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Forest Information Billboard
Issue 3, September 2013

Forest Reporting


The New Forest Strategy for EU Has Been Adopted

EU Forests and other wooded land now cover 155 million ha and 21 million ha respectively. This means that more than 42 % of the EU land area is covered with forest and other wooded land. Forest cover in the EU has increased over the past few decades, as a result of afforestation programmes and due to natural regeneration on marginal lands.

There is great diversity of natural forest types, forest covers, and forest ownership structures in the EU. Forests are one of Europe's most important renewable resources and provide multiple benefits to society and the economy. They are one of Europe's main sources of biodiversity.

The New Forest Strategy identifies the key principles needed to strengthen sustainable forest management and improve competitiveness and job creation, in particular in rural areas, while ensuring forest protection and delivery of ecosystem services. The Strategy also specifies how the EU wishes to implement forest-related policies.


Sawmills in Sweden and Finland Have Expanded Shipments of Lumber to Markets Outside Europe from 27% to 43% of Total Exports the Past Five Years, Reports the Wood Resource Quarterly

Many sawmills in Northern Europe have expanded their lumber sales outside the European market during the past few years resulting in an increase in non-European exports from 27 percent of total exports in 2007 to 43 percent in 2012, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. The biggest changes have been in shipments to Northern Africa, the Middle East, Japan, China and the US.

The full article, excerpt from the Wood Resource Quarterly, can be found in the attached PDF file.

Early 2012 Data on-line on Wood and Primary Wood Products for the EU and EFTA Countries

Preliminary data on wood and primary wood products for 2012 have been published by EUROSTAT. The data was gathered through the Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire (JFSQ) as a shared effort with UNECE, FAO and ITTO to provide comparable data worldwide. The data covers production of and trade in wood and primary wood products according to the JFSQ classifications and can be accessed on-line on the EUROSTAT website. It comprises data submitted for the first deadline of the 2013 data collection for the EU and EFTA countries EUROSTAT is responsible for. A data update is due shortly with the second set of data submission. This year, for the first time, only the submitted data was published while EUROSTAT estimates are considered in the EU aggregates alone.  

For more information contact estat-forest@ec.europa.eu


The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Launches its Supporter Program

The FSC Supporter Program offers an alternative to FSC full-voting membership. It allows organizations and individuals, both non-profit and for-profit, to support and commit to the FSC mission: to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests.

The Supporter Program strengthens the current FSC membership structure by incorporating a new model of participation. The aim is to allow individuals and organizations to become part of the solution without the need to join FSC as members. FSC supporters will be non-voting participants, but still have the commitment, expertise and dedication to support the FSC’s mission.

To become a supporter, individuals or organizations will need to adhere to the Supporter Program’s terms and conditions and contribute an annual fee: as little as US$25 for individuals and US$100 for organizations.

For further information, visit: ic.fsc.org/become-a-supporter.628.htm  or contact the Supporter Program team: supporter@fsc.org

Tropical Wood Supply Chains: From Legality Towards Sustainability

The concurrence of three special anniversaries for the forestry sector was the reason why the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (BMZ) invited experts from politics and business to the in­ter­na­tional conference "Forests for Future Generations – Public and Private Responsibility for Sustainability" in Berlin: the 300th anniversary of Hans Carl von Carlowitz’s concept for sus­tain­able forestry, 20 years of forestry certification and 10 years of the EU FLEGT Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade.

How can tropical forests both be used and effectively preserved? How can certified wood products be moved out of a niche into the mainstream market along global supply chains in order to boost sustainable forest management? More than 160 participants from national governments, civil society, scientific institutes and the private sector from 37 countries participated in dialogue on regulatory approaches and private standard initiatives. Synergies between trade-related regulatory processes and private standard initiatives increased the transparency of global supply chains and further develop global supply chains from verifiable legal towards verifiable sustainable.

Intensive debates in two high-level panel discussions and several working groups made clear that all efforts to establish sustainable forest management in the tropics are in vain if there is no demand for tropical timber from certified sources and sustainable managed forests.  Potentially strong market levers like the EU timber regulation and public procurement rules need to be effectively implemented with close cooperation between the public and private sector along global supply chains should be fostered.

For more information concerning the conference please see:


Life Cycle Analysis and Forest Certification

Corporations and consumers alike, share a desire to better understand and address the sustainability of the products they manufacturer and consume. However, product sustainability is a massively complex, multifaceted arena, requiring a corresponding diversity of approaches to manage and evaluate.

