IELTS Academic Reading Practice 91

 
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This reading practice simulates one part of the IELTS Academic Reading test. You should spend about twenty minutes on it. Read the passage and answer questions 1-14.

Questions 1-7

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage? In boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE   if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE   if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN   if there is no information on this

1. Forest problems of Scandinavia are to be discussed at the next meeting of experts.
2. Forests are a renewable source of raw material.
3. It was only in the twentieth century that the biological significance of forests was eventually recognized.
4. Natural forests still exist in parts of Europe
5. Forest policy should be limited by national boundaries.
6. European governments cannot agree on how to manage forests in the future.
7. The Strasbourg conference decided that a forest policy must allow for the possibility of change.
Questions 8-13

Look at the following List of resolutions (Questions 8-13) and Statements Issued by the Conference below.

Match statements with the appropriate resolutions.

Write the correct number A-J in boxes Questions 8-13 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

Statements Issued by the Conference
  1. Efforts should be made to maintain all kinds of species of forests.
  2. The putting in place of a program studying the damage done to mountain forests.
  3. There should be more financial investment in research related to forest environments.
  4. There should be greater coordination between countries in the research and management of forests.
  5. Information be collected and shared which relates to damage caused by fire.
  6. Loss of leaves from trees should be more extensively and carefully monitored
  7. Resources should be allocated to research tree diseases.
  8. Skiing and other recreational activities should be encouraged in thinly populated areas.
  9. Soil imbalances such as acidification should be treated with compounds of nitrogen and sulfur.
  10. The controlled monitoring of forests to determine any decline in their condition.

8. Resolution 1
9. Resolution 2
10. Resolution 3
11. Resolution 4
12. Resolution 5
13. Resolution 6
Question 14

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write your answers in box 14 on your answer sheet.

14 What was the main motivation for creating the six resolutions?


Answer Sheet
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
N/A
16
N/A
17
N/A
18
N/A
19
N/A
20
N/A
21
N/A
22
N/A
23
N/A
24
N/A
25
N/A
26
N/A
27
N/A
28
N/A
29
N/A
30
N/A
31
N/A
32
N/A
33
N/A
34
N/A
35
N/A
36
N/A
37
N/A
38
N/A
39
N/A
40
N/A


  • help Learn how to HIGHLIGHT & ADD NOTES
    1. HOLD LEFT CLICK
    2. DRAG MOUSE OVER TEXT
    3. RIGHT CLICK SELECTED TEXT

The Decline of Europe's forests

The decline of Europe's forests over the last decade and a half has led to an increasing awareness and understanding of the serious imbalances which threaten them. European countries are becoming increasingly concerned by major threats to European forests, such as air pollution, soil deterioration, an increasing number of forest fires and the mismanagement of land. There is a growing awareness of this issue, encouraging countries to get together to coordinate their policies. In December 1990, Strasbourg hosted the first Ministerial Conference on the protection of Europe's forests. The conference brought together 31 countries from both Western and Eastern Europe. The topics discussed included the coordinate study of the destruction of forests, as well as how to combat forest fires and the extension of European research programs on forest ecosystem. The preparatory work for the conference was undertaken at two meetings of experts. Their initial task was to decide which of the many forest problems of concern to Europe involved the largest number of countries and required joint action. Countries confined to particular geographical areas, such as countries bordering the Mediterranean or Scandinavia were not included in this particular task.

There is a real concern throughout Europe about the damage to the forest environment posing a threat to essential functions of forests. As a whole, European countries see forests as performing three essential functions: biological, economic and recreational. The first is to act as a 'green lung' for our planet. Through photosynthesis, forests produce oxygen by transforming solar energy, similar in a way to an immense, non-polluting power plant. At the same time, forests provide raw materials for human activities through their constantly renewed production of wood. Finally, forests offer those living in urban environment a place to unwind and take part in a range of leisure activities, such as hunting, riding, and hiking. The economic importance of forests has been understood since the dawn of man, as wood was the first source of fuel, while other aspects have been recognized only for a few centuries.

The myth of the 'natural' forest has survived, yet there are effectively no remaining 'primary' forests in Europe. All European forests are artificial, having been adapted and exploited by man for thousands of years. This means that a forest policy is vital, that it must transcend national frontiers and generations of people, and that it must allow for the inevitable changes that take place in the forests. The Strasbourg conference was one of the first events on such a scale to reach this conclusion. Accompanied by six detailed resolutions, a general declaration was made that 'a central place in any ecologically coherent forest policy must be given to continuity over time and to the possible effects of unforeseen events, to ensure that the full potential of these forests is maintained'.

The first resolution proposes the extension and systematic monitoring of surveillance sites to prevent forest decline. Forest decline is still poorly understood, but leads to the loss of a high proportion of a tree's needles or leaves. The entire continent and the majority of species are now affected, with between 30% and 50% of the tree population in decline. The condition appears to result from the cumulative effect of a number of factors, with atmospheric pollutants the principal culprits. Compounds of nitrogen and sulfur dioxide should be particularly closely watched. However, their effects are probably accentuated by climatic factors, such as drought and harsh winters, or soil imbalances such as soil acidification, which damages roots. The second resolution concentrates on the need to preserve the genetic diversity of European forests. The aim is to reverse the decline in the number of tree species or at least to preserve the 'genetic material' of all of them. Although forest fires do not affect all of Europe to the same extent the amount of damage caused the experts to propose the third resolution that the Strasbourg conference considers the establishment of a European databank on the subject. All information used in the development of national preventative policies would become generally available.

