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Sunday, 3 November 2013
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BACKS THE PROTECTION OF ROADFREE AREAS
Posted by Nuria Selva, SCB Policy Committee
Press release - October 24, 2013
Strasbourg -The European Parliament has backed two proposals by MEP
Kriton Arsenis to take action against the construction of new roads in
With the October 23rd adoption of the
Motion for a Resolution  on the climate change conference in Warsaw,
Poland (COP 19), the European Parliament has agreed to raise the issue
of roadbuilding in intact forests at the UN Climate Change Conference to
be held next month in Warsaw (Poland); it calls on parties to use the
existence of roads in forest areas as an early negative performance
indicator of REDD+ projects, and to prioritise the allocation of REDD+
funds towards road free forests.
At the same time, the
European Parliament has decided to allocate 1.2 Million Euros for
further research on the benefits of protecting road free intact forests.
The pilot project  which was approved on October 23rd will be
implemented within 2014 and will finance the production of up-to-date
global maps of roadfree areas on the basis of the best spatial data
available, and the creation of a prediction model of deforestation and
forest degradation based on the existence of roads in a forest. The
research program is expected to lead to a set of innovative
recommendations for better forest governance.
Commenting on the outcome of the vote, MEP Kriton Arsenis  said:
"It takes just one road to destroy a forest. More than 95% of
deforestation, fires and atmospheric carbon emissions in the Brazilian
Amazon occur within 50 kilometres of a road . I am proud to see the
European Parliament being the first political institution to address
this issue. This decision marks an important step towards the
recognition of the impacts of roadbuilding on the Earth's last intact
forest areas and the necessity to keep these areas free of roads ".
He added: "In times when funding for environmental protection is
scarce, keeping intact forests free of roads is a remarkably cost
efficient way of protecting biodiversity, and fighting climate change
and an antidote to slow political decision making".
 Motion for a Resolution on the climate change conference in Warsaw, Poland (COP 19): Amendments 1 and 2
 Compromise package for Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions 2014:
Amendments 404, 544 " Making efficient use of EU climate finance -
using roads as an early performance indicator"
Kriton Arsenis is Member of the European Parliament since 2009. He has
promoted the protection of road free forests at international
conferences since 2012, including co-organising events at the Rio+20
Summit and at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on
Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, along with partners such as Google,
UNEP, IUCN, the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), European
Environmental Agency (EEA), and the Indigenous Peoples' International
Centre for Policy Research and Education, Tebtebba. http://kritonarsenis.gr/
 William F. Laurance and Andrew Balmford. A global map for road building. 308 | NATURE | VOL 495 | 21 MARCH 2013