PEFC's project, 'Incorporating Forest Certification into Product Life Cycle Assessments,' sought to bridge a gap between two commonly utilized sustainability approaches – life cycle assessment (LCA) and forest certification. Forest certification is a system to offer traceability and assurances that forest-based products are derived from forests under sustainable management. Life cycle assessment on the other hand, is an approach to evaluate the environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle. By developing an approach to quantify the environmental impact differential between certified and non-certified forest products, certified fibre sourcing can be better integrated into the scope of a product LCA.


World's Highest Wooden Observation Tower is PEFC Certified

The opening of the Pyramidenkogel in Carinthia, Austria, sets another milestone for the promotion of sustainable forestry. Imposing, this almost 100 meter high observation tower spirals into the air, making it the world’s highest wooden observation tower. Yet the Pyramidenkogel does not only offer breathtaking views – the main structure is made entirely of wood originating from PEFC-certified, local forests.

“The Pyramidenkogel is the crowning glory of my 25 year career. As it is PEFC certified, it goes without saying that this will set an example for responsible forestry,” says Helmut Hödl, Head of Timber Engineering for Rubner Holzbau GmbH, the PEFC-certified company responsible for the tower. “For a company such as Rubner, the preservation of forests for future generations, and therefore our sustainable raw materials, is an essential issue.”


WWF Living Forests Report: Chapter 4 - Forests and Wood Products

This report asks how can we meet the rising demand for wood-based products while conserving the world’s forests. The amount of wood we take from forests and plantations each year may need to triple by 2050. This growing market for wood can motivate good stewardship that safeguards forests – or destroy the very places where wood grows. 

So can we produce more wood without destroying or degrading forests, in a world where competition for land and water is increasing?  Our research suggests it’s possible, and that it can be good for the planet.

But it’s a challenge that spans the whole supply chain, from where and how wood is grown and harvested to how wisely and efficiently it is processed, used and reused. It involves new plantations in the right places, expanding production in well-managed natural forests, better governance, forest certification, reuse and recycling, more efficient processing and manufacturing and fairer distribution.

Read the full report online at panda.org/livingforests



First Signs of Carbon Sink Saturation in European Forest Biomass

European forests are seen as a clear example of vegetation rebound in the Northern Hemisphere; recovering in area and growing stock since the 1950s, after centuries of stock decline and deforestation. These regrowing forests have shown to be a persistent carbon sink, projected to continue for decades, however, there are early signs of saturation. Forest policies and management strategies need revision if we want to sustain the sink.

Gert-Jan Nabuurs, Marcus Lindner, Pieter J. Verkerk, Katja Gunia, Paola Deda, Roman Michalak, Giacomo Grassi, First signs of carbon sink saturation in European forest biomass,  Nature Climate Change 3:792–796 (2013)


Report on Forest Fires in Europe, Middle East and North Africa 2012


Portuguese National Forest Inventory (IFN 6)

The first results of the current Portuguese National Forest Inventory were published last February.  The forerunner of IFN6  began in 2010 and the report with the data outputs, in Portuguese, for land use and forest species areas is available to download in http://www.icnf.pt/portal/florestas/ifn/resource/ficheiros/ifn/ifn6-res-prelimv1-1

New Publications from the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) addressing Fire Management in the UNECE Region and at Global Level

Two major volumes have been published by GFMC in which fire management issues in the UNECE region and at global level are addressed:

Vegetation Fires and Global Change. Challenges for Concerted International Action. A White Paper directed to the United Nations and International Organizations

This most recent publication of the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) is a global state-of-the-art analysis of the role of vegetation fires in the Earth System and is published as a collective endeavor of the world’s most renowned scientists and research groups working in fire science, ecology, atmospheric chemistry, remote sensing and climate change modeling. The aim of the White Paper is to support the endeavour of the United Nations and its affiliated processes and networks to address global vegetation fires and provides rationale for coordinated, international action in crossboundary fire management at global scale. The 400-pages volume has been published on 23 August 2013 and can be ordered at:


Prescribed Burning in Russia and Neighbouring Temperate-Boreal Eurasia

In the landscapes of temperate-boreal Europe, fire regimes are mainly shaped by human-ignited fires. Direct fire application in land-use systems – agricultural burning and burning of pastures – and human-caused wildfires have influenced cultural and natural landscapes since the beginning of land cultivation. However, in the Central Euro-Siberian region there are large tracts of forest ecosystems that have been shaped by natural fire. Starting with the first East-West international conference “Fire in Ecosystems of Boreal Eurasia” and the Fire Research Campaign Asia-North (FIRESCAN) and its “Bor Forest Island Fire Experiment”, organized in 1993 in Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation, the scientific dialogue revealed the rich knowledge of the fire ecology of temperate-boreal Eurasia. The results of the following two decades of joint scientific research encouraged the participation of forest authorities in devising new concepts in fire management and to consider replacing fire exclusion policies by integrated fire management approaches, which would include the use of natural fire and prescribed burning (prescribed management fires). Fire scientists of Russia and the GFMC have summarized experience and provide targeted advice to the development of advanced fire management policies. The volume contains 5 major sections:

