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Forest Information Billboard

Issue 1, March 2016

Photograph: Fotolia.
Photograph: Jean-Jacques Kissling, www.jjkphoto.ch.

21 March was the International Day of Forests!

The International Day of Forests was celebrated all around the world on 21 March. It creates an excellent opportunity to bring multiple forest values to the attention of all of us. The day aims to “raise awareness of the importance and strengthen the sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests” (Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly A/67/437). Let’s use this chance, join forces and share our forest passion with others.

Forest Reporting

Firewood in Podgorica, Montenegro. Photograph: Elina Warsta, UNECE/FAO.

Joint Wood Energy Enquiry Results

The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section released the results of the Joint Wood Energy Enquiry 2013, a biennial inquiry with data from 26 countries in the region.  Wood energy accounts for 3.5% of the total primary energy supply (TPES) and 38.2% of the renewable energy supply (RES) in the UNECE region, making it an important source of renewable energy.  Co-products and residues from the forest-based industries contribute 62% of the wood fibres for energy generation. 31% of the wood fibres for energy generation derive directly from woody biomass from forests and wooded areas outside forests. Wood energy is consumed in roughly equal measure by industry (49.2%) and final consumers (34.2%). Forest-based industries account for 75% of industrial use and households account for 93% of final consumption.

For the 12 countries that provided data for all rounds of the questionnaire, between 2007 and 2013 the amount of wood used for energy purposes grew annually by 5.4%. Consumption of wood pellets further increased in 2013 as 38.8 kg wood pellet were consumed per capita in the 12 countries that reported figures from 2007 to 2013. In comparison to wood pellet consumption in 2007 the amount increased by 144 %.

Summary information:

JWEE 2013 (40 MB):

General information on wood energy:

FOREST EUROPE after the 7th Ministerial Conference, looking ahead

FOREST EUROPE is a unique forest policy process addressing and developing common decisions on issues of highest political relevance. Having recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, the process has 47 signatories (46 European countries and the European Union), and 11 observer countries and a number of other observer organizations also participate. Key outputs include Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management, Pan European Approach to National Forest Programs and comprehensive report State of Europe´s Forests, among the others. 

The most recent, the Seventh Ministerial Conference was held in Madrid, Spain, on 20-21 October 2015, where the ministers responsible for forests in Europe adopted ministerial resolutions, declaration and decisions, which represent an important basis for actions dedicated to the protection and sustainable management of forests in Europe in forthcoming years.

Since 1st January 2016, Slovakia holds the presidency in the FOREST EUROPE process, therefore, the Liaison Unit, playing the role of the secretariat of the process, has been transferred to Bratislava. Liaison Unit Bratislava operates in accordance with policy and operational documents adopted by the formal structures of the FOREST EUROPE process (Ministerial Conferences, Expert Level Meetings), and is coordinated by the General Coordination Committee (composed by five countries, currently Slovakia, Spain, Germany, Turkey and Sweden).

The mission of FOREST EUROPE is to enhance the cooperation on forest policies in Europe under the leadership of ministers, secure and promote sustainable forest management with the aim of maintaining the multiple functions of forests crucial to society. This guides the Work Programme for upcoming period focused on promotion of sustainable forest management in signatory countries reflecting latest developments, knowledge, innovations on emerging issues and development of common strategies towards sustainable development and well-being of society. The next Expert Level Meeting, which will be held on 11-12 May 2016 in Bratislava, generates an opportunity to discuss the proposed actions and activities of the Draft FOREST EUROPE Work Programme as well as the forthcoming review of the process.


CARISMA - a virtual centre of 3D remote sensing for forest and landscape

CARISMA is a virtual Centre of Advanced Research for the innovative use of 3D remote sensing in mapping of forest and landscape attributes based on national forest inventories. It is a network to improve the coordination of research activities that are ongoing in the Nordic national forest inventories (NFIs).

Directly participating institutions are the Finnish Natural Resources Institute (LUKE), the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), and the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), and the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) who leads the CAR. Workshops, conferences, common research proposals, and research exchanges will be the direct output of CARISMA.

