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Issue 4 2019


Forest Information Billboard

Issue 4, December 2019



27-29 January 2020: Second informal meeting to discuss possible negotiation of a legally binding agreement on forests in Europe, Switzerland, Geneva: 

23 March 2020: International Day of Forests – Forests and Biodiversity, Switzerland, Geneva:

24-25 March 2020: 42nd Session of the Joint ECE/FAO Working Party on Forest Statistics, Economics and Management, Switzerland, Geneva:

26 March 2020: Seventh meeting of the Joint ECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Products Statistics, Switzerland, Geneva:

26 March 2020: Sixth meeting of the Joint ECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Wood Energy, Switzerland, Geneva:

26 March 2020: First Meeting of the Joint ECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Boreal Forests, Switzerland, Geneva:


 Forest reporting

UNECE/FAO and Forest Products Markets

Storms, beetle infestations, and wildfires: when reading the news about forests in the past months, it is evident that it has been a tough year for the forest sector. It is estimated that in Europe approximately 25% of the 2018 timber harvest was damaged by either storms or insects and in North America an area larger than Switzerland burned, costing $91 billion dollars in the US alone in lost homes, infrastructure and firefighting costs.

The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section and its member States recently released a wealth of information on recent, current and near-future wood and wood product market developments. Here is a short compilation of the main products that were released in the past two months:

The UNECE/FAO Forest Products Annual Market Review 2018-19 is now available in various electronic formats – always at your fingertips, no matter what type of computer or handheld device you use (Apple Books, Google Play Books, Google Books, Amazon Kindle, ePub and PDF);

Countries provided updates on their forest products markets and their detailed Country Market Statements 2019 can be found here:;

The Market Discussion in November saw some highly interesting and inspiring presentations:
o    “Turning burning forests into renewable cities” (Mr. Russ Vaagen);
o    “Forest products developments in the Russian Federation” (Mr. Igor Novoselov);
o    “Massive wood construction in Europe on the example of CLT: history & outlook” (Mr. Richard Steindl);
o    “Short update on the Russian Pulp and Paper markets and Innovative technology for the production of charcoal briquettes in the Russian Federation” (Mr. Eduard Akim and Mr. Aleksandr Pekaretc);

The joint Session of the ECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry and the FAO European Forestry Commission approved the official market statement 2019 (PDF);

Forecasts of Production And Trade Data For 2019-2020 (PDF);

Data tables of selected forests products for 2014-2018 can be found in the statistical annex to the Forest Products Annual Market Review at;

Complete forest products data 1961-2018 can be found at FAOSTAT. These figures have just been updated (December 18, 2019) and are the most recent data available. See;

A downloadable file containing all ECE data for 1961-2018 is available in Excel. This includes certain items not available at FAOSTAT such as coniferous and non-coniferous veneer and plywood;

Trade flow tables for 9 product group show share of world trade between major regions and trading countries (;

Initial data on Engineered Wood Products is available for 2016-2017 in Excel;

For further information on forest products and forest products markets please contact [email protected] 

The European Forest-Based Industries have come together to present their 2050 vision and their essential role in contributing to the carbon neutrality target

In 2018, the European Commission presented its “A Clean Planet for All” vision, a long-term strategy for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050.

In 2019, the von der Leyen agenda for Europe put forward the European Green Deal, set to become the first European Climate Law to enshrine the 2050 climate-neutrality target into legislation.

In response to this ambitious agenda, the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), the European Panel Federation (EPF), the European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC), Bioenergy Europe and the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform (FTP) have come together to present their 2050 vision and their essential role in contributing to the carbon neutrality target.

Our vision spans the entire EU-wide value chain of forest-based products, from forest owners and managers to transformation industries, academia as well as research and development. It focuses on forest-based solutions and how they help meet the emerging expectations of Europe’s citizens.

Europe’s Forest-based Industries have an important role in strengthening the European low-carbon circular bioeconomy as they provide a smart industrial ecosystem where materials, by-products and residues are supplied across the various parts of the value chain, to make the most efficient use of resources, including through re-use and recycling. Subsequently, maximising the climate change mitigation impacts of the whole system, while also providing other forest benefits to the society.

“We see the FBI industry commitment as a good way to empower consumers, providing them with more options to choose climate-friendly products. Wood-based solutions enable many sectors to reduce their environmental footprint, including construction, already today”, says Patrizio Antonicoli, Secretary-General of CEI-Bois.

Full press release is here, and for the full 2050 vision click here.

New Strategic Partnership between IUFRO and BMZ to Better Link Forest Science with International Development Policies

In November 2019 the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) entered into a multiyear strategic partnership with the aim to enhance the interaction between the science community and policy makers.

The core activity of this new partnership will be carried out in the framework of IUFRO’s Science-Policy Programme and its main instrument, the IUFRO-led Global Forest Expert Panels (GFEP) initiative of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF).

GFEP produces objective and independent scientific assessments on key issues. Since 2007, GFEP has produced six global assessments on topics such as forests and climate change, forests and water, forests and food security or forests and biodiversity. Currently, a new assessment on the relationship between forests and poverty is underway:

Read a related media information here.

Scientific Snapshot Analysis Project: Forest Landscape Restoration Implementation - Progress on the Ground

Understanding how forest landscape restoration (FLR) is implemented in different contexts helps to inform future FLR initiatives. The Scientific Snapshot Analysis Project of IUFRO’s Special Programme for Development of Capacities (IUFRO-SPDC) aims at an independent scientific exploration of efforts contributing to forest landscape restoration (FLR) in selected landscapes in nine Bonn Challenge countries, three each in Africa, Asia and Latin America: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Madagascar, Mongolia, Peru.

All countries produced videos, posters and reports about their FLR experiences: A series of snapshot blog posts has just started here:

An “FLR Implementation Snapshot” publication combining the lessons learnt from the nine countries involved in the project is expected to be published in January 2020.

PEFC celebrates 20th anniversary at 2019 PEFC Forest Certification Week

20 years ago, European small-forest owners met in Würzburg, Germany, to create an international forest certification system that had their needs at heart. This November, the PEFC alliance came back to Würzburg for the 2019 PEFC Forest Certification Week.

