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Forest Information Billboard

Issue 3, September 2016

Photograph: Elina Warsta, UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section.
Palais des Nations, Geneva. Photograph: UN Geneva.

Upcoming Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry Meeting

The 74th session of the ECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 18 to 20 October 2016.

The Committee will review and guide activities in data collection, analysis, policy support, capacity building and communication. This year, the session will have a focus on forest based industries. One and a half day will be dedicated to discuss forest products market trends (Market Discussion), a panel discussion with high level representatives from private wood processing industries on the pulp and paper production and consumption in the UNECE region as well as a half day discussion on "Wood construction in the region: what can forest industries do to help nurture a paradigm shift to using wood for green construction?" which intends to showcase the point of view of the city planners, regulators, insurers etc.  Additional themes are forest ownership and green jobs in the region.

The session will be followed by a workshop “Measuring the value of forests in a green economy” on 21 October 2016.

To register for the meeting (and the Green Economy workshop on October 21) click here. Please use your existing on-line account if you have previously attended a UNECE meeting.

Forest reporting

Follow-up on European Policy Debate from a State Forest Perspective

The European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR) is based in Brussels where it represents state forest companies, enterprises and agencies that have sustainable forest management and sustainable wood production as major concerns.

Following the Paris Agreement (COP 21) the debate around climate change policy has remained very lively and EUSTAFOR recently provided its contribution, exploring how (state) forests can contribute to the post-2020 EU climate policy target while at the same time boosting the European bioeconomy. In fact, the sustainable management of forests coupled with the use of wood products can positively contribute to the mitigation of climate change through the substitution of fossil fuels and energy-intensive products.  The mitigation potential of the LULUCF sector should be taken into full account when developing climate policy. LINK

Nevertheless, the policy debate that concerns forests in the EU is not exclusively limited to climate change issues and the bioeconomy: biodiversity is also of critical concern for land management.  Forests play a crucial role for the safeguard of biodiversity as evidenced by the fact that out of the 49 million ha (approx. 30% of the EU’s forests) which are managed by State Forest Management Organizations, almost 8 million hectares have been designated by the EU as Natura 2000 sites. But the successful implementation of Natura 2000 measures comes at a cost and suitable financing instruments are needed.  These should include compensation for the extra costs related to Natura 2000 implementation as well as the income foregone due to restrictions imposed on forest management. LINK

The ECOSTAR Virtual Hub is Online!

Join a wide network of innovators, linking biodiversity science to the business world! Create connections among research institutes and businesses, and find out more about Marketing and Economics of Ecosystem services and Biodiversity (MEEB).

The ECOSTAR virtual research-enterprise hub collects tools and promotes opportunities to increase the value of nature through innovative business ideas. The initiative, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, aims to promote entrepreneurship and innovation skills in the forestry sector and, more specifically, in Markets and Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (MEEB) by creating university-business links and opportunities among research institutes and companies at European level.

The initiative provides sustainable business opportunities and real benefits for the environment through the following main actions:

Join: Create a wide research-enterprise network at EU level, linking together entrepreneurs, scientific and business mentors, and investors, wanting to create value for nature through new business ideas.

Learn: Deliver a series of specialized entrepreneurship and innovation trainings targeted to MEEB through multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning.

Grow: Facilitate the co-creation of knowledge, through staff and learner mobility, an EU Business Plan Award, lobby and fundraising activities.

Recently we’ve published a report on training needs assessment among EU forest and environmental university departments. Find out our study highlighting innovation and entrepreneurship gaps in university education on www.ecostarhub.com/reports/

Photograph: iStock.

Non-Wood Forest Products - statistical classification and survey

The FAO Forestry Department is undertaking a stocktaking exercise on Non-wood forest products (NWFPs) to refine and improve current activities and tools. In this token, the Programme has taken on two initiatives that require your feedback:

  1. OPEN CONSULTATION (CLOSING SOON): We recently launched an open consultation on NWFPs statistical classification. We would like to inform readers that the deadline has been extended to 1 October 2016. The draft document on NWFPs statistical classification, for which we would like your feedback, aims at reviewing and refining the classification system for NWFPs used by FAO to improve comparability with the industry, product and trade classifications and definitions used in other national and international databases (e.g. Central Product Classification, Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding system, Combined Nomenclature, Standard Industrial Classification, Standard International Trade Code, etc.). The study also identifies the major products and countries where most information about NWFPs is already available,  gaps that may be prioritized for further research and data collection, and is producing a draft sourcebook that can be used for the regular collection and update of statistics on NWFPs. Readers are cordially invited to send their feedback on the document – available here – by submitting input by email to FPS@fao.org. Read more: http://www.fao.org/forestry/nwfp/91921/en/  

  2. SURVEY: We have launched a survey to gather views and experiences on NWFPs. If you have not done so already, please take some time to complete the survey. It should take no longer than five minutes! The information you provide will help us steer our future Programme of work on NWFPs. The survey is available here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/NYG8NXK. If you have any questions, please contact:  non-wood-news@fao.org.
Photograph: Elina Warsta, UNECE/FAO Forestry adn Timber Section.