-              Use of prescribed fire in forestry in Russia

-              Description of the first phase of a long-term fire experiment in Siberia

-              Fire history and research in Mongolia

-              Use of prescribed fire in forestry, conservation and landscape managemet in Eurasia

-              The Krasnoyarsk 10-Point Programme on the Future of Fire Management in Russia

The volume can be ordered at:


The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Publishes its Annual Report for 2012

“Consolidating Gains, Strengthening Leadership”, FSC’s Annual Report for 2012 demonstrates how the organisation has moved forward in 2012 through some key achievements: the approval of the revised Principles and Criteria, the growth of certification as well as the increased recognition of the FSC logo in various countries and FSC’s expansion in many industry sectors (certification of the London 2012 Olympic park, introduction of new certified products, for example).

This report highlights how FSC has consolidated its leading position by participating in high-profile international events (Rio+20, 18th UN Climate Change, etc.), by strengthening its regional presence (development of the Regional Offices) and also by organising its own events such as FSC Friday 2012 to increase awareness globally.

The official numbers of the audit 2012 will be provided at a later stage once the audit is finalized.

Click here to read the Annual Report 2012 or for the PDF version click here.



Broadening the Base – PEFC 2012 Annual Review

In the 2012 PEFC Annual Review "Broadening the Base" you will discover the steps PEFC has taken to increase the relevance of forest certification, from carbon footprints and biomass certification to life cycle assessment and the financial sector - showing the value of working forests within the context of today's emerging issues.

The Annual Review also reports on the significant advances PEFC made towards its core goals: the development of national forest certification systems; expansion of certified forest area; and market generation for certified products.

2012 saw tremendous demand to bring PEFC certification to ever more countries, with requests from 15 countries interested in developing their national systems. PEFC provided stakeholders in these countries with tailored mentoring, and experienced national PEFC members shared their knowledge.

Expanding certified forest area continues to be at the heart of PEFC activities, and at the end of 2012 the forest area certified to PEFC standards stood at 237 million hectares. But with more than 90% of the world's forests still uncertified, there is still work to do.

Creating, maintaining and enhancing the market for certified products is an important aspect of PEFC's work, and towards this goal PEFC engaged with numerous organizations and associations at all levels throughout 2012. This work paid off with a significant increase in the number of companies with PEFC Chain of Custody certification, with almost 15,000 companies benefitting from PEFC endorsement.

To get the full picture, download the PEFC Annual Review at treee.es/PEFCAR2012:




Upcoming Fire Management Congress and First International Exhibition for Forest Fire Fighting and Protection in Russia

Forest and forest fire management specialists from the UNECE Region are encouraged to consider attending the International Congress on Forest Fire and Climate Change: Challenges for Fire Management in Natural and Cultural Landscapes of Eurasia that will be held in Novosibirsk, Russia, 11-12 November 2013 under the auspices of the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) and the UNECE / FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire.

This international event will bring together prominent Russian and international fire scientists, representatives of agencies responsible for forest and forest fire management in Russia and neighboring countries (Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Ukraine, China, Belarus, West Europe) and at international level, representatives of civil protection and emergency services. The main aim of the Congress is to address the fire problems of the future as influenced by regional climate change and socio-economic changes, moist importantly the consequences of rural exodus on forestry and forest fires.

In addition, the firefighting industry will be presented within the First International Exhibition for Forest Fire Fighting and Protection that will be held simultaneously with the International Congress. Russian and international manufacturers producing advanced fire management equipment will showcase and demonstrate their latest products and technologies.

The recommendations of the congress will be forwarded to the “UNECE/FAO Regional Forum on Crossboundary Cooperation in Fire Management”, which will be held 28-29 November 2013 at the United Nations in Geneva (see announcement below). Further details are available at the official websites of the Congress hosts and the GFMC.



Joint Partnering Event for Horizon 2020 Projects and COST Actions in the Area of the Forest-Based Bio-Economy

Date: 15 November 2013, (10:00 - 17:00h)
Venue: MUNICON Conference Center, Munich Airport
Cost of participation: € 90

This event will be jointly organised by the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform (FTP), the COST Office, the European Forest Institute (EFI), EFPRO and InnovaWood, with the local support of FTP Germany and PTS.