The stunning Marienberg Fortress, rising above the city of Würzburg, welcomed 150 representatives from PEFC members from around the world. The biggest PEFC Week ever, the PEFC alliance came together not only to celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary, but also to look forward and discuss about the future.

During PEFC Week the General Assembly, PEFC’s highest decision making body, voted on the key decisions of the organization, including the acceptance of the new national members for Ukraine and Guyana.

On Thursday, PEFC Week opened up to the public for the 2019 PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue. Industry representatives, forest owners and international experts discussed about the next steps towards moving sustainability and certification from niche to mainstream.

PEFC Week also invited participants to take a walk down a memory lane over the last 20 years of PEFC history, and for the first time see the 12 winning photos from the Experience Forests, Experience PEFC 2019 photo contest.

Follow #20yearsofcaring for more information.

[20th anniversary celebrations kick start PEFC Week 2019]
[Ukraine and Guyana join the PEFC family]
[PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue set to take sustainable forest management to new levels]

PEFC highlights the importance of forests at COP25

As world leaders gathered in Madrid for the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in early December, PEFC was there to highlight the vital contribution of our forests in the fight against climate change, and the role of certification.

In addition to the negotiations on the reduction of carbon emissions, countries, international organizations and the private sector were called upon to act in the search for natural forest-based solutions, giving PEFC a very important role.

Ana Belén Noriega, General Secretary of PEFC Spain, represented PEFC in the High Level Meeting on Forests on 5 December.

“Forests have to play an important role in the bioeconomy,” she said. “But there is an urgent need to explain the value of forests to young people, and to highlight the importance of the sustainable use of the products that come from these forests.”

PEFC has had small, family and community forest owners at heart since the beginning, ensuring that they can benefit from the certification. Through PEFC group certification, smallholders can group together and organize themselves, pool their resources and work as a team to achieve certification.

“PEFC is like a smart phone,” Ms Noriega explained. “A complex instrument with strict criteria, but very simple to use by owners, whether they are families or small businesses.”

[PEFC, forest and climate change at COP25]

25 years of organised public forest service in Slovenia

In 2019, Slovenia celebrates 25 years of the Slovenia public forestry service, which is carried out by the Slovenia Forest Service and Slovenian Forestry Institute, and overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the Republic of Slovenia. To commemorate this important jubilee, activities celebrating sustainable, multipurpose and close to nature forest management, e.g. the “Slovenian forestry school”, were organised during the whole year. The highlights include the activities during the International Day of Forests 2019 (focusing on sustainable forest management and forest pedagogy), Slovenian Forest Week (last week of May, including its event, a celebrative Academy featuring important representatives from the Slovenian parliament, forestry organisations, forest owners, forest scientists, etc.), gathering of all Slovenian foresters in Pokljuka (July 2019) and the 30th Anniversary congress of ProSilva Europe (September 2019).

In the last 70 years, the state of Slovenian forests has improved significantly. The growing stock and annual increment has nearly tripled and consequently, the allowable cut has increased by nearly 40%. Slovenian forestry goes hand in hand with nature conservation, illustrated by the fact that over 50% of forests are protected by Natura 2000. All forests, approx. 80 % of which are privately owned, are included in forest management plans, which are prepared free of charge. Forest owners and other stakeholders have the right and possibility to participate in the forest management process during the public unveilings of forest management plans.

Forestry in Slovenia is characterised by cooperation between forest owners, the public forest service and forest visitors, as well as organizations and stakeholders operating in the forestry sector. Because forests provide a plethora of services to the whole society, forest owners are provided with free consulting and forest management support, subsidies through several schemes, safety training for forest work, support for associations of forest owners, etc.

Many events for the popularisation of forests and the activities of forest pedagogy for children are organised for the general public, schools and other interested parties by the public forest service. The public forest service also contributes significantly to the openness of forests through forest roads and the modernisation of forestry production, which is important from an economical, as well as occupational safety perspective – modern forestry equipment often saves lives.

Recent years have been characterised by natural disasters and forest pests. The ice break in 2014, which damaged more than 40 % of Slovenian forests, as well as significant wind and bark beetle damages in the following years, put Slovenian forestry to a test, which was successfully passed - the growing stock and annual increment have been maintained. Today, restoration of damaged forests is running at full speed, and at the same time, research and development activities are underway. Their results will help us keep forests in good condition, despite the further effects of globalization and climate change that await us in the future.

European forest owners’ representative elected as a Chair for the Civil Dialogue Group on Forestry and Cork

On 8 November 2019, Mr Antonio Paula Soares, Member of the Board of Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF) and Member of the Board of the Confederation of Portuguese Farmers (CAP), has been elected as a Chair for the Civil Dialogue Group (CDG) on Forestry and Cork. He has a long experience from forestry and forest-based sector, including projects related to biodiversity conservation and bioeconomy.

For the last two years the meetings of CDG on Forestry and Cork have been successfully chaired by Mr Lennart Ackzell, Coordinator at the Swedish Federation of Family Forest Owners, representing Cogeca.

The CDG on Forestry and Cork is of great importance to guarantee a strong dialogue between the various EU organisations involved in the sector and the European Commission. In order to ensure that EU forests can provide the multiple benefits expected from the society, a coherent approach among forest-related EU policies is needed. In this context, the CDG platform has an essential role to play to allow all the relevant parties to be involved and to contribute to the framing and development of these policies.

Ms Kelsey Perlman, representing European Environmental Bureau (EEB), and Mr Mårten Larsson, representing Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), were both elected as Vice-Chairs for second mandate period.

Read the full article here.

Multifunctional European forests are crucial to reach the objectives of a European Green Deal

The representatives of European forests and the forest-based sector welcome the political guidelines of the President-elect of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen which aim to ensure the EU’s transition to a climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Given that the roles of forests and forestry extend well beyond carbon neutrality central positioning of the forest-based sector is essential in the upcoming discussions on how to defossilize the European Union while, at the same time, ensuring the sustainable development of European society and the green growth of the European economy.

