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Good Practice on Sustainable Mobilisation of Wood

Background and Significance

Wood is currently the most important source of renewable energy in the UNECE region. In the EU27, woody biomass accounts for more than half of renewable energies and wood supply will need to be enhanced if countries are to meet the ambitious targets set by policy makers, notably 20% renewable energy by 2020. A recent UNECE/FAO study on Potential Sustainable Wood Supply revealed that a considerable amount of wood (up to 230 Mio. m3/a) could be additionally supplied in Europe from various sources, if vigorous action is taken. Efforts to stimulate mobilisation of unused wood resources have been initiated in many European countries and there was a need to bring together good practices and share experience. The sound mobilisation of unused wood resources will be crucial for fulfilling the requirements of sustainable development, for meeting the needs of both the wood-based industry and the bio-energy sector and to support increased climate change mitigation through the forest sector.

Development and Output

UNECE/FAO, together with Forest Europe Liaison Unit Oslo and European Commission DG Agriculture and Rural Development, jointly developed a “Good practice guidance on sustainable mobilisation of wood” to help enlarging sustainable wood supply in Europe, following a recent workshop on “Strategies for increased wood mobilisation from sustainable sources”. The guidance is directed towards policy-makers and practitioners alike by giving comprehensive support in all operational phases (e.g. preparation, planning, execution), at different levels (e.g. national, sub-national), for different purposes (e.g. high-quality logs, fuel wood) and relating to all aspects of sustainability (ecological, economic and social) of wood mobilisation. 

In particular, the guidance document proposes eight areas of action to increase wood supply (see below). For each mobilisation area, concrete measures are proposed, and for each measure, successful case studies from 14 countries are presented. Each case study includes information on specific circumstances, results and lessons learned, as well as the contact details of experts who may be consulted. The case studies are further assessed according to the time needed for implementation, ease of implementation and potential scale of mobilisation. Through this approach, the reader can easily prioritise measures and identify suitable approaches for specific circumstances.

The good practice guidance can be downloaded here. A hard copy can be obtained by sending an e-mail to Info Timber, or by writing to the partner organisations (see above). Moreover, a brochure provides a brief overview of the guidance document, summarizing major elements and conclusions.


Readers may build on the ideas and knowledge presented in the good practice guidance and share their experience. Comments and new case studies are welcome and should be transmitted to Info Timber


Readers may also wish to refer to the work on wood availability and demand