Forest Products Data in the UNECE Region

Initial data for 2015 have been processed at the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section and are now available, along with recently released detailed data on secondary products and species trade.
Preliminary data for 2015 available at FAOSTAT at faostat3.fao.org/faostat-gateway/go/to/download/F/FO/E

Analytical tables for Forest Products Annual Market Review at www.unece.org/forests/fpamr2016-annex.html

Secondary Products, 2010-2014 at www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/timber/statsdata/fps10-14-secondary-products.pdf (also available in Excel)

Species Trade, 2010-2014 at www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/timber/statsdata/fps10-14-species-trade.pdf (also available in Excel)

Price Statistics through June 2016 at www.unece.org/timber/output/prices.html

Trade Flow showing trade by value for 8 forest products between leading countries of the region and outside the region at www.unece.org/forests/forestsfpmonlinedata/forest-products-trade-flow.html

Photograph: iStock.

Forest Ecosystem Services

A new UNECE/FAO website about Ecosystem Services is now online. The thematic website features a table with more than 90 case studies in the UNECE region and provides some basic explanations about the concept of Payments for Ecosystem Services as it relates to forests.

The table with the case studies will be further developed as we continue with the forthcoming publication on "Forests and Water: Valuation and Payments for Forest Ecosystem Services" (expected in 2017).

Should you have information about any further case studies or projects within the UNECE region you are welcome to contact Theresa Loeffler at the UNECE/FAO Joint Section.

Egon Glesinger, first leader of the ECE/FAO secretariat and driving force behind the European Timber Trends and Prospects. Photograph: United Nations Office in Geneva Library.

A Piece of History Becomes Accessible

The complete collection of the “European Timber Trends and Prospects” ETTS studies from 1953, 1964, 1976, 1986 and 1996 is now online available on our website. These studies represent major milestones of the work of UNECE/FAO on forestry and timber and were the forerunners of the “European Forest Sector Outlook Studies” EFSOS (2005 and 2011).

About every ten years these studies have provided an outlook for trends and potentials in European timber production, consumption and trade, taking account of the constraints on roundwood production.  They have been influential on perceptions and in investment decisions.  In particular the first timber trends study in 1953 was among the first to analyse the consequences of the transition from post-war reconstruction to the strong growth of the 1950s and 1960s, calling for a dynamic forest policy.

In addition, the publication “European Timber Statistics 1913-1950”, published in 1953, was scanned and is posted on our website. This collection of forest and timber statistics from before the first World War to after the second, based on exhaustive research and country visits,  was the foundation for ETTS and the basis for UNECE/FAO’s role in supporting evidence based policy making over the last 70 years.  It is one of the very few statistical sources for the forest sector before the 1960s.

We are grateful to the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) library, which digitized these historical forestry publications to make them publicly available.

Photograph: Keld Navntoft, dpa.

"The Value of Forests" - Opinion article by Christian Friis Bach

“We can enjoy our forests for free at any time. However, most would agree that the forest and the services that it provides have tremendous value. This value is more a subjective perception than a specific figure and this is exactly why it is all too often ignored in economic and political decisions.”

Read more about the value of forests in an article by Christian Friis Bach published in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung on 30.08.2016 (click here for an English translation). Christian Friis Bach is the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).


New Staff

New Director of the Forests, Land and Housing Division

The UNECE Executive Secretary announced the selection of Ms. Ivonne Higuero to the post of Director of the Forests, Land and Housing Division. Ivonne was formerly the Chief of the Operational Activities and Review Section in the Environment Division of UNECE and had served a temporary appointment as Chief of the UNECE/FAO Joint Forestry and Timber Section from January to May 2015. She has been serving the United Nations for more than 20 years in various capacities, focusing on issues related to sustainable natural resource management, including at UNEP where, most recently, she worked as overall Programme Coordinator and Ecosystem Management sub-programme Regional Coordinator. Ivonne has a Master's degree in Natural Resource Economics and Policy from School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (now the School of the Environment) at Duke University.