In a joint statement from 11 October 2019 the Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF) together with representatives of the European forests and forest-based sector highlight that the main tool to integrate European forests and the forest-based sector into the Green Deal should be a robust EU Forest Strategy post-2020, as it provides a framework for a consistent and well-coordinated action at EU level.

An update of the current strategy was already requested by the EU Member States in the Council Conclusions, by the Committee of the Regions and, several times, by forest sector stakeholders. The undersigned organisations of the joint statement strongly believe that these requests should be taken into account while making the announced European Green Deal a reality.

FAO Director-General highlights solutions to deforestation on the margins of COP25

12 December 2019, Madrid - FAO Director-General QU Dongyu today called for a transformational change aimed at addressing food security, agriculture and forestry together - through a holistic approach.

"It is possible to reconcile food security, agriculture production and forest conservation," said the FAO chief at a dialogue on "turning the tide on deforestation" on the margins of COP25.

To this end, FAO is working with countries to coordinate land use approaches across sectors, ensuring integrated management of forests and agriculture so that both food security and forestry objectives are met.

Qu pointed out that a number of countries have managed to reduce the number of undernourished people and improve agricultural productivity while maintaining or increasing their forest area.

Agriculture is a significant contributor to deforestation (over 70 percent), and with rising population and food demands, forests are increasingly under pressure.

To address this, the FAO Director-General put forward solutions such as: the need to forge an agreement on reducing the footprints of agricultural commodities, especially livestock and cash crops, boosting technology and innovation, and strengthening partnerships to address forest-related issues.

For example, FAO has developed an innovative set of forest monitoring tools allowing users to access and process large amounts of forest data and satellite images directly on their mobile phones.
Qu listed several successful global, FAO-supported initiatives tackling deforestation, climate change, food insecurity and poverty that could be scaled up. These include: the UN-REDD Programme, the Sustainable Wood for a Sustainable World, the Great Green Wall, and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

Read the press release.

A piano on the Alps: how music can help mountains

Often they ask me how my music is born and where my inspiration comes from. I respond that the sources could be diverse. They might not be connected to music, but to fields that are different than music. Sometimes it’s a book, a philosophical or scientific idea, or even a work of art or architecture that inspire me. With my newest album, Seven Days Walking, a series of walks through the Alps inspired a musical itinerary retraced seven times with variations.

The light, the silence, the loss of orientation, feeling small walking in the snow, the smells of the forest, one’s breath together with nature’s, the outward journey and the return. Nature stripped of its colors and brought to its essence, the trees as outlines of an ink sketch. The carved profile of the mountain like a majestic melody. It goes up, down, and then goes back up. So many melodies hidden in the Alps.

Today, mountains and their glaciers are undergoing irreversible transformations resulting from climatic upheavals linked to human action. These are transformations that affect us: the water and energy that we use daily and so many of the foods we eat come from mountains.

Through my music, I can offer inspiration and messages that can help support important causes. For this reason, in recent years I joined the Greenpeace campaign "Save the Arctic". I have now decided to support the mountain cause, becoming an FAO Mountain Partnership Ambassador and dedicating my concert on the 11 December to mountains.

Science tells us that climate change is a devastating reality and mountains are at the center of it. They regulate life on earth and are a guarantee of life for us and for future generations. Let us save the mountains to save the planet and ourselves.

Read the statement by Ludovico Einaudi, composer and FAO Mountain Partnership Ambassador here.

Forest2Market Announces New Regional Sales Manager for Europe

Agris Melnis has joined Forest2Market as Regional Sales Manager for European markets, including the Nordics, the Baltic States and Russia. In his new role, Melnis will act as a supply chain expert and advisor to existing and prospective customers in the region and advise forest products industry participants on the use and integration of Forest2Market products and services into their business decisions. He will also represent Forest2Market at industry meetings throughout the region.

Melnis will work from an office in Riga, Latvia, serving Forest2Market’s customers throughout the European forest industry supply chain. He can be reached at [email protected].

Melnis has more than 20 years of experience in all phases of the wood fiber supply chain, from forest operations and procurement to certification and export logistics. He most recently served as Wood Products Market Lead for R Grupa, Ltd. in Latvia, where he was responsible for managing wood chip production and sales projects as well as project management and new project development.

From 2014-2016, Melnis served as Deputy Head of Exports for the same company in which he oversaw timber sales and purchases, and logistics management. Before his positions with R Grupa, Ltd., Melnis worked in a variety of related forest products and management roles over the last 20 years. Melnis graduated as a Forest Engineer in 1998 from the Agriculture University of Latvia, and he received an M.A. in Business Economics from the University of Latvia in 2017.

IndustryEdge to Launch Digital Wood Market Data Publication on Forest2Market’s SilvaStat360

Australia-based IndustryEdge will be launching the redesigned, digital version of Wood Market Edge in 1H2020 on SilvaStat360, Forest2Market’s online business intelligence platform. The partnership combines IndustryEdge's shipping, trade and wood fiber data with Forest2Market’s SilvaStat360 cloud-based interactive delivery platform. IndustryEdge's subscribers will have fingertip access to historic and current price and trade data that is updated monthly and available on a 24/7/365 basis.

With an emphasis on Australasian markets, IndustryEdge supplies the most comprehensive monthly trade and market data services to Australia’s forestry and wood products sectors. IndustryEdge is a trusted business partner to plantation and forest growers and managers, wood processors, importers and exporters, investors, and government and industry bodies who rely on robust and reliable data research, trade, analytical and advisory services.

Every month, IndustryEdge subscribers receive Australian woodchip export data, log export data, sawnwood import and export data, as well as relevant analysis of monthly production and trade.
This expertise is built from granular datasets that are designed to improve decision-making processes for participants in the Australasian and global wood fiber supply chains. IndustryEdge also supports the pulp, paper and fiber supplies sectors with similar services.

Forest Stewardship Council: success is best when shared

On 11 October 2019, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) celebrated its 25th anniversary in Prague reflecting on how the FSC platform and system can add value to Europe’s public forests.