The subject of the fourth resolution discussed by the ministers was mountain forests. In Europe, it is undoubtedly the mountain ecosystem which has changed most rapidly and is most at risk. A thinly scattered permanent population and development of an industry of leisure activities, particularly skiing, have resulted in significant long-term changes to the local ecosystems. Proposed developments include a preferential research program on mountain forests. The fifth resolution relented that the European research network on the physiology of trees, Euro Silva, should support joint European research on tree diseases and their physiological and biochemical aspects. Each country concerned could increase "the number of scholarships and other financial support for doctoral theses and research projects in this area, finally, the conference established the framework for a European research network on forest ecosystems. This would also involve harmonizing activities in individual countries as well as identifying a number of priority research topics relating to the protection of forests The Strasbourg conference's main concern was to provide for the future. This was the initial motivation, one now shared by all 31 participants representing 31 European countries. Their final text commits them to an ongoing discussion between government representatives with responsibility for forests.

Reading Passage Vocabulary
The Decline of Europe's forests

The decline of Europe's forests over the last decade and a half has led to an increasing awareness and understanding of the serious imbalances which threaten them. European countries are becoming increasingly concerned by major threats to European forests, such as air pollution, soil deterioration, an increasing number of forest fires and the mismanagement of land. There is a growing awareness of this issue, encouraging countries to get together to coordinate their policies. In December 1990, Strasbourg hosted the first Ministerial Conference on the protection of Europe's forests. The conference brought together 31 countries from both Western and Eastern Europe. The topics discussed included the coordinate study of the destruction of forests, as well as how to combat forest fires and the extension of European research programs on forest ecosystem. The preparatory work for the conference was undertaken at two meetings of experts. Their initial task was to decide which of the many forest problems of concern to Europe involved the largest number of countries and required joint action. Countries confined to particular geographical areas, such as countries bordering the Mediterranean or Scandinavia were not included in this particular task.

There is a real concern throughout Europe about the damage to the forest environment posing a threat to essential functions of forests. As a whole, European countries see forests as performing three essential functions: biological, economic and recreational. The first is to act as a 'green lung' for our planet. Through photosynthesis, forests produce oxygen by transforming solar energy, similar in a way to an immense, non-polluting power plant. At the same time, forests provide raw materials for human activities through their constantly renewed production of wood. Finally, forests offer those living in urban environment a place to unwind and take part in a range of leisure activities, such as hunting, riding, and hiking. The economic importance of forests has been understood since the dawn of man, as wood was the first source of fuel, while other aspects have been recognized only for a few centuries.

The myth of the 'natural' forest has survived, yet there are effectively no remaining 'primary' forests in Europe. All European forests are artificial, having been adapted and exploited by man for thousands of years. This means that a forest policy is vital, that it must transcend national frontiers and generations of people, and that it must allow for the inevitable changes that take place in the forests. The Strasbourg conference was one of the first events on such a scale to reach this conclusion. Accompanied by six detailed resolutions, a general declaration was made that 'a central place in any ecologically coherent forest policy must be given to continuity over time and to the possible effects of unforeseen events, to ensure that the full potential of these forests is maintained'.

The first resolution proposes the extension and systematic monitoring of surveillance sites to prevent forest decline. Forest decline is still poorly understood, but leads to the loss of a high proportion of a tree's needles or leaves. The entire continent and the majority of species are now affected, with between 30% and 50% of the tree population in decline. The condition appears to result from the cumulative effect of a number of factors, with atmospheric pollutants the principal culprits. Compounds of nitrogen and sulfur dioxide should be particularly closely watched. However, their effects are probably accentuated by climatic factors, such as drought and harsh winters, or soil imbalances such as soil acidification, which damages roots. The second resolution concentrates on the need to preserve the genetic diversity of European forests. The aim is to reverse the decline in the number of tree species or at least to preserve the 'genetic material' of all of them. Although forest fires do not affect all of Europe to the same extent the amount of damage caused the experts to propose the third resolution that the Strasbourg conference considers the establishment of a European databank on the subject. All information used in the development of national preventative policies would become generally available.

The subject of the fourth resolution discussed by the ministers was mountain forests. In Europe, it is undoubtedly the mountain ecosystem which has changed most rapidly and is most at risk. A thinly scattered permanent population and development of an industry of leisure activities, particularly skiing, have resulted in significant long-term changes to the local ecosystems. Proposed developments include a preferential research program on mountain forests. The fifth resolution relented that the European research network on the physiology of trees, Euro Silva, should support joint European research on tree diseases and their physiological and biochemical aspects. Each country concerned could increase "the number of scholarships and other financial support for doctoral theses and research projects in this area, finally, the conference established the framework for a European research network on forest ecosystems. This would also involve harmonizing activities in individual countries as well as identifying a number of priority research topics relating to the protection of forests The Strasbourg conference's main concern was to provide for the future. This was the initial motivation, one now shared by all 31 participants representing 31 European countries. Their final text commits them to an ongoing discussion between government representatives with responsibility for forests.

 
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