Ivonne has taken up her post officially on the 1st of September.

New Staff at the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section

Ms. Anna COKER joined the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber team in Geneva in September 2016 as an Carlo-Schmid Fellow. She holds a Master of Science in Forestry with a specialisation in Nature Conservation, Land Use and Water Bodies. During her studies she became acquainted with Forestry in Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation, Kyrgyzstan, Brazil and India. She masters several languages, e.g. Russian, Spanish and German. Before joining the team Anna COKER worked for the Forest Research Institute in Germany. Her fellowship is funded by the Carlo-Schmid-Program which is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Mercator foundation.


IUFRO Spotlight #39 - Governments Reclaiming Role in Forest Certification

Report: From governance to government: The strengthened role of state bureaucracies in forest and agricultural certification

Many governments are reclaiming a role that had been pretty well ceded to ENGOs and other private organizations over the past few decades – state governance of forest certification. According to the authors of the report "From governance to government: The strengthened role of state bureaucracies in forest and agricultural certification", this has become more noticeable following the recent rise of state-driven schemes for certifying timber legality as well as palm oil production in places such as Indonesia.

Lead author Dr. Lukas Giessen, Senior Researcher and Head of the International Forest Policy Working Group at the Chair of Forest and Nature Conservation Policy, University of Goettingen, Germany, says the report provides counter-balance to existing research on private actor/institution certification, which has shown a bias toward overestimating private influence. It also shows the significant role ministries and other state forest administrators can and do play in certification politics worldwide.

The report can be found at: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polsoc.2016.02.001 Dr. Lukas Giessen is Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 9.05.00 – Forest policy and governance: www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-9/90000/90500/ 

UN-REDD Technical Brief 2: Conceptual Framework for Country Approaches to Safeguards


Country approaches to safeguards can, among other things:

1. Help countries meet UNFCCC safeguards requirements and accommodate the safeguards requirements of organizations funding readiness efforts and providing future payments for REDD+ results in a single coordinated process.
2. Help countries to explore what the Cancun safeguards mean in accordance with their particular national circumstances, and in relation to the specific REDD+ actions in their evolving national REDD+ strategies or action plans.
3. Contribute to the design of more sustainable REDD+ actions, by taking into account the potential socio-economic and environmental benefits and risks of such actions as part of national REDD+ strategy or action planning processes.
4. Help engender country ownership and increase domestic legitimacy of REDD+ by demonstrating commitment to a comprehensive yet context-specific safeguards process aimed at optimising multiple benefits and minimising, mitigating and managing the risks.
5. Help build confidence among private and public investors in REDD+ actions, as well as those providing payments for REDD+ results, through reducing risk, a key factor in investment decisions.

Read the brief...
- If you are involved in processes in your country to meet international safeguards requirements for REDD+, particularly in terms of providing safeguards information. - If you want to learn about, or get a clearer understanding of, the UNFCCC requirements on summaries of safeguards information, and options to meet them.
- If you are looking for further technical assistance on what might be included in summaries of safeguards information to be submitted to the UNFCCC.

Read more here.

Tropical Forestry Handbook
Editors: Laslo Pancel, Michael Köhl

In July 2016 the 2nd edition of the Tropical Forestry Handbook has been published. In 103 chapters 101 authors discuss natural resources management in a changing environment induced by climate change, provide proven methods & promising concepts to solve many challenges prevailing in the tropics, present comprehensive yet concise work on tropical forestry.

This Tropical Forestry Handbook provides a cross-section of all outstanding experience in all fields of tropical forestry under a drastically changing environment induced by climate change. It sheds light on the existing know-how and presents it in a concise and efficient way for the scientist and professional in charge of planning, implementing and evaluating forest resources. The Tropical Forestry Handbook provides proven and/or promising alternative concepts, which can be applied to solve organizational, administrative and technical challenges prevailing in the tropics. Presented are state of the art methods in all fields concerning tropical forestry. Emphasis is given to methods which are adapted to- and which safeguard - environmental conditions.

For further details see: www.springer.com/us/book/9783642546006 #video

New Publication on Promoting Sustainable Building Materials

The UNECE/FAO study on "Promoting Sustainable Building Materials and the Implications on the use of Wood in Buildings: A Review of Leading Public Policies in Europe and North America", is now available.

Download the study paper from here.

