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How much wood is available on a sustainable basis for energy and raw material in Europe?

Published:03 April 2009

Geneva

The question of how much wood is available in Europe on a sustainable basis has become urgent in the light of the ambitious targets for biomass energy being adopted at national and European level. Decision-makers from the energy and forestry sector urgently need sound and agreed information on potential sustainable wood supply in order to preserve the achievements of sustainable forest management and to meet society’s demands for energy, raw material and biodiversity, not to mention the other goods and services of the forest.

Scientists and officials have been working intensely at this issue for some years, and preliminary results are available for many regions and types of wood. However the overall picture is still not clear as wood supply assessments need to consider socio-economic and bio-technical constraints to theoretical wood availability, and to assess all parts of trees inside forests as well as biomass from outside forests. Therefore, the Timber Section of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held a one-day-workshop on “Estimating Potential Sustainable Wood Supply” in Geneva on 30 March 2009.

Christopher Prins, Chief of the UNECE/FAO Timber Section, summarized the recommendations of the Workshop:

More than 50 participants from 20 countries and various stakeholder groups attended the workshop in Geneva. The presentations, background documents, as well as the conclusions and recommendations, are available online: http://timber.unece.org/index.php?id=128.

The conclusions and recommendations of the workshop were formally endorsed by the 31st session of the FAO/UNECE Working Party on Forest Economics and Statistics the following day. On 16-18 June 2009 a linked workshop on “Strategies for increased mobilization of wood resources from sustainable sources”, in Grenoble (France), will address the issue of wood mobilization: national correspondents, scientists and stakeholder groups are invited to participate in the workshop and to submit case studies and good practice experiences on wood mobilization.

For further information, please contact:

Christopher Prins

Chief, Timber Section

UN Economic Commission for Europe / Food and Agriculture Organization

UNECE Trade and Timber Division

Palais des Nations

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Phone: +41 (0) 22 917 2874

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 0041

E-mail: info.timber@unece.org

Ref: ECE/TIM/09/P02

 

 


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