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Forest Information Billboard

Issue 1, March 2017





29 – 31 March 2017: 39th Session of the Joint ECE/FAO Working Party on Forest Statistics, Economics and Management, Geneva, Switzerland, http://www.unece.org/forests/wpfsem2017

September 2017 (tbc): Marianske Lazne +70 - Celebrating 70 years of UNECE/FAO cooperation on forests, Marianske Lazne, Czechia, http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=45440#/

27 - 28 June 2017: Promoting Green Jobs in the Forest Sector: Challenges and Opportunities Joint FOREST EUROPE, UNECE/FAO Workshop, Bratislava, Slovakia, http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=45487 

9 – 13 October 2017: Las2017 - the joint 75th session of the ECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) and the 39th session of the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC), Warsaw, Poland, http://www.unece.org/forests/las2017


 Forest reporting


In the beginning of 2017, #WOODVETIA was launched as a Swiss Wood Campaign. Less and less timber is harvested in Switzerland and half of the timber is exported as raw material. This wood is then processed outside Switzerland and afterwards imported back to Switzerland – without adding value within the country. The campaign, under the guidance of both the Swiss wood- and timber industry and the Federal Office for Environment wants to make Swiss Wood better known and more popular, so that customers ask specifically for Wood produced in Switzerland. It is actually the first time ever that the whole timber chain stands behind a common communication campaign.

To transport the key messages, #WOODVETIA uses 19 selected Swiss personalities from the last 300 years like Madame Tussaud. All personalities are carved in wood, in relation with their home region and using the wood species, which matches to their biography. Moreover the wood also has the same age than the wooden figure. Madame Tussaud for instance is built from a 175-years old small leaf linden tree [Tilia cordata] from Berne, which is also her place of birth in 1760.

Until now, 6 different Swiss Personalities have been launched: www.instagram.com/woodvetia

The national campaign #WOODVETIA communicates in German, French and Italien, the tree main official languages of Switzerland. [website] [facebook] [Instagram]

2017 PEFC Collaboration Fund deadline approaches – apply now!

[on behalf of PEFC] We encourage anyone who has not yet applied for the 2017 PEFC Collaboration Fund to send their proposals for new and innovative projects. The last day for submitting your proposals is 31 March 2017.

Applicants can submit a wide range of projects, but in particular PEFC is interested in:

• New approaches or activities that raise awareness, communicate and promote certification or certified products;

• Capacity building that enables the expansion of forest certification;

• Research relevant to PEFC International's Sustainability Benchmarks or the implementation of national standards;

•  Research and exploration to further integrate new products, services and/or approaches into PEFC certification systems.

Since 2011, the Fund has awarded around 600,000 Swiss Francs across 30 projects in 25 countries and involving 70 organizations. Our investments have helped to mobilize new partnerships and move some really great ideas into action. What all the projects funded over the years have in common is the ability to deliver real impact on the ground, while also showing potential for eventual replication or impact at the international level. It is in this way that the Fund brings to life the PEFC spirit of think global – act local. Proposals can request a PEFC contribution of anything up to 40,000 CHF and should have a project timeframe up to two years. Grantees must provide evidence of at least 35% additional co-funding from other sources within the overall project budget.
Access full information at http://treee.es/collab2017 or contact us at development@pefc.org; Tel. + 41 227 994 540.

‘Forest mobilisation:’ unlocking Europe’s wood energy potential

[youris.com] Increasing the woody biomass supply sustainably, continuously and at acceptable prices is a huge challenge

It’s not always easy to see the wood from trees when dealing with complex challenges in energy policy. However, Europe is increasingly finding in its forests a significant source of renewable energy that could help the region move away from fossil fuel dependency.

Known collectively as woody biomass, these by-products of forest management are also useful raw materials to be crafted into wood products, turned into energy or converted into mulch and erosion control materials.

Kyrgyzstan moving closer to monitor and assess progress on sustainable forest management

Kyrgyzstan initiated the development of their national criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management with the support of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). The first national coaching workshop, funded through the UN Development Account (UNDA) project “Accountability Systems for Sustainable Forest Management in the Caucasus and Central Asia”, took place on 15-17 March 2017 in Bishkek.

Sustainable forest management indicators developed through a participatory process can provide important information on forest resources and support evidence-based forest policies.  The concept of criteria and indicators, integrating social, economic and ecological aspects, was developed after the adoption of the Forest Principles and Agenda 21 at the 1992 Earth Summit. The concept has emerged as a powerful tool to promote, monitor and assess progress on sustainable forest management. Different international and regional processes (e.g. the FAO Forest Resource Assessment, Forest Europe, the Montreal process and others) use it as a framework for sustainable forest management.

[UNECE News Release] [Workshop Website]

Wood Energy : opportunities and risks

On the occasion of the International Day of Forests, celebrated on 21 March, the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section organized a lecture by Mr. Francisco Aguilar on the issue of «Wood Energy : opportunities and risks».

