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Mapping Weak Signals

Inspired by: FP7 » Growth of European deforestation

version: 4 / updated: 2010-12-04
id: #1191 / version id: #206
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Graciela Sainz
List of all contributors by versions (mouse over)
Last changed by: Rafael Popper
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

European Commission Framework Programme for RTD (FP7)

Theme/activity of inspiration

Theme 6 - Environment (including Climate Change)

Sub-theme/area of inspiration

Conservation and sustainable management of natural and man-made resources and biodiversity

Optional reference/s to FP7 project/s

Use the following format: Project Acronym (Project Reference No.). Use commas if more than one project is associated to this Wild Card, for example: ALFA-BIRD (213266), SAFAR (213374), LAPCAT-II (211485)
HYPE (213139)

Signal's headline

(max. 9 words)
Growth of European deforestation

Signal's description

(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Weak Signal (approx. 150 words)
Lignocellulosic bioethanol has the potential of contributing to a sustainable and secure European energy supply for the transport sector. European research and industry is presently among the forerunners in developing lignocellulosic bioethanol, which uses as a natural source lignin and cellulosic rich feedstocks such as trees and energy crops like fast growing grasses. However, the increasing demand for energy and the pressure over the development of more sustainable forms of energy has some negative effects, deforestation being one of them. Therefore, the high production of bioethanol in Europe puts at risk some of the most forest-intensive areas of Europe. What makes this Weak Signal interesting? It reveals environmental anomalies


deforestation, lignin, cellulosic, bioethanol, energy, crops, ethanol


(max. 250 characters)
Growth of European deforestation as a consequence of, for example, the increasing demand of bioethanol and consumption of cellulosic rich resources.

Signal's first apperance


Under what assumption the Weak Signal might evolve.

It is a sign of a potential wild cards (i.e. large risks or opportunities): The sustained deforestation mat lead to an environmental catastrophe


please specify
please select
Level 2: important for a particular world region Europe
Level 3: important for the European Union

Filters preventing the signal's monitoring

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
economic filters (business/market interests)
social filters (class, status, education level)

Comments on selection:

There are a series of economic interests behind the developmen of alternative energies. There are also associated filters (the statement "alternative energies" is widely accepted among the lay public.

Key driving forces of this signal

Please use these boxes to provide up to 2 drivers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
Driver 1 Driver 2
Environmental There is a need to produce alternative energies to cope with the associated problems of pollution
Values/Ethical/Cultural Comply with sustainability principles

Major risks & opportunities associated to the signal

Please choose the most appropriate timeframe option(s) to which you would like to provide inputs.
Risks Opportunities
between 2015-2025 2014-2020 Global. Develop high efficiency crops able to produce higher levels of biomass with less plants (e.g. trees), therefore, preventing deforestation
between 2025-2050 2021-2027 Moderate. Regional 2028+ Major. Global

Potential stakeholders' actions

short-term actions
(after 2015)
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) Should be interested & take precautionary action Should be interested & take precautionary action Should be interested & take precautionary action
Business actors (incl. SMEs) Should be interested & take precautionary action
Non-for-profit organisations (e.g. NGOs, political parties, social movements, voluntary associations) Should be interested
Media Should be interested
General public Should be interested

Signal's relevance for European Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Urban and rural dynamics
Sustainability and climate change

Signal's relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology
Energy Energy here represents an opportunity as well as a threaten
Environment (including Climate Change) Deforestation has a direct impact over climate change

Pan-European strategies influencing the signal

please justify:
particularly relevant
Fostering and facilitating coherent international cooperation in science and technology

Research-friendly strategies potentially improving understanding of the signal

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here
please justify:
particularly relevant
Strengthening the actors in the research-friendly ecology
(i.e. Research funding organisations, universities, businesses, Research and Technology Organisations, Researchers and Citizens)