My husband just told me he bought a flashlight for my younger brother. Totally ingenious, it has a mode with a red warning signal and can be tied around the head. I'm not entirely sure what my brother is supposed to do with that. But the batteries are allegedly durable for ten years, so maybe something springs into mind.
Either way, I read today this article in the Globe and Mail:
"The hush-hush regreening of Europe"
According to which "[Europe's] forest cover has expanded by almost 10 per cent since 1990, and a much larger greening seems to be under way, reversing centuries of deforestation. The greatest share of this growth is a result of deliberate policies designed to turn farmland into woodland."
Having grown up seeing the forests in my neighborhood shrink every year, it made me very happy reading this. I welcome the trend to support afforestation of farmland not only because I like trees (yeah sure, I talk to my plants), but because the financial support for farmers whose products are not consumed either way and just rot away is nothing but a waste of resources.
That further caused me to look up the websites of the European Environment Agency where one finds a lot of data and statistics, and websites of the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE), more data and statistics, in my impression trends are overall good. Below you see Fig. 46 from their 2007 Report on the State of Europe's Forests (beware, it's more than 16 MB worth of plots and diagrams). It shows the share of protected area of the forest by country:
I admit on deliberately chosing a figure where Germany looks good. And the pie below shows the share of marketed forest products other than wood... seasons greetings!
[Marketed non-wood forest products from forest and other wooded land in Europe. Share of total value in countries (based on available data). Click to enlarge.]
This post is not part of our 2007 advent calendar A Plottl A Day.