The event focused on three areas exploring how FSC adds value through building economic competitiveness, enabling environmental objectives and fostering societal trust.

The event was targeted and attended by public owners, managers and those professionals and NGO’s that have a keen interest in how Europe’s public forests are managed.

At the event, FSC Director General Kim Carstensen reinforced his commitment to continue engagingwith all parts of society and make more effort with governments to find solutions to environmental, economic and social challenges that can be delivered through the FSC platform and system.

FSC is widely regarded as the Most Trusted Sustainable Forest Management Solution because it:
•    enables effective engagement and open dialogue on how forests can be better managed for all of society’s needs;
•    develops and supports the implementation of standards that influence the way forests are managed;
•    provides assurance and credibility that those management practices are put into place and create positive outcomes and impacts.

You can read more reflections on this event here: 

On board the collaborative bus to verified sustainable tropical timber

There’s the view that third party certification is the main route to ensuring sustainable forest management. But the consensus of the Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition Conference was that there is also scope for coordination, collaboration and exchange between other legality and sustainability verification schemes and initiatives to drive the environmental performance of timber and forestry sectors. Ultimately, it was agreed, they are heading for the same destination –  maintenance of the forest and its ecological, social and economic benefits and a sustainable international timber trade. Coordination of the different strategies could also provide a stepping off point to accelerate uptake of sustainability certification.

The theme of the STTC Conference in Berlin was ‘Exploring pathways to verified sustainable tropical timber’.  It drew a capacity audience of over 110 from across Europe and beyond, including timber suppliers, importers, trade federations, government agencies and NGOs, and was jointly hosted by German timber trade federation GD Holz, STTC founder IDH – the sustainable trade initiative, and the City of Berlin, an STTC member.

The event featured a range of presentations, providing an update on the European market for verified sustainable tropical timber, tropical timber promotion and various legality and sustainability verification approaches and the lessons they could learn from one another.

The full report on the Conference is available here.

EU import of tropical timber can positively impact an additional 12.5 million ha tropical forests

A new Tropical Timber Market Data report published by IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative estimates that between 25% and 32% of the primary tropical timber products imported into the EU28 is sourced from certified sustainably managed forests. This figure is estimated using an ‘exposure to certification‘ methodology due to lack of data on certified products.

The report makes three key recommendations:

•         Urgent need for improved data availability and transparency from certification systems, governments and the certification bodies,
•         National timber trade federations to increase monitoring imports of certified materials,
•         Public sector and private sector purchasing policies need to be implemented to drive an increase in certification.

The research independently conducted by Probos and Global Timber Forum (GTF) covered seven main importing countries Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain who together represent approximately 90% of the EU28 primary tropical timber product import by volume. The concentration of imports in these seven countries provides a strong lever for change. A shift towards sourcing sustainable timber is a positive driver to support the retention of the world’s tropical forests.

Read the full press release here.

XVI International Junior Forest Contest

XVI International Junior Forest Contest was held in Voronezh, the Russian Federation, on October 28 - November 1, 2019. Organised by Federal Forestry Agency of Russia, Contest is aimed to encourage international youth cooperation and raise environmental awareness; to disseminate knowledge on current trends and challenges of global forestry.

In 2019, 34 contestants aged 14 to 22 from 21 countries presented their own research works. Research themes varied from silviculture and SFM to forest flora and fauna, ERS and wood technologies and role of forests for climate and water balance.

International Jury were unanimous in giving the first place to the research by a school student from China for her project on UAVs for spraying forests.

Second place was shared by a Russian school student with her studies on fighting Dendrolimus sibiricus, a student from Indonesia for his work on Blockchain-based agroforestry, and a student from Serbia for his research on genetic and environmental features of Populus nigra.

Bronze was taken by the USA students for studying efficiency of methods for destruction of bushed vegetation in the LA area, and by a representative of Russia for analyzing recreation-and-environment balance in natural reserve.

All the young forest scientists received memorabilia and diplomas, went sightseeing. Challenging work and rich entertainment programme helped young people to become good friends.

Organisers thank all the Participants and wish to welcome young international forestry experts in Russia at XVII Junior Forest Contest, in autumn 2020! For more details, please contact [email protected].

High School Students MAP the Future of Forests at Michigan State University

Forest sustainability is one of most important tools to ensure a healthy planet and shared global prosperity. Despite great need for future leaders in forest conservation, there are difficult barriers for many youth interested in pursuing related degrees. The Multicultural Apprenticeship Program (MAP) at Michigan State University (MSU) seeks to change that. The program gives underserved high school students hands-on exposure to careers in sustainable forestry.  In partnership with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, MSU wants to share their success and grow the program.

Through MAP, high school students from Michigan and other parts of the United States have the opportunity to explore careers in forestry, natural resource management, animal sciences, and other related fields.

Sponsored by MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, MAP pairs each student with a faculty member on a project that provides both fieldwork and laboratory experience.

According to MSU forestry professor Asia Dowtin, “MAP was born out of the acknowledgement that within the various disciplines of agriculture and natural resources, there was a pretty shocking under-representation of people from diverse socioeconomic, racial, and cultural groups. MAP bridges the gap between these communities and the communities of scholars here on campus.”

Read more here and make sure you also read Creating a Generation of Conservationists.

Drought stress in Swiss forests

The water availability for plants and in the soil in Switzerland for the period 1981-2018 is online in animated in maps and diagrams. The reduced availability of water is now visible graphically. We invite you to tour the website, explore the maps and diagrams, and observe the year-to-year changes during 40 years by clicking directly on the map. 

Numerous dry summers in recent years have generally weakened the Swiss forests. The impact of drought damage in forests varies widely in the regions -  for example, along the Jura Range in Western Switzerland the damages are greater than in the alpine foothills. The tree species Spruce, Beech, Oak, and Silver Fir have suffered especially under the drier conditions.  Particularly the combination of heat and drought results in severe damage to forests. Regions that have been affected by frequent dry periods currently experience drastically weakened forest stands. This situation can also lead to an increased spread of pests and diseases and is already resulting in dieback of trees. Should similar weather conditions repeat themselves in the upcoming years the situation is expected to worsen.