Mr. Aguilar discussed wood energy sustainability; balancing the opportunities of wood energy as a contribution to renewable energy supply, energy security and socio-economic development; and risks in terms of forest ecosystems degradation, air pollution and disruption of other wood uses. He highlighted the challenges and possible solutions.

Mr. Francisco Aguilar is Associate Professor of Forest Resource Economics and Policy at the School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri (USA), and author of the book «Wood energy in developed economies».

The short video “More heat with less wood” shows how to improve energy efficiency. In the video efficient heating technologies, combustion, pyrolysis, thermal insulation, wood storage as well as aspects of consumer health and behaviour related to wood use are visualised and explained in an easy to understand manner. The video is currently available in English with Russian subtitles, in Albanian and in Turkish.

See also: News release on the occasion of the International Day of Forests, a blog article by UNECE Executive Secretary Christian F. Bach "In use since 400,000 B.C. and no end in sight" and pictures from the event.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s invisible timber markets

[on behalf of ITTO] Finding legal timber to supply the domestic market is a challenge in Côte d’Ivoire, a country in which forestry is the fourth-highest sector in export earnings. By law, a certain percentage of annual timber production must supply the local market, but the exact percentage has never been clarified. In practice it equates to 10–20% of industrial timber, according to official estimates (MINEF 2014), but this range falls substantially short of domestic demand. Read the full article here.

Guide on guiding: Instructors demonstrate the use of guides in chainsaw milling to increase wood recovery. Photo: P. Bholanath/GFC

Boosting wood processing Guyana

[on behalf of ITTO] Guyana’s forest sector is focused on primary production, and in the past little attention has been paid to downstream value-adding, largely because of a lack of industry capacity to move up the value-adding chain. A comprehensive and integrated programme to develop Guyana’s wood-processing subsector is essential for the efficient and sustainable use of forest resources. Read the full article here.

Inforgraphic: the climate value of forestry. © EUSTAFOR

International Day of Forests in Brussels

[on behalf of EUSTAFOR] The European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR) held its General Assembly in Brussels on 21 March 2017, establishing the orientation for EUSTAFOR’s activities for the year to come and confirming Per-Olof Wedin, CEO of the Swedish State Company Sveaskog, for a new term as EUSTAFOR’s President. The previous evening, EUSTAFOR hosted a state forest reception at the European Forestry House in Brussels.
Following the EUSTAFOR General Assembly, more than 50 CEOs and other representatives from European State Forest Management Organizations joined together with high-level policymakers and diverse stakeholders at the International Forum “The Value of Wood” at the Résidence Palace (International Press Center) to celebrate the International Day of Forests where Mr. Wedin gave a keynote presentation on “How State Forests Boost the Bioeconomy.”
“Our mission is to provide European society with an entire range of ecosystem services such as biodiversity, clean water to drink, clear air to breath, beautiful landscapes and recreational infrastructures in addition to employment opportunities for rural populations and raw material for downstream industries,” stated EUSTAFOR’s President, Per-Olof Wedin. The President also emphasized the role of bioenergy, stating that “bioenergy does not compete with the bioeconomy but is instead its enabler.” More information at: http://www.eustafor.eu/state-foresters-gathered-in-brussels-for-the-international-day-of-forests-dedicated-to-forest-and-energy/ and http://www.eustafor.eu/event/the-value-of-wood-forum-forestcityproject/


Possible pathways of temperate forest impact on convective cloud formation.


Observational evidence for cloud cover enhancement over western European forests 

[on behalf of Gert-Jan Nabuurus] nature COMMUNICATION article, April 2016: Forests impact regional hydrology and climate directly by regulating water and heat fluxes. Indirect effects through cloud formation and precipitation can be important in facilitating continental-scale moisture recycling but are poorly understood at regional scales. In particular, the impact of temperate forest on clouds is largely unknown. Here we provide observational evidence for a strong increase in cloud cover over large forest regions in western Europe based on analysis of 10 years of 15 min resolution data from geostationary satellites. In addition, we show that widespread windthrow by cyclone Klaus in the Landes forest led to a significant decrease in local cloud cover in subsequent years. Strong cloud development along the downwind edges of larger forest areas are consistent with a forest-breeze mesoscale circulation. Our results highlight the need to include impacts on cloud formation when evaluating the water and climate services of temperate forests, in particular around densely populated areas. Read the full article here.