Environmental Implications of Increased Reliance of the EU on Biomass from the South East US

Strange, A., Bager, S., Kittler, B. Price, W., and Aguilar F.X. 2016. Environmental Implications of Increased Reliance of the EU on Biomass from the South East US. ENV.B.1/ETU/2014/0043. 357 pp.

Against the backdrop of increased EU demand for solid biomass for energy imported from the US southeast, this study assesses the conditions, trends, effects, policy framework, and environmental risk profile relevant to the EU imports from the case study region. The US is the main exporter of wood pellets to the EU, and the growth of the industrial pellet industry has raised concerns about possible negative impacts, direct and indirect. The perceived environmental implications in forest areas of the US Southeast are assessed and four typical effects concerning changes to management of forests and land and to market wood markets in the US are identified. When these effects are matched with EU policy objectives, it appears that in particular biodiversity loss, deforestation and forest degradation, not meeting greenhouse gas performance and reduced resource efficiency can constitute EU policy risks. To identify appropriate EU action to these risks, 12 intervention tools are considered, taking into account external policy constraints and considerations of cost, effectiveness, administrative burden, policy coherence and innovation. The tools all build on existing or planned EU legislation, and include intervention tool types such as certification, LCA based footprints, quotas, no-go areas and negative lists, as well as an enforcement of the material hierarchy.

Available online here.

Policy Brief for Bio-based Economy

According to Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) Finland will attain the targets set by the Paris climate conference if the forest-based bioeconomy evolves and attention is paid to the material cycles of wood-based materials. The key is to further develop forest management and utilisation methods that enable using forest-based raw materials, carbon sequestration and preserving forest biodiversity.

Increasing the production and use of woodbased biomass considerably in Finland is justified in order to enable the forest-based bioeconomy. In Finland, forests play a key role in the transition from a fossil-based economy to a bio-based economy. In the future, the end-products of the forest-based bioeconomy will replace products manufactured from fossil raw materials as well as act as long-term carbon sinks. Long-lifecycle products therefore strengthen the climate benefits associated with forests.

Climate change may negatively affect forest health. The changing climate favours pests and other natural disasters. Unmanaged, dense and old forests are susceptible to insect damage and, subsequently, forest fires. In such cases, the carbon stored in the trees is released directly into the atmosphere without providing any opportunities to utilise the biomass.

Luke’s policy recommendation examines the impacts of the growing use of forest and a changing climate on forest’s ability to sequester carbon. When increasing the sustainable use of forests, the diversity of nature and other uses of forests must be taken into account.

Link to the publication: jukuri.luke.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/535292/luke_policy_brief_1_2016_eng.pdf

MSc Thesis on "Wildlife Economics in Mersin Forest Regional Directorate in Turkey"

Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam University
Institute of Applied Sciences
Department of Forest Engineering

In this study surveys were done at Mersin Regional Directorate of Forestry in terms of the economy of wild life. For this purpose data has been provided on wild life inventory and the economy of the value of this fund including from 2000 to 2014inMersin province. It was determined from the data obtained that in the region wild life and hunting tourism have contribution to the economy. The contribution of the hunter is not only the cost of trofeor tariff. Apart from these there are payments like hunting document, hunting permission, hunting stamp income and administrative fine. Regional Directorate of Forestry between the years 2010_2014 gained 557.566 TL from the payment of hunting permission, 2.674.368 TL from hunting tourism, 758.808 TL  from administrative fine, gun sales and etc.

In this study value of hunting and wild life at Mersin Regional Directorate of Forestry and the economical potential which was created by these have been dealt with. Within this context in the light of calculations it was found that total gross 557.566+2.674.368+717.115+758.808=4.707.857 TL income was gained from hunting tourism.

In order to increase this income and to raise the contribution of the sector to the economy it is thought  to determine the number of wild animals in the region and to watch them with tracking devices and to prevent unlicensed hunting. Data of the animals that are tracked by the devices should be recorded and they should be hunted according to this data.  Due to  the studies and activities of Mersin Regıonal Dırectorate Of Forestry a an additional income will be created for the people of the region and they will help the administration by protecting  the wild life and reporting the illegal hunters.

From the socio-economical aspect it is very important to offer meat and giblets of the wild animals which are hunted according to the regulations like mountain goat, sheep and hare to consumers at the markets and butchers. The income gained from the sales ofcarcass body of wild and hunting animals has also been added to gross hunting income above. According to this only the carsass weight of hunted mountain goat and calculations of meat sales in the region are shown at the findings part for the economic importance.

As a conclusion, in this study it is tried to declare important findings about  the hunting and wild life potential of Mersin region and the contribution of economical value of this to gross national product of the country.