For more information, contact Mr. Thomas Bettler at the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment: [email protected]  

The Republic of Uzbekistan adopts a concept of environmental protection

A month ago a Concept of environmental protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan until 2030 was adopted. In this significant document an important place is given to forests, in particular in the field of improving the quality and volume of the forest fund.

The Concept provides:
-increase in the territory of the forest fund covered with forests to 4.5 million hectares;
-conducting  an  inventory  of  the  forest fund in order to create an atlas of forests in the Republic;
-development and implementation of new methods for controlling pests and forest diseases, with the predominant use of biological and environmentally friendly methods;
-improvement of scientific and breeding work in order to improve the quality composition of the forest fund and increase its resistance to forest pests and diseases;
-improving the quality of forest plantations and species diversity by increasing the level of mechanization and the introduction of new technologies for creating forest crops;
-creation of “green belts” around regional centers and large cities of the Republic;
as well as an increase in the area of forest plantations on the dried bottom of the Aral Sea.

Source: Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan: “On approval of the Concept of environmental protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan until 2030” (October 30, 2019 No. UP-5863).

Managing the climate crisis: outlook for forest and timber utilization - CAREFORPARIS presents scenarios by BFW, BOKU, Wood K plus and Umweltbundesamt

Vienna, October 2019 - Forests can contribute to climate change mitigation; however, managing this contribution correctly requires a comprehensive understanding of how forestry and climate change influence one another. In Austria, a significant proportion of the national anthropogenic CO2 emissions are offset by CO2 uptake in Austrian forests.

Furthermore, the use of wood instead of non-renewable materials leads to avoided emissions elsewhere. Nonetheless, forests and the forestry sector are, and will continue to be, impacted by climate change thus raising a question mark over the national future sink strength and anthropogenic emissions in other sectors. Direct climate change impacts as well as the consequences of climate change adaptation may diminish forest carbon storage and affect timber utilisation, which could significantly increase Austria’s future net greenhouse gas emissions.

This is demonstrated by scenarios from the project CAREFORPARIS, a collaboration of the Austrian Federal Research Centre for Forest (BFW), the University of Natural Resources Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Wood K plus and the Environmental Agency Austria (Umweltbundesamt). The results were presented at a workshop on October 23 2019 at BOKU.

For more information please read the press release.


New educational resources in forest management

Translating the importance of forests and their management is one of the great educational challenges that are presented today. Society is unconnected to the countryside and to the concepts and ways of life that entails, focusing his knowledge and education to values close to the urban lifestyle, largely majority of society.

The emptied Spain is one of the great territorial problems of our country and it is necessary to transmit the importance of the forest use that propitiates the creation and maintenance of some forms of life in the rural world.

On the other hand, forests and their proper management are a fundamental piece in the fight against climate change and knowledge and education must be focused in this regard, so that citizens understand the need to focus resources and efforts in that direction. In turn, there is a shortage of educational resources in the classrooms that facilitate the teacher's focus on this discipline, often unknown and poorly treated.

Therefore, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, in 2011 made the collection TALES OF THE FOREST with three books dedicated to primary school students. In 2019, it has considered important the support of an initiative dedicated to the creation of educational materials on forest management for secondary school students that favor the use by teachers in the classrooms, for this purpose two types of resources have been made: The story DUNA AND HER TEAM. THE ADVENTURES OF THE FOREST FRIEND dedicated to children between 12 and 13 years and the web application about FOREST MANAGEMENT aimed at older students (14 to 16 years).

Both resources have the story content and activities that can be easy, fun and dynamic way with the students. The web application contains extensive contents on forest management that help the teacher to prepare classes and encourages participation with students with individual and collective games such as Kajoo (application that promotes competition with students via mobile phone), Trivia, Flip, Quiz and Swiper.

Both resources are free and can be downloaded at the following links:

Global Forest Products Facts and Figures 2018 - FAO releases latest forest products statistics

Global production and trade of all major wood-based products recorded their highest ever values in 2018. Production, importsand exports of roundwood, sawnwood, wood-based panels,wood pulp, wood charcoal and pellets reached their maximum quantities since 1947 when FAO started reporting global forest product statistics.

In 2018, growth in production of the main wood-based product groups ranged from 1 percent (woodbased panels) to 5 percent (industrial roundwood). The fastest growth occurred in the Asia-Pacific, Northern American and European regions, likely due to positive economic growth in these areas.

A new data series on production and trade in post-consumer recovered wood was launched in the FAOSTAT-Forestry database. Consumption of post-consumer recovered wood exceeded 27 million tonnes in 2018 and most of this volume was collected and consumed in Western Europe, the UK and Italy. This new data will contribute to the monitoring of wood raw material and product flows to support a circular bioeconomy.

A news release on the data is here.

For complete highlights and data trends please check here.

All FAO forest products data can be found here.

UNECE and FAO support ecosystem restoration in Eastern and South-East Europe ‎

Countries in Eastern and South-East Europe need to develop viable solutions and goals for forest landscape restoration, as well as learn how to tap into the necessary financing.

These topics were discussed during the workshop “Forest Landscape Restoration and the Bonn Challenge in Eastern and South-East Europe” held in Belgrade on 16–17 December 2019.

Countries in the region are already taking important steps towards forest landscape restoration and the Bonn Challenge. In a global effort to bring 350 million hectares of degraded and deforested land into restoration by 2030, the Bonn Challenge provides countries with an implementation vehicle for national priorities, such as water and food security and rural development, while contributing to achievements in international climate change, biodiversity, and land degradation commitments.

Caused by human activity and bio-physical factors, the degradation of land and ecosystems, exacerbated by climate change, is one of the greatest challenges facing Europe, as well as many countries worldwide. Desertification affects 8% of the territory of the European Union, including around 14 million hectares in Southern, Eastern, and Central Europe. Restoring degraded and deforested landscapes using the forest landscape restoration approach is a cost-effective, long-term, and sustainable nature-based solution.