Several ongoing and interacting developments cause considerable challenges to our societies in general and to the forest sector specifically.

  • Climate change requires mitigation and forest adaptation strategies that need to be implemented locally.
  • The foreseeable end of non-renewable resources results in the need to generate future wealth based on the sustainable use of natural resources in a bioeconomy.
  • Globalization constantly forces private companies and the public administration to become more efficient to remain competitive in order to provide work to people.

Because of long planning horizons associated with forest management in the Nordic region, sub-optimal decisions can lead to considerable distortions in the future. Precise information across geographic scales is therefore a key element to reduce the risks involved with decisions in planning processes. NFIs provide precise information on forest and landscape resources on large scales. In reaction of the challenges described above, the NFI teams in the Nordic countries invest considerable research funds in order to not only answer questions of “how much” on national scales but also to “where” forest and tree resources are on local scales. The combination of NFI field data with 3D remote sensing data is a key technology in this respect.

Aim of this CAR is to provide a common platform to streamline research activities in the involved countries by the exchange of researchers on conferences, workshops, or scientific missions. The collaboration is also expected to result in joint project proposals to increase the available research funds in the scope of this proposal. A graphical overview of the project structure is given below. For more information visit: www.nibio.no/prosjekter/carisma or www.nibio.no/en/prosjekter/carisma.

CARISMA receives a total funding of 1.75 million SEK from SNS (www.nordicforestresearch.org/sns-research) for the period 2016-2020. Project coordinator: Johannes Breidenbach (e-mail: job[at]nibio.no).


The EU comprises a significant market for timber, some of which enters the EU from illegal or suspicious sources. This illegal trade contributes to deforestation and environmental degradation, promotes corruption and increases the poverty of people who depend on forests. In an effort to stem this illegal trade, the EU has developed a law, the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), to prevent illegally logged timber from being placed on the EU market.

The latest edition of ClientEarth’s EUTR News provides an update on the operation of the EUTR from March 2015 to March 2016. As with all of our previous editions, this issue includes information on what both EU Member States and the European Commission are doing to ensure the proper application of the EUTR.
To access the newsletter, please click here.


Results of the National Forest Inventory in Poland, Cycle 2 (2010-2014)

The primary aim of the National Forest Inventory in Poland is to assess condition of the country's forests of all forms of ownership and any large-scale changes that may be occurring in them. The inventory supplies reliable information on forests, in particular regarding to the species and age structure, health condition and presence of damage, forest site type structure as well as an independent estimation of growing stock, current volume increment and main-use felling volume.

The NFI in Poland commenced in 2005. The first cycle covered the 2005–2009 period. Since then, the NFI has been performed on a continuous basis, providing a complete and up-to-date set of results every year. The second full inventorying cycle covered the years 2010-2014. The NFI in Poland is carried out by the Bureau for Forest Management and Geodesy (Biuro Urządzania Lasu i Geodezji Leśnej), by virtue of a contract with the Directorate-General of the State Forests National Holding.

The full results of the second NFI cycle have been published recently in the Polish and English languages. The publication contains a complete description of the methodology as well as an extensive set of results.
Download the publication here.

More information on the Polish NFI is available here.

NEW PUBLICATIONS! Country approaches to meeting UNFCCC REDD+ safeguards requirements

The UN-REDD Programme has recently published a set of new Technical Resources on REDD+ safeguards:

1.     Concept brief - Country Approaches to Safeguards – provides an overview of a possible generic approach, informed by collective country experiences over the past five years, to meeting UNFCCC REDD+ safeguards requirements (English / Français and Español forthcoming).

2.     Technical Resource Series 1 - REDD+ Safeguards Information Systems: Practical Design Considerations  (English Français / Español) – provides a synthesis of stakeholder perspectives on safeguards information system (SIS) design considerations.

3.     Technical Brief - Practical Design Considerations for REDD+ Safeguards Information Systems (English / Français / Español) – summarises Technical Resource Series 1: REDD+ Safeguards Information Systems: Practical Design Considerations.