For more information contact: Prof.Dr.Özden GÖRÜCÜ, e-mail: ogorucu(a)ksu.edu.tr

More Heat with Less Wood Video – now in Albanian and Georgian

The video “More heat with less wood”, launched in March 2016 is one of the most successful videos of UNECE and the original English and Russian version has so far been translated in Albanian, Georgian and Turkish.

The short film promotes the efficient use of wood as a fuel in households and is used as an educational tutorial in various countries. Efficient heating technologies, combustion, pyrolysis, thermal insulation, and wood storage, as well as aspects of consumer health and wood use behaviour are visualized and explained in an easy to understand manner.
In Albania the video was broadcast on television, in Georgia the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN) uses the video to educate school children and the Turkish General Directorate of Forestry got more than 3000 views on its Facebook post.

If you would like to translate the video in any other language we can provide you with the original version (contact Theresa Loeffler at the UNECE/FAO Joint Section).

Albanian version (>300 views): http://bit.ly/29GsdrC
English/Russian version (>2,000 views): http://bit.ly/2cJfK7m
Georgian version (>3,500 views): http://bit.ly/2c34inF
Turkish version (> 3,000 views youtube and facebook): http://bit.ly/29e7ppl




The 2017 IUFRO All-Division 5 (Forest Products) Conference will be held in Vancouver, Canada from June 12th to 16th, 2017. The Conference is organized jointly by IUFRO Division 5, the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, FPInnovations, and the Society of Wood Science and Technology. In recognition of the pressing global need for the forest sector to be a leader in sustainability, diversification, and innovation, the theme of the 2017 IUFRO Division 5 Conference is: Forest Sector Innovations for a Greener Future.

We are organizing a technical session on “Case Studies Describing Indigenous Forest Products”, and are currently soliciting presenters.  If you are interested in submitting a presentation or poster on this topic, the IUFRO web site link can be found here:

Call for Abstracts (Deadline October 31, 2016).

About the session

Title: Case Studies Describing Indigenous Forest Products

Organizer: Ms. Andrea Lyall RPF, PhD Candidate University of British Columbia, Canada)
Co-organizer: Dr. Chris Gaston (Associate Professor, University of British Columbia & Aboriginal Liaison, FPInnovations, Canada).

The goal of this session is to bring forward case studies that share successes and challenges of forest product value creation within Indigenous communities. Example case studies will include Indigenous owned business and partnership models in the forest products value chains, including forest operations, energy production, housing, non-timber forest products, primary and value-added forest products and market development.

The conference brochure can be found here for information about the conference: www.IUFROdiv5-2017.ca.

Workshop on measuring the value of forests in a green economy

On 21 October 2016, the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section will organise a one-day workshop, dedicated to the question of evaluating the role of the forest sector in a green economy. The workshop will be linked to the implementation of the Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy, in particular Pillar E – Policy development and monitoring of the forest sector in relation to a green economy.

The objective of the workshop is to analyse the consistency of the present forest sector valuation systems with approaches developed by other sectors in the context of green economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to take stock of existing approaches for measuring the value of natural capital and the forest sector’s contribution to a green economy. It will also examine how the forest sector is taken into account in these methodologies and how they can complement  the assessment systems using criteria and indicators developed by the forest sector.

The event will feature:

  • An overview of existing definitions related to the green economy
  • Taking stock of internationally developed methodologies to assess the transition to  a green economy;
  • Examples of existing measurement methods at sectoral and national levels;
  • Discussion on synergies between green economy and forest sector assessment methodologies.

The outcomes of the discussion and possible recommendations should contribute to increase synergies between the two work streams and inform green economy processes and the forester sector work.

More information about the event can be found on the UNECE/FAO website.

"Transition to the Green Economy" Conference, Bratislava. Photograph: Alicja Kacprzak

Transition to the Green Economy Conference in Bratislava

The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section disseminated information about the Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy and the upcoming workshop on “Measuring the value of Forests in a Green Economy” at the « Transition to the Green Economy” conference organised by the Slovakian Presidency to the European Council, which took place in Bratislava on 6-7 September 2016.

During the panel on policy actions and the role of governance in transition to a green economy, Mr Heikki Granholm presented the Rovaniami Action Plan as a tool to promote implementation green economy in the forest sector.

In addition, together with Forest Europe, the Joint Section organised an information stand in the venue of the Conference. It contained printed and video information about the sections activities covered by the Integrated Programme of Work with a special focus on green economy and copies of the Rovaniemi Action Plan in three languages: English, French and Russian.