Read the full press release. For presentations and the meeting report, please check here

The Joint ECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Monitoring Sustainable Forest Management discuss the tools and techniques of forest data management and dissemination

The Twenty-eight meeting of the “UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists on monitoring sustainable forest management” took place on 3-4 December 2019 in the premises of the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The meeting provided the venue for the lead national and international experts on forest monitoring and assessment for reviewing the progress of global and regional reporting and debate on the main problems of the assessment of forests in the region, including modalities of reporting on forest damage and forest ownership.

Considerable attention of the Team was dedicated to the tools and techniques of forest data management and dissemination, as well as the coordination of work on this this topic the main international partners. More information about the Team and the meeting can be found here.

Pro Silva 30th Anniversary »Forests for the future - from science to the people«

More than 100 participants from 25 European countries and one guest from the USA held their 30th anniversary meeting in Radlje ob Dravi in the North of Slovenia near the Austrian border. Radlje is the cradle of close-to-nature forest management and its nearby forest of the Pahernik foundation is one of the best examples of this approach, being managed by local foresters under support of the Department of Forestry of Biotechnical faculty in Ljubljana.

At the conference with title “Forests for the future – from science to the people” international experts presented deeper insight into the relation between science and forestry practice. A final podium and plenary discussion focused on the main urgent issues to improve the resilience of European forests. The following hybrid field workshops held during the following days in different nearby forest stands and in the city forest of Celje gave many inputs and impulses for the participants and also helped the social coherence of the European network.

At the annual board meeting of about 70 Pro Silva representatives and guests the president Dr. Eckart Senitza presented an overview about the activities of the last year. Dr. Senitza stated that a sustainable development of Pro Silva need an incorporation of private forest owners, state forests, forest administration, scientists in a balanced way. In their meeting the Pro Silva representatives approved the Radlje declaration, which was already published and will be translates to different languages for further distribution.

More information is available here.

Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia come together to discuss a strategy for ‎landscape restoration and greening infrastructure

Four thousand kilometers away from the UNECE headquarters in Geneva used to lie the Aral Sea. It was the fourth biggest lake in the world, in fact the lake was bigger than Switzerland. But if we travelled there today, we would only find a desert as the lake has dried out. The Caucasus and Central Asia are sometimes overlooked in global discussions about climate change and environmental challenges. However, as the example of the Aral Sea shows, the region’s fragile landscapes and ecosystems have suffered from century-long excessive extraction and waste of water, overcutting of forests, and pollution from mining, which has in turn led to desertification, soil loss, and land erosions.

“These changes are not only worsening the living conditions of the population but also increase greenhouse gas emissions, which worsen climate change, ultimately threatening already fragile ecosystems further”, points out Mr. Ekrem Yazici, Deputy Chief of the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section.

States in the region have recognized that common challenges like these can best be overcome through cooperation and concerted action. In the margins of the joint 77th session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) and the 40th session of the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC) at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, experts from Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan met this week, to work-out a country-owned regional greening strategy for the first time. The strategy is aimed at landscape restoration and greening the infrastructure of countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Full press release is here.

New UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists will strengthen transboundary boreal forest efforts

The boreal forest that circles the globe doesn’t make it to the news as often as the Amazon rainforest. However, it contains a third of all the trees on earth and in combination with its soil forms the largest storage of CO2, while refreshing the entire planet’s atmosphere with the oxygen it produces. In addition, forest-based products derived from sustainably managed boreal forests offer an alternative to more carbon-intensive materials such as plastics, concrete or steel. Boreal forests are therefore a crucial ally, if we are to mitigate climate change and meet the goal of maintaining the projected global temperature increase to below 2°C.

However, in recent years boreal forests have come under attack. While boreal forests are largely untouched by direct human influence, they have been dramatically affected by anthropogenic climate change. Rising temperatures warm up the boreal forests’ permafrost soil, thus threatening to release the CO2 it had previously stored. Moreover, warmer temperatures can enable insects to thrive leading to beetle infestations. Finally, heatwave-related fires have drastically diminished the boreal forests’ size. Once the forests’ peat and turf soils are burning, it is impossible to control the fire as it spreads underneath the forest soil.  Ironically, our boreal allies in the fight against climate change are destroyed by the effects of the very development they are meant to mitigate.

In light of the challenges and opportunities linked to boreal forests, ministers from the circumboreal countries, Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Russian Federation and the United States of America, signed the Haparanda Ministerial Declaration on Circumboreal Cooperation on Forests in June 2018. In the declaration countries vowed to increase research cooperation and knowledge-sharing on boreal forests.

At the joint 77th session of the ECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) and the 40th session of the FAO European Forestry Commission (EFC) the whole UNECE region, comprised of 56 member States, decided to further boost these efforts by establishing a Team of Specialists dedicated specifically to boreal forests. The new team’s objectives are to contribute to and streamline science and policy cooperation on boreal forests, increase collaboration with the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA) and other boreal-related research organizations, improve awareness of the boreal forests’ global role in issues such as climate change and the bioeconomy, and to advise the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section on boreal forest matters.

Full press release is here.

Forests’ contribution to the circular economy and sustainable wood-based innovations in focus for European Forest Week and Forêt2019

If you have been following the latest news about forests, there is one topic difficult to overlook – wildfires. The number of wildfires recorded so far this year has reached a record high. Prolonged periods of climate-change related droughts may be one of the causes of the increase in wildfires. But the forests affected by these fires also harbor powerful solutions for climate action. 

The world’s forests store an estimated 296 gigatonnes of carbon in both above- and below-ground biomass. Europe’s 400 billion trees alone currently absorb almost 9 percent of the continent’s greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, trees can cool the air by 8 degrees and serve as a great source of renewable energy. Finally, forest products can contribute to reducing the use of carbon intensive materials by offering wood-based alternatives in areas ranging from the textile industry to the construction sector.

Building on this potential, the versatile and sustainable uses of wood also offer enormous possibilities to accelerate the shift to a circular economy.

“Forests and the circular economy” is the theme of European Forest Week 2019, jointly organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Read the full press release here.

