Organized under the auspices of the 2016 International Year of Pulses (IYP 2016), the Second International Legume Society Conference aims to encourage connections throughout the food chain with a view to enhancing the utilization of pulse-based proteins, increasing the global production of pulses, improving crop rotations; and addressing trade challenges in the pulses sector. The conference will address the following themes: legume quality and nutrition; farming systems/agronomy; abiotic and biotic stress responses and breeding; legume genetic resources; and new “Omics” resources for legumes. Cross-cutting themes will include health and environment benefits and legumes markets. As the final meeting of the EU-FP7 ABSTRESS project, the conference will also share results and conclusions from this, and related European research programmes.  

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UN Calls for 'Stepping it Up' to Achieve Gender Equality, SDGs [viewed]

womenday20168 March 2016: The world must take immediate actions to close gender gaps and promote women's empowerment to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and leave no one behind, said UN leaders on the occasion of this year's International Women's Day (IWD), marked on 8 March 2016. UN agencies and other international organizations called for gender equality and women's empowerment at special events and in new publications.

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