Forest Europe and the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section prepared a joint statement about the role of forests in achieving a green economy, referred to the panel by Mr Heikki Granholm.

The XIII International Junior Forest Contest

The XIII International Junior Forest Contest was held in the town of Peterhof, St Petersburg, the Russian Federation, on 4-9th of September, 2016. Organised by the Federal Forestry Agency, the Contest is aimed to encourage international youth cooperation and raise environmental awareness; to disseminate knowledge on current trends and problems of global forestry.

In 2016, 45 contestants aged 14 to 22 from 27 countries of the world presented their own research works. The research themes varied from silviculture and SFM to forest flora and fauna, alternative use of wood and role of forests in climate and water balance. The works showed great awareness and interest of youth in the vital issues of global forestry.

The International Jury were unanimous in giving the first place to the research made by an 11-year school student from Russia. His work on reintroduction of Cyclamen Coum was ranked best among 37 works. The 2nd place was shared by a high school student from China for the project on detection of Bursaphelenchus mucronatus, and by a school girl from Belarus, for analysis of forest fire suppression. The 3rd place was taken by a representative of Kirghizia for learning the state of red deer in Tien Shan, and by students from the USA for studying the bat ecology in Iowa forests.

All the contestants represent young forestry science of their countries. There were memorabilia and diplomas for everyone. Aside from the contest, students and guests participated in excursions. Challenging work and rich entertainment programme helped young people to become good friends.

Organisers thank all participants of XIII Junior Forest Contest and wish to welcome young international forestry experts in Russia at next Contest, in autumn 2017!

For more details, please, contact the Organising Committee at forestcontest14@gmail.com.

Photograph: Federal Forest Agency, Russian Federation.

New Means to Prioritize Forest-related Policy Targets for Smarter Bioeconomy

The final conference of the COST Action “Orchestrating forest-related policies in Europe” conference took place at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium on September 5-6, 2016. Over 50 experts and scientists in the fields of quantitative modelling, economics, sociology and political science from 21 European countries discussed together with the EC representatives from DG Environment and DG JRC challenges of forest-related policy orchestration.

“Thinking globally, but acting locally”

From the policy support point of view, the big challenge is prioritization of multiple and often conflicting forest-related policy targets.  To tackle the challenge, scientists presented new means for orchestrating policy processes.  However, the adoption of these new means to various multi-level, multi-sector and multi-actor policy processes requires “thinking globally, but acting locally”.

The ORCHESTRA COST Action chair, professor Tuula Packalen (Natural Resources Institute Finland) summarizes the conclusions: “The wide variation in ecology and socio-economy within Europe could be used for specialization in smart bioeconomy. Therefore the orchestration of forest-related policies should be closer to people and better adapted to local conditions.”

The FPS COST Action FP1207 “Orchestrating forest-related policy analysis in Europe” (ORCHESTRA) has received funding from COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). COST is a pan-European intergovernmental framework and supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020.

Further information:

Professor Tuula Packalen (Natural Resources Institute Finland, Luke), tuula.packalen@luke.fi

Packalen, T. & Lier, M. (eds.) 2016. Bioeconomy and ecosystem services – synergy or conflict? Horizontal and vertical policy analysis, modelling and orchestration in practice: Final Conference Proceedings of FPS COST Action. Natural resources and bioeconomy studies. 41/2016. 75 p.

Homepage of the ORCHESTRA COST Action final conference

Homepage of the COST Action “Orchestrating forest-related policies in Europe” (ORCHESTRA)

Photograph: Elina Warsta, UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section.

Visions, Opportunities and Challenges for the Bioeconomy in Southern Europe

28 September 2016, 9:00 – 14:00
Kursaal Congress Centre, San Sebastian, Spain


The bioeconomy offers southern Europe the opportunity to catalyse social, technological, and economic transformation towards inclusive, smart and sustainable growth. This event will be a platform to strategically reflect on the potential of bioeconomy development in southern Europe, in the context of the revision of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy. We will discuss policies, innovative commercial uses for forest resources leading to the creation of new markets, as well as the vision, opportunities and challenges that southern Europe has regarding the bioeconomy.

Speakers include: Esko Aho, former prime minister of Finland and Special Advisor of EFI, Marc Palahí, Director of the European Forest Institute, representatives of USSE, Basque Government, Regional Council of North Karelia, and several companies operating in the field.



