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. Cork And Oak Trees Dying For Unknown Reasons

Oak trees in California
by Staff Writers
Lisbon (AFP) Oct 25, 2006
Cork and oak trees are losing their leaves and drying up for unknown reasons at an alarming rate, a World Wildlife Fund official warned Wednesday at the start of a two-day conference in Portugal called to discuss the issue. The problem is killing trees in Portugal, the world's biggest producer of cork, as well as in Mediterranean countries in southern Europe, said Luis Silva, the global conservation group's forest officer for Portugal.

"We don't know yet if it is a disease or if the mortality is caused by climatic factors and this is why the issue is being studied," he told the Lusa news agency at the conference held in the southern town of Evora.

The gathering was organized by the World Wildlife Fund together with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Association for Mediterranean Forests and Portugal's agriculture ministry.

It is being attended by experts from Portugal, Spain, France, Algeria, Tunisia and the United States.

"This conference aims to boost the scientific discussion of the problems of the abnormal mortality affecting coark and oak plantations," Portugal's agriculture ministry said in a statement.

Portugal produces 160,000 tonnes of cork per year. Neighbouring Spain is the second-biggest producer of cork followed by Algeria, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia and France.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
World Wildlife Fund
Save the Forests at Wood Pile

Global Forests Disappearing For A Pittance
Washington (AFP) Oct 23, 2006
Global warming caused by rapid deforestation could be curbed if developing countries were paid the proper rewards for maintaining their woodland, a World Bank study said Monday. The report noted that the world's forests are disappearing at a rate of five percent a decade as woodland is cleared for timber and production of in-demand commodities like beef, coffee and soybeans.

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