Ministers stand up for European forests

A pan-European ministerial conference on forest sustainability has ended in Vienna with the adoption of five resolutions, containing few if any new ideas. The texts mainly stress partnership and economic and social sustainability. They also include calls for preservation of forest biodiversity, promotion of wood as an energy source and cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The conference is the fourth in a cycle launched in 1990 and involves 40 countries. Green group WWF marked the occasion by criticising "an alarming lack of effective protection" for Europe's forest biodiversity. See Living forest summit, and WWF statements.

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