Building an Innovative and Resilient Forest Bioeconomy

15 November 2016
International Press Center, Brussels


The bioeconomy can help to tackle many current global challenges: economic growth, climate change and resource scarcity. How can we ensure a forest-based bioeconomy is sustainable? What innovations are required? How can we monitor and assess the resiliency of bioeconomy development?

This ThinkForest seminar will discuss the above questions in Brussels on 15 November 2016.  Keynote speakers include Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, and Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. The event will be hosted by Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, MEP and chaired by Göran Persson, ThinkForest President.

Registration opens 27 September 2016.

More information: http://www.efi.int/portal/policy_advice/thinkforest/upcoming_events/

2016 International Softwood Conference, 13-14 October 2016

EOS (European European Organization of the Sawmill Industry), ETTF (European Timber Trade Federation), the French National Organization of Sawmills  (FNB) and the French Timber Trade Association (LCB), invite the forestry sector to join the 2016 International Softwood Conference  in Paris.

The year’s Conference will take place against the backdrop of still challenging economic conditions. Besides examining both supply and demand side issues, the Conference will as ever provide a unique occasion for networking and a range of further opportunities for us to unpack some of the other challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

High level speakers: Cyril Le Picard (France Bois Forêt Chairman), Pierre Gautron (President of LCB), Philippe Siat (President of FNB), Sampsa Auvinen (President of EOS and CEO of Norvik Timber Industries) and Andreas von Möller (President of ETTF and managing partner of Jacob Jürgensen).

Regional market analyses such as Canada, by André Beaulieu (Director of Retail Sales, Irving), North America by Marc Brinkmeyer (Chairman, Idaho Forest Group), North Africa by Guillaume Hotelin (Deputy CEO, Comarbois), the Egypt market by Ibrahim Elshal (CEO, Elshal Timber) and finally Russia by Sviatoslav Bychkov (Managing Director ILIM Timber).  Moreover: “Overview of Softwood Lumber Market in China” by Richy Zhang (Deputy General Manager, Zhejiang Materials Industry Senhua Group Co.Ltd.), “Japan market of softwood condition” by Yuichi Shinohara (Owner of Shinohara Group), “The German market” by Andreas von Möller (ETTF), and “The Indian Market” by Prashanth Reddy (FunderMax GmbH), “Social housing” by the French architect Anna Chassaing.

For more information visit: ettf.info/ISC2016

Forests and the Bioeconomy: Challenges and Opportunities

Read the first of a series of four interviews with the keynote speakers of the IUFRO Asia-Oceania Regional Congress in Beijing, China!

Innovative technologies for bio-energy, bio-materials and other products will be one of the major themes at the IUFRO Regional Congress for Asia and Oceania on 24-27 October 2016 in Beijing, China. Dr Elspeth MacRae leads wood and fibre processing activities, including biorefinery, biodiscovery and bioplastics at Scion, New Zealand. Her keynote speech will highlight state-of-the-art biotech research and the role of bioproducts.

In the interview, Dr MacRae talks about materials, chemicals and fuels made of renewable resources, products that might be game-changers and the role of forests as a resource in this context.

Having been involved in IUFRO for many years, she also shares her views on how IUFRO can contribute to the development of a forest-based bio-economy.


- the IUFRO-AO2016 Congress website at www.iufro-ao2016.org/en/ - the IUFRO blog to read the complete interview at blog.iufro.org/2016/09/01/interview-with-dr-elspeth-macrae-scion-new-zealand/

International Seminar on Improving Collection and Use of Data on the Socieeconomic Benefits from Forests and Trees

FAO, CIFOR, IFRI, LSMS and PROFOR of the World Bank jointly organize the International Seminar ‘Improving Collection and Use of Data on the Socio-economic Benefits from Forests and Trees’ in FAO, Rome on 27 October 2016.  This event is organized to discuss and promote ways to strengthen the collection and use of data on socio-economic benefits from forests and trees in the context of LSMS-type surveys. Ways to strengthen reporting and data availability, including for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals, will also be discussed.
The publication ‘’National socio-economic surveys in forestry: Guidance and survey modules for measuring the multiple roles of forests in household welfare and livelihoods”, produced jointly by the five partners above, will be released at a lunch-time event where the International Conference on Agricultural Statistics participants are also expected.

This seminar targets the experts on quantifying the socio-economic benefits from forests and trees. Registration is free of cost. For registration, a short email (maximum 200 words) explaining how you could contribute to the discussions at the seminar should be sent before Tuesday, 27 September 2016 to Illias Animon (illias.animon(a)fao.org), copying Thais Linhares-Juvenal (Thais.Juvenal(a)fao.org).
More details, including the background and purpose of the seminar and the tentative programme, are at http://www.fao.org/3/a-i6109e.pdf . Please pass this message to your networks.