The event offers a unique opportunity to obtain information on tentative topics of the first call for proposals under the up-coming European Framework Programme for Research, Horizon 2020. Participants can present ideas for European projects and discuss them with potential partners. They will also have the opportunity to give feedback and to support each other’s ideas. Such events are often starting points for building consortia and core planning teams in order to submit research and innovation proposals at a later stage. Additionally, participants are invited to present and discuss ideas and proposals for COST Actions within the COST Domain “Forests, their Products and Services”.

Who should participate?

All forest, forestry, and forest-based sector related researchers from European Union member states and from associated countries (Norway, Switzerland, etc.). Representatives from:

•             enterprises (large or small and medium-sized)

•             federations and associations

•             universities

•             private or public research institutes

•             public bodies,

who are interested in participating in research projects and/or COST Actions are welcome to this partnering event. The activities, competences and interest can range from forest ecology, climate change and forest management to forest-based products and forest-based industry processes.

If interested:

Please send an email to mail@forestplatform.com

PEFC Forest Certification Week 2013 – Advancing Sustainable Trade in Asia

Recognizing that Asia holds the key to unlocking the production and trade of sustainable forest products, and in recognition of the growing importance of the region, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has selected Malaysia to hold the first ever PEFC Forest Certification Week between 11 and 15 November 2013.

PEFC’s 4th Stakeholder Dialogue will take place during Forest Certification Week on 14-15 November, bringing together some 250 key actors across the forest sector landscape to engage in solutions-oriented discussions. Open to everyone, the stakeholder dialogue gives participants a chance to meet experts, hear from a variety of perspectives, take part in discussions and share their views.

To further increase the collaborative power of the stakeholder dialogue, PEFC is adding a side event day to the PEFC Forest Certification Week and invites interested organizations, associations and companies to taking advantage of the expertise and knowledge of the audience to present their own activities and engage participants. Proposals for side events are requested by 30 September 2013.

The PEFC Forest Certification Week will also feature the 18th PEFC general assembly, a range of internal PEFC workshops, as well as training seminars, including a chain of custody seminar that will update participants about the recently release 2013 PEFC chain of custody standard.

The PEFC Forest Certification Week is organized by PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, in collaboration with MTCC, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council.

Information and registration for PEFC Forest Certification Week is available at www.pefc.org/pefc-week-2013/home

UNECE/FAO Regional Forum on Cross-boundary Cooperation in Fire Management

On 28-29 November 2013 the UNECE/FAO Regional Forum on Cross-boundary Cooperation in Fire Management will be held at the United Nations in Geneva. The aim of the Forum is to elaborate recommendations to UNECE and CoE member states to develop an agreement on international cooperation to enhance fire management capability in the region. In addition, the Forum is seeking participation from other regions in the world in order to allow the initiation of a coordinated approach in cooperative fire management at an international level. The Forum will be attended by representatives of forestry agencies and agencies responsible for wildfire fighting, as well as other fire management specialists from networks or academia representing UNECE member states. Participation is by invitation only:


Side Event at Metsä 2013: Achievements of the UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire (1981-2013)

In 1981 the work of the UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire was initiated and addressed the themes of fire management, the socio-economic causes of wildfires, the interactions between forest fire and global change, and international cooperation in fire management. In 1988, the UNECE/FAO International Forest Fire News (IFFN) was launched, which established a global information source on wildland fires. In 1998 the secretariat of the ToS expanded its work to a global scale by establishing the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC), which worked under the main auspices of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). Furthermore, the achievements of cooperative work in fire management between UNECE Member States encouraged the GFMC to create similar Regional Wildland Fire Networks in other regions of the world and to form the Global Wildland Fire Network.

The event will elaborate on the contribution of the UNECE to the fire management sector to raise awareness of the forest sector's contribution to a "Green Economy" and provide evidence that systematic enhancement of national capabilities in fire management, generated, among other, by sharing of knowledge and expertise between countries with different fire environments, socio-economic conditions and institutional and policy approaches, will contribute to the Green Economy Action Plan.



The ForestSAT series of international remote sensing conferences has been held every second or third year since 2002 and has emerged as the top remote sensing conference for forestry applications.

The next ForestSAT2014 will be organized in Italy in November 2014. Visit www.forestsat2014.com and became a "follower" clicking in the bottom left of the home page to receive updated information as soon as their are released.

The first call-for-abstract is expected for December this year.

For more information contact the Chair of the ForestSAT2014 Conference, Prof. Gherardo Chirici gherardo.chirici@unimol.it

How to contribute? Deadline for the next issue is 15 December 2013. More information is available here.

We work in cooperation with the Global Forest Information Service.