4.     Technical Resource Series 2 - Country Approaches to REDD+ Safeguards: A global review of Initial Experiences and Emerging Lessons – presents an overview of progress towards meeting UNFCCC safeguards requirements; includes country factsheets and case studies (English / Français and Español forthcoming). 

5.     Info Brief - Country Approaches to Safeguards: Initial Experiences and Emerging Lessons (English / Français / Español) – summarises Technical Resource Series 2: Country Approaches to REDD+ Safeguards: A global review of Initial Experiences and Emerging Lessons.

6.     REDD+ Academy Learning Journal No. 8: REDD+ Safeguards under the UNFCCC (English / Français / Español) - a comprehensive response to capacity building needs on safeguards as identified by the countries receiving support from the UN-REDD Programme.  

For more information contact the UN-REDD Programme’s Safeguards Coordination Group (safeguards@un-redd.org).


Photograph: Jean-Jacques Kissling, www.jjkphoto.ch.

UNECE/FAO celebrates the International Day of Forests

The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section celebrates today, 21 March 2016, the International Day of Forests. Under the theme “Forests and Water” forest ecosystem service experts, government officials, international organizations, NGOs and academics are participating in a workshop at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The workshop is featuring country experiences and case studies emphasizing forest ecosystem services safeguarding water quality and supply as well as forests’ role in increasing landscape resilience to water-related disaster risks. In addition a forest inspired photo exhibition by Jean-Jacques Kissling is installed in the Palais des Nations, until the end of this week. To mark the International Day of Forests the UNOG Cafeteria is serving forest-inspired food during lunchtime.

To find out how other UNECE member states and stakeholders celebrate the day in their country/community and for more details and information, please visit UNECE website.

Symposium on Wood Products Industries in Future Bio-economy Business
April 7-8, 2016, Sibelius Hall, Lahti, Finland

High-impact international symposium on the brilliant future of European wood products industries and society
Symposium highlights:

  • the importance of industries in wood products cluster in the European bio-economy (sawntimber, wood panels, furniture, wood construction, wood packaging, machine manufacturing, etc.,)
  • new opportunities for business, markets, products, services and wood design
    implications of and effects to EU-strategic processes
  • networking at the European level between decision makers of wood products industries, society, policy and research funding

The first day consists of presentations given by leading European bio-economy experts, followed by interactive panel discussions, where the audience can challenge the speakers. In the business forum, the participants will get familiar with a selection of innovative company solutions through flash presentations and small-group discussions. Brilliant venue and evening concert of maestros in famous wooden Sibelius Hall.

In the second day, the participants are invited to discuss, plan, and network to produce ideas for further collaborative actions. Excursion includes a visit to a wooden building element manufacturer: See how woodworking industries take quick steps towards modern multi-storey timber construction markets.
Feel free to spread knowledge of this seminar to all who might be interested!

Organizer: Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Boreal Green Bioeconomy

6th Annual Vancouver Global Conference

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver - May 5-6, 2015
NEW Two-Day Event (2nd day focussed on Russia/China)
Global Market Dynamics Amid Volatile Currencies

Visit our webpage for all information

New perspectives and outlooks on exporting regions and key markets to help you better understand new opportunities, evolving issues and possible threats to the commodity log and wood products trade (including foreign exchange risks).

In conjunction with:
Pulp & Paper Producers Council Annual Meeting May 1 – 3, 2015
PwC's 29th annual Global Forest & Paper Industry Conference - May 4, 2015

Download the leaflet here.

Building the bioeconomy: insights from European strategies

What can we learn from EU and national bioeconomy strategies? What are the future prospects for the forest-based bioeconomy? The ThinkForest seminar discussing these topics will be held in Helsinki, Finland on 7 June 2016.  The event will be chaired by Göran Persson, ThinkForest President, together with Esko Aho, Strategic Adviser of the European Forest Institute. Keynote speakers of the seminar include Olli Rehn, Minister of Economic Affairs, Finland.