Valuing the social and environmental contribution of woodlands and trees in England, Scotland and Wales
[on behalf of the UK Forestry Commission] This report by the University of Exeter, and an accompanying short research note, reviews existing economic evidence on the value of the social and environmental outputs of woodlands in England, Scotland and Wales.  It identifies strengths and gaps in the evidence base and  sets out future priorities for research. It also brings together different (but related) economic concepts – including natural capital – to explain how woodlands contribute to the economy through what it calls the natural factory.  This shows that woodlands have more a more far-reaching and fundamental impact on the economy than is often recognised. Read more at: https://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-8rck8m

Assessing the wider benefits of the Woodland Carbon Code
[on behalf of the UK Forestry Commission] This study identifies and measures the wider social, environmental and local economic benefits of Woodland Carbon Code projects in the UK, also referred to as ‘co-benefits’. The need to assess the co-benefits or wider effects of carbon emissions reduction strategies is highlighted in the Paris Climate Change agreement. It aims to provide evidence on how action to tackle climate change can help deliver other policy objectives. Read more at: https://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-8rck8m


China Study - Chemical Market Pulp 2017

In 2015, China became the world’s single largest market for chemical market pulp with demand equal to 15.8 million tonnes.  In contrast, Europe’s was 15.1 million tonnes.
Bleached softwood kraft imports reached 8.04 million tonnes in 2016, up from 4.0 million in 2010, a 100% increase in just 6 years.  Meanwhile, bleached hardwood kraft imports reached 8.34 million tonnes last year, versus 4.4 million in 2010.
Major investments into tissue and packaging capacity in global markets have provided chemical market pulp producers with significant growth opportunities that have helped offset the drop in demand for printing & writing papers.
Over the 2017-2020 period, China’s chemical market pulp imports are forecast to grow to over 25 million tonnes, while high-cost domestic paper-grade market pulp capacity is expected to shrink. Bleached softwood kraft imports are forecast to rise to 9.3 million tonnes in 2020, while those for bleached hardwood kraft will be 15.3 million.  Unbleached kraft and sulphite imports will reach 725,000 tonnes.

In October 2016, bleached hardwood kraft import pulp prices began to recover in the Chinese market aided by supply shocks, as well as strong end-use demand. Chinese imports from Brazil were 4.193 million tonnes last year, up 17.8% versus 2015. Brazil’s share rose from 23% in 2015 to 25% in 2016 — the highest in the world. The share is expected to expand further to 39% in 2020.

To obtain an outline and ordering information please visit www.valoisvision.com/reports

Chemical Market Pulp-Demand Analysis June 2017

Capacity in the chemical market pulp segment has grown by 11 million tonnes during the 2010-2016 period (+20%) with an overwhelming amount destined for the Chinese market.  While large amounts of high-cost capacity was either closed or converted during the last 7 years, many low-cost producers have added some 15 million tonnes of state-of-the-art large bleached hardwood lines that benefit from very competitive positions and are able to penetrate new and far away markets.  By developing and implementing sales and marketing strategies along with efficient logistics, low-cost producers are able to offer new pulp products to customers that allows the end-user to lower their overall costs while improving quality.

Bleached softwood capacity is expected to grow by almost 5 million tonnes over the 2016-2020 period while bleached hardwood kraft will see growth of 7.6 million tonnes.

Chemical market pulp demand has grown to 62.5 million tonnes in 2016 allowing for a 95% operating rate.

In 2020, Chinese demand is forecast to reach 27 million tonnes, up from 18.5 million in 2016.  European demand is expected to grow by 450,000 tonnes, while North American’s will be virtually flat.

Our latest Supply-Demand Analysis will be released June 15th and will include all major capacity changes in chemical market pulp capacity and those in downstream demand segments.  Also included are price forecasts.

To obtain an outline and ordering information please visit www.valoisvision.com/reports

State Forests contribution to the ongoing policy debate on the role of forests in EU Climate policy post-2020 – 2nd position paper released

A Second Position Paper of the European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR), published on 20 February 2017, highlights how the long-term climate benefits of forest management are not fully taken into account by the current legislative proposals. The EUSTAFOR position:
•    Recognizes the positive elements of the proposal;
•    Asks for a stronger link between the development of the bioeconomy and climate policy;
•    Ask for the full accounting of mitigation effects of forest management and wood products;
•    Opposes the provision that gives the Commission the right to recalculate forest reference levels (FRL);
•    Asks to include managed forestland in the Effort Sharing Regulation flexibility.

Continue reading: www.eustafor.eu/does-the-eu-2030-climate-policy-reflect-the-benefits-of-forest-management/

Managing mahogany plantations in the tropics

[on behalf of ITTO] Field guide for farmers, an output of ITTO project PD528/08 Rev.1 (F): “Towards sustainable production of mahogany species in plantations in tropical Africa”, is a practical guide to the establishment and management of mahogany plantations. The book has ten chapters covering descriptions of the various African mahogany species, seedling handling, the life cycle of the mahogany shoot borer, the maintenance of mahogany stands, silviculture, the integration of mahogany into agricultural landscapes, and wood-quality assessment. The guide will be useful for farmers and other smallholders growing mahogany as well as policymakers, researchers, extension officers and organizations wanting to encourage the sustainable supply of mahogany in West Africa. The full publication is available here.