International Postgraduate Course on “European Forest Resources and the Bio-Economy”

Wageningen, the Netherlands, 27 November - 2 December 2016

This PhD course addresses the role of European forests in the bio-economy and the changes that are taking place in management and forest industry as a result of increasing demands for forest products and services. Course topics include European forest resources, sustainable management and governance challenges, new demands in bioenergy & bio-economy, changes in demand from industry, criteria for Sustainable Forest Management and for solid biomass production, options for mitigation of climate change through carbon storage, and trade-offs with biodiversity and other forest functions. To address these issues, the course brings together experts on European forest resources, silviculture and forest management, economics, and policy, to provide introductions and to discuss current issues with course participants. Participants are expected to present their own research as well, and will jointly work on group assignments, supervised and coached by the team of lecturers. This course is organised under the initiative of the Euro League for Life Sciences (ELLS), in which a number of European universities collaborate and exchange. For PhD candidates from one of the organising universities, costs of participation are reduced.

See the course website for information and registration: www.pe-rc.nl/forest-resources

Visions, Opportunities and Challenges for the Bioeconomy in Southern Europe

28 September 2016, 9:00 – 14:00 Kursaal Congress Centre, San Sebastian, Spain


The bioeconomy offers southern Europe the opportunity to catalyse social, technological, and economic transformation towards inclusive, smart and sustainable growth. This event will be a platform to strategically reflect on the potential of bioeconomy development in southern Europe, in the context of the revision of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy. We will discuss policies, innovative commercial uses for forest resources leading to the creation of new markets, as well as the vision, opportunities and challenges that southern Europe has regarding the bioeconomy.

Speakers include: Esko Aho, former prime minister of Finland and Special Advisor of EFI, Marc Palahí, Director of the European Forest Institute, representatives of USSE, Basque Government, Regional Council of North Karelia, and several companies operating in the field.



Building an Innovative and Resilient Forest Bioeconomy

15 November 2016, International Press Center, Brussels


The bioeconomy can help to tackle many current global challenges: economic growth, climate change and resource scarcity. How can we ensure a forest-based bioeconomy is sustainable? What innovations are required? How can we monitor and assess the resiliency of bioeconomy development? This ThinkForest seminar will discuss the above questions in Brussels on 15 November 2016.  Keynote speakers include Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, and Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. The event will be hosted by Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, MEP and chaired by Göran Persson, ThinkForest President. Registration opens 27 September 2016.

More information: http://www.efi.int/portal/policy_advice/thinkforest/upcoming_events/

Wood Energy Workshop and Reporting

The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section, in cooperation with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), is planning the organization of a workshop on "Bioenergy from the Forest Sector – Information Capacity Building" at the end of 2016. During the workshop experts will be brought together to review national and international needs for wood energy information and will be provided with guidance on how to prepare energy data for their country' contribution to the Joint Wood Energy Enquiry (JWEE). The JWEE is a main tool for reporting wood energy data in the UNECE region.

National correspondents provided their suggestions and comments for improving the Joint Wood Energy Enquiry during the summer. Now the questionnaire is under final revision. The questionnaire for the reference year 2015 will be send out to national correspondents in autumn 2016.

Please feel free to contact Mr Sebastian Glasenapp for more information on the workshop as well as the JWEE reporting.

Call for Abstracts - 3rd International Conference on Landscape and Human Health: Forests, Parks and Green Care, May 17 – 19 2017, Vienna

The conference, organised by the Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW) and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of recent developments in the field of landscape effects on human health and well-being.

For more information about the conference visit the website: www.landscapeandhealth.at   We invite you to submit abstracts – for oral or poster presentation – focusing on one of the following topics1.      Relationships between landscape and human health and well-being2.      Relationships between landscape-based Green Care offers and human health and well-being3.      Interdisciplinary communication and policy concerning landscape and health

The Call for Abstracts will be open from 19 September 2016 to 7 November 2016. All abstracts should be submitted electronically. You can find detailed information to the abstract submission on the conference website: www.landscapeandhealth.at/index.php/call-for-abstracts

How to contribute? Deadline to provide contributions to the next issue is 15 December 2016. Please note that the editing of the texts is on the responsibility of the contributors. More information and the previous issues are available here.

We work in Collaboration with the Global Forest Information Service.