Registration to this event will open late April 2016. More information:

Forest and Forest Products Tour of Oregon

Lynea Advisory, in association with Oregon State University and Oregon Wood Innovation Center is conducting a forest and forest products tour of the Oregon forest sector from July 16 – 23, 2016. This 7 night tour will focus on innovative techniques and approaches used by a range of forest growers and processors across Oregon.

If you would like more information please email Lyndall on lyndall@lynea.com.au. See http://www.lynea.com.au/oregon-tour-2016/ for more information or upload the flyer here.



Annual Meeting of the UNECE-FAO Forest Communicators' Network - Call for Presentations

The next annual meeting of the UNECE-FAO Forest Communicators Network will be held jointly with the IUFRO Communications and Public Relations Working Party from 29 August to 01 September 2016 in Portland, Oregon, USA, kindly hosted by the U.S. Forest Service.
The meeting will bring together communication experts and colleagues from the wider European region and from North America interested in improving their knowledge and skills in forest related communication. The meeting will address major challenges and opportunities for forest communication and offer hand on activities for improving communication tools and techniques.
Request for Presentation Proposals: DUE 4 APRIL 2016  
WHEN:    29 August to 01 September 2016
WHERE:     Portland, Oregon, USA
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:     Forest communication practitioners and researchers
THEMES: The meeting will address major challenges and opportunities for forest communication, including presentations from members of each network and other experts. Meeting themes include:

  • Sustainability and Trust: Communicating Across Sectors to Benefit Forests
  • Thinking Global and Acting Local; Thinking Local and Acting Global: Scaling Forest Communications Up, Down and Across Continents
  • Skill Development: Improving Communications Tools and Techniques

WHAT TO PRESENT:   Academic research, case studies, business examples and more!  Oral presentations only (no posters). All presentations must be delivered in English.
HOW TO SUBMIT:  Complete the template and email your proposal to Cynthia Miner (clminer@fs.fed.us) or Ingwald Gschwandtl (Ingwald.GSCHWANDTL@bmlfuw.gv.at)

Global Environmental Policy Programme - Executive Summer School

We inform you that places are available for professionals with experience or interest in environmental diplomacy to attend the next edition of the GEPP Executive Summer School to be held at Geneva Environment House from 28th August to 7th September 2016.

The GEPP initiative was launched in 2010 by the University of Geneva in partnership with the UNEP Regional Office for Europe. Given  the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there are advantages for professional staff to be well informed about the key challenges for those who should implement the agreement at COP21, the 17 sustainable development goals, and other initiatives at national and international levels.

The deadline for all applications is 31st May 2016. More information about GEPP can be accessed at www.unige.ch/GEPP or by contacting the GEPP Secretariat.

International WOOD MARKETS Group Presents: Russia & China - Tours & Conference
September 11 – 23, 2016

September 11-17: Siberia Forest & Industry Tour (limited to 16 participants – sign up now!)
September 18-19: Northern China/Russia Border Tour
September 20: China Wood Products Market, Supply Chain/Logistics Conference, Qingdao China
September 21-23: China Industry & Port Tour
These events will allow attendees to understand the new competitiveness of Russia in export markets, from its devalued ruble and the evolving uncertainty in the China market, including the changing exporters of log and lumber to China. Choose one or all of these events to gain excellent insight of what's actually going on and obtain first-hand knowledge of the direction of Russian exports and Chinese imports.

Upload the leaflet here. For more information visit: https://www.woodmarkets.com/conference/upcoming-conferences/

Monitoring and Management of Visitors in Recreation and Protected Areas (MMV), Novi Sad, Serbia, September 26-30, 2016

The MMV conference provides a forum for presentations and other exchanges of ideas and experiences related to the monitoring and management of visitors in recreation and protected areas. The 8th MMV will focus on the sub-theme “Cooperation across borders and scales” with the emphasis on policies, problems, practices and innovative solutions that connect different areas and regions in order to collaborate on the same focus.

Please find the first call here.

For more information visit the official website: http://www.dgt.uns.ac.rs/mmv8/

Also feel free to join our Facebook group for latest news on conference progress: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1485376945118466/

How to contribute? Deadline to provide contributions to the next issue is 15 June 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.