Guyana timber grading rules

[on behalf of ITTO] Revision 2016 was prepared by the Guyana Forestry Commission as part of ITTO project PD 687/13 Rev.1 (I): “Strengthening the performance of the wood processing sector in Guyana through building local capacity and enhancing national systems that promote forest product trade and sustainable utilization of forest resources”. The standardization provided by the revised timber grading rules will promote international recognition and acceptance of Guyana’s timber and wood products and encourage the use and marketing of lesser- used timber species. The revised rules draw heavily on grading rules used in the main international markets for Guyanan timber (especially lumber), with the aim of reducing differences in expectations between sellers and buyers. The full publication is available here.



Promoting Green Jobs in the Forest Sector: Challenges and Opportunities Joint FOREST EUROPE, UNECE/FAO Workshop

FOREST EUROPE and the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section will organize a joint workshop under the auspices of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic from 27—28 June 2017 in Bratislava, Slovakia. 

The forest sector has a great potential to generate jobs and income, support livelihoods and contribute to rural development by suppling goods and maintaining forest ecosystem services. The forest sector is expected to play an important role in the emerging green economy in the pan-European region. The transition to a greener economy offers opportunities for economic prosperity, environmental protection and social inclusion, and can contribute to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Read more here.

Forest Sector Innovations for a Greener Future

June 12-16, 2017, Vancouver, British Colombia
The 2017 IUFRO All-Division 5 (Forest Products) Forest Sector Innovations for a Greener Future Conference will be held in Vancouver, BC from June 12th to 16th at the Pinnacle Hotel (downtown Vancouver). The Conference is jointly organized by IUFRO Division 5 and the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, FPInnovations, and the Society of Wood Science and Technology (60th International Convention). For more information, see:  http://www.iufrodiv5-2017.ca/

Leading the way to a new European Bioeconomy Strategy

How can bioeconomy contribute to sustainable and circular economy development? What makes a successful Bioeconomy Strategy? How can we move from strategy to action?

These are the questions to be discussed in the seminar held under the ThinkForest, a high-level science-policy discussion and information-sharing forum on the future of European forest-based sector on 10 May 2017 in Berlin. The event will be chaired by Göran Persson, ThinkForest President.

Registration to this event will open late March. More information: http://www.efi.int/portal/policy_advice/thinkforest/upcoming_events/

World Circular Economy Forum 2017

This ground-breaking event presents the world’s best circular economy solutions and gathers together the most recognised experts and decision makers in the field.

When: June 5-7 2017

Where: Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland

Come and share experiences and select the best solutions that allow businesses to gain a competitive advantage, create more value and generate new growth and jobs in societies around the world. Find out how circular economy presents new and unprecedented opportunities to create wealth and wellbeing, as well as how it is the essential engine to achieve the ambitious UN Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. A circular economy strives to minimise wastage and maximise the circulation of products, components, materials and the value bound to them as much as possible in the economy.
The programme consists of 17 plenary and parallel sessions showcasing circular economy solutions for business, cities and finance. Topics include the importance of forests and the forest-based sector in offering solutions to climate change and there are several bioeconomy related side events.
World Circular Economy Forum brings together world’s top business leaders, policymakers, researchers and innovators. Three days of discussions, networking, workshops, side events and business excursions.
More information about the programme and registration process on the website www.wcef2017.com.


7th Annual Vancouver

Global Softwood Log & Lumber Conference

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 7-9, 2017

·         PwC's 30th annual Global Forest & Paper Industry Conference - May 10, 2017

International WOOD MARKETS Group Inc.

Forum Forestier Lémanique

On 18 May 2017 the Forum Forestier Lémanique is organizing a meeting on "L’app(el) de la forêt : comment connecter les jeunes à la forêt ?". The FFL brings together people interested in forests and forest issues from around the Lake Geneva area, in particular the cantons of Geneva, Vaud and Valais and the French departments of Ain and Haute Savoie.  Each year a different theme is addressed. This year the forum will examine the issue of how to connect young people to the forest with experts from the region relating their experiences.  The morning will feature speakers from the area and the afternoon will have a series of interactive exercises illustrating the ideas and themes discussed in the morning.  A buffet lunch and visit to the site of the urban forest of Sauvabelin is also an essential part of the day.  This is also a chance to meet fellow professionals in the area who are involved with forestry. 
The meeting is conducted in French with interpretation into English possible.
For further information please consult the website at www.f-f-l.org or write to info@f-f-l.org


How to contribute? Deadline to provide contributions to the next issue is 15 June2017. Please note that the content of the billboard does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. Contributions are published as received and editing is the responsibility of the contributor. More information and the previous issues are available here.

We work in Collaboration with the Global Forest Information Service.