Exhibition at the Palais des Nations showcases how wood-based materials offer solutions for recycling

You want to order online but hate the non-recyclable packaging material used in e-commerce in addition to cardboard? You are a restaurant owner and want to cut down on the dozens of Styrofoam boxes that your fish is delivered in every day? You are thinking of building a house but worry about the carbon emissions linked to using concrete and steel?

It can seem difficult to find adequate alternatives for these seemingly ubiquitous, carbon-intensive materials but alternatives do exist. Recyclable packaging and wood-based construction materials exist and are ready to be used on a much bigger scale.

The exhibition “Forests and the Circular Economy. A future without plastics”, opening today   at the Palais des Nations in Geneva shows that the wood sector offers available products made of renewable and sustainably sourced raw material that can offer solutions to global challenges as part of a circular economy.

Opening the exhibition, UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova, recalled that “wood-based industries have a significant capacity of recycling that has been strongly imbedded in their operation for decades. Forests also are powerful actors in climate change mitigation”.

The use of wood-based products instead of carbon-intensive materials such as plastics, steel, and concrete, for every-day objects and construction would contribute to mitigating climate change, which harms forests, thus diminishing their ability to absorb carbon emissions, which in turn accelerates climate change. In recent years forests have suffered from increased storms, beetle infestations, and wild fires that are likely to have been caused by climate-change related weather events such as heat waves.

Read the full press release here.


Wood: Building the Bioeconomy

In its recently published book, Wood: Building the Bioeconomy, CEI-Bois shows how the EU can reduce emissions by using low carbon, renewable, biological alternatives such as timber over high carbon materials such as concrete, steel and plastic. The publication goes on to show that this would be good not only for the climate but also for the economy as a whole. Increasing the use of European wood-based products in global construction, textile and plastics markets, could generate as much as 60 billion euros of revenue.

This publication aims to exhibit the inherent advantages of using wood. Wood is renewable, sustainable and can be used, re-used and recycled. It is a model product for Europe’s transition towards a Circular Economy intended to boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.

[Download here]


Forest Products Annual Market Review 2018-2019

The Forest Products Annual Market Review 2018-2019 provides a comprehensive analysis of markets in the UNECE region and reports on the main market influences outside the UNECE region. It covers the range of products from the forest to the end-user: from roundwood and primary processed products to value-added and housing.
Statistics-based chapters analyse the markets for wood raw materials, sawn softwood, sawn hardwood, wood-based panels, paper, paperboard and woodpulp. Other chapters analyse policies and markets for wood energy.
Underlying the analysis is a comprehensive collection of data.
The Review highlights the role of sustainable forest products in international markets.
Policies concerning forests and forest products are discussed, as well as the main drivers and trends.
The Review also analyses the effects of the current economic situation on forest products markets.

[PDF here]

Rovaniemi Action Plan for the Forest Sector in a Green Economy: Mid-term Review

This publication is a mid-term review of actions that have been implemented and are in line with the Rovaniemi Action Plan (RAP).

Stakeholders of the RAP provided input and the Joint Section also reviewed its own activities.

This study also contains a general review of actions reported during 2017 and 2018, as well as information gathered through the previous voluntary updates on the status of the implementation by the member States in 2014 and 2015.

[PDF here]

Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People

A new comprehensive assessment of potential and anticipated impacts of efforts towards attaining the different SDGs on forests and forest-related livelihoods and development has just been published. This book discusses the conditions that influence how SDGs are implemented and prioritized, and provides a systematic, multidisciplinary global assessment of interlinkages among the SDGs and their targets, increasing understanding of potential synergies and unavoidable trade-offs between goals from the point of view of forests and people.

The assessment was undertaken by the IUFRO Special Project World Forests, Society and Environment (IUFRO WFSE). It involved 120 scientists and experts from 60 different universities and research and development institutions as well as 38 scientists who acted as peer reviewers of the different SDG chapters.

The development and publication of the book and policy brief were made possible thanks to financial contributions from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Natural Resources Institute Finland.

[Download here] [Printed version here] [Related Policy brief]

Plantation forests in Europe: challenges and opportunities

The European Forest Institute’s latest science-policy study focuses on the opportunities and challenges for plantation forests in Europe.  

European forests are facing new demands including helping to mitigate climate change, providing goods and services, generating jobs and acting as a source of fuel and materials. Forestry is also expected to play a major part in supplying the feedstock and services required to develop an innovative, sustainable bioeconomy.

Plantation forests can play a key role in meeting these objectives. In Europe, the area of plantation forestry is increasing, together with the proportion of roundwood and other services provided. There is new evidence that the sustainable management of plantations, particularly as part of a landscape-scale mosaic, has strong potential to deliver against Europe’s emerging policy priorities.

This study draws on recently published scientific research and four case studies (Ireland, Sweden, Italy and Georgia), to ask if plantation forestry is currently meeting its full potential to deliver European environmental and socio-economic policies. It identifies what science can tell us about designing and managing forest plantations, and their use to meet society’s future needs, and sets out the major policy implications.

[Download here]

Arbres remarquables en forêt: leur identification, préservation at valorisation en forêt de soignes

Quand on parle d’arbres remarquables, on pense le plus souvent à des arbres isolés, de parcs ou de jardins, publics ou privés. La forêt est rarement évoquée. Les arbres remarquables forestiers représentent pourtant un patrimoine naturel le plus souvent insoupçonné. Dans cette optique, au début des années 2000, un inventaire des arbres remarquables de la partie bruxelloise de la forêt de Soignes (1654 hectares) a été initié. Il avait pour but de faire connaître ce patrimoine auprès du public et d’en assurer la préservation.

En 2013, une première liste d’arbres remarquables a été arrêtée, fruit d’une collaboration le service forestier bruxellois et une association de riverains.Les critères dimensionnels et morphologiques s’avèrent déterminants pour l’identification des arbres remarquables forestiers. Le critère de forme peut concerner des arbres au port forestier majestueux mais aussi des arbres au port tourmenté. Différentes actions sont prévues pour mettre en valeur ce patrimoine arboré fragile tout en assurant sa préservation.

 [Full article here]

Situation point and highlights of the international timber trade context

The article reviews some of the highlights of the international timber trade context : the increasingly dominant position of China, the impacts of population growth, changes related to biological invasions, among others. Finally, it discusses some major trends related to technology. Despite a pessimistic approach it evokes what the wood and forest industry can present as remarkable tracks.

[PDF in French here]

European forest-based sector launched its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2030

The Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SIRA) 2030 provides a holistic and timely roadmap for the European research and innovation to tackle the current major societal challenges facing Europe. With a mission to achieve the 10 FTP Vision Targets by 2040, SIRA 2030 identifies for each vision target the challenges that require significant efforts in research and innovation. Accordingly, close to 50 challenges have been identified. For each challenge, SIRA 2030 identifies important examples of needed research and innovation activities. 

Forest volumes continue to grow across the EU which provides great resources for Europe to tackle climate change and develop a circular bioeconomy.

While sustainable forest management ensures the resilience and vitality of ecosystems, the increasing production of wood-based products provides more environment-friendly options to consumers in their daily lives.

For instance, Vision Target 4 aims to, by 2040, reach material collection rates of 90% for forest-based products and that reuse and recycling account for 70% of all recyclable material. This circular economy stores carbon and substitutes more energy-intensive materials.

Making Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent, as set out in the European Green Deal, is within reach, but requires more innovative initiatives and research-based actions. With the launch of SIRA 2030, the forest-based sector is ready to take the lead in reaching EU climate and energy policy objectives and more ambitious emission reduction targets for 2030.
[Download here.]

Decent work in forestry – an ILO policy guidance note

As part of the portfolio of Policy Guidance Notes on Decent Work in the Rural Economy, the International Labour Office has published a brief on Decent Work in Forestry. It looks at some of the key policy issues related to the promotion of decent work in forestry, and presents the ILO’s approach to it.

The publication of the Policy Guidance Note follows the tripartite Sectoral Meeting on Promoting Decent Work and Safety and Health in Forestry, organized in Geneva in May 2019.

This meeting adopted conclusions that recognize the importance of decent work to ensuring sustainable, productive and safe forestry operations; and recommends some key steps for future action for governments, workers and employers organizations as well as the ILO to further promote decent work in forestry.

[Download here]

Contribution of the land sector to a 1.5 °C world

In a recent paper, a multinational group of scientists identified and quantified measures in the total land sector (agriculture and forestry)  to contribute to climate mitigation. They conclude that transforming the land sector and deploying measures in agriculture, forestry, wetlands and bioenergy could feasibly and sustainably contribute about 30%, or 15 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) per year, of the global mitigation needed in 2050 to deliver on the 1.5 °C target.  Stopping deforestation, enhancing afforestation, improving forest management and producing wood products and bioenergy constitute 2/3 of this total contribution of land sector.

Dedicated bioenergy plantations are a relatively small part of this, but bioenergy as part of sustainable production of wood products is more important. Risks and barriers must be addressed and incentives (achieving also win-win situations) will be necessary to scale up mitigation. Up to now very little funding has been dedicated to this sector, while there are many positive contributions in terms of food and fibre supply, adaptation, biodiversity, and soil protection.  

[PDF here]

From reference levels to results reporting: REDD+ under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: 2019 update

This report provides an update on forest reference (emission) levels (FREL/FRLs) and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) results submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and relevant developments under the Green Climate Fund concerning REDD+ results-based payments.

It illustrates the choices countries have made when constructing their FREL/FRLs and areas for improvement identified during technical assessments.

As of early July 2019, the following REDD+ measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) milestones had been achieved: 39 countries had submitted 45 FREL/FRLs to the UNFCCC for technical assessment; 8 countries had reported REDD+ results to the UNFCCC through ten submissions (in the REDD+ technical annex of their biennial update reports), totalling more than 8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) in emission reductions. Two funding proposals (Brazil and Ecuador) for REDD+ results-based payments had been approved by the Green Climate Fund.

The aim of this paper is to inform countries about recent developments in the MRV of REDD+ activities under the UNFCCC. Certain developments are detailed out in the report, such as progress in uncertainty reporting and methods used to assess deforestation. Such information can help countries to learn from each other’s experiences and thus facilitate South–South knowledge exchange on REDD+.

[PDF here]

EPCI 2019: “Status quo” on sustainability shows it's time for pulp and paper to deliver

WWF has published its 6th Environmental Paper Company Index, a voluntary tool to increase transparency and awareness on how the pulp, paper and packaging sectors can reduce their footprint. This year's Index shows a "status quo” in the industry's sustainability efforts and calls upon the sector to deliver.

The assessment comes ahead of the significant 2020 milestone by when many global companies have pledged to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains.

The pulp and paper sector plays a crucial role in achieving these commitments as growing demand for paper, particularly virgin fiber, is adding pressure on our remaining natural forests, aquatic ecosystems, biodiversity, wildlife and climate change.

[Download the paper here.]

Ecosystem services accounting - Part II Pilot accounts for crop and timber provision, global climate regulation and flood controlThe Knowledge Innovation Project on an Integrated system of Natural Capital and ecosystem services Accounting (KIP INCA) aims to develop a set of experimental accounts at the EU level, following the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting - Experimental Ecosystem Accounts (SEEA EEA).

The application of the SEEA EEA framework is useful to illustrate ecosystem accounts with clear examples, to further develop the methodology outlined in the United Nations Technical Recommendations, and to give guidance for Natural Capital Accounting. This report assesses and accounts for four ecosystem services (ES): crop provision, timber provision, global climate regulation, and flood control.

The methodology applied for the accounts of each ecosystem service depends on the nature of the service and on data availability. Crop provision account is based on official statistics on yield production.

[PDF here.]

Committee Forecast 2019

Following the annual Market Discussions of the Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (former Timber Committee), the Committee issues a statement which includes: overview of the forest products sector, developments in specific forest product market sectors, sawn softwood and sawn hardwood, wood-based panels, wood raw materials including wood energy, pulp and paper, certified forest products and tables summarizing forecasts in Europe, North America and Russia.

The Committee also collects data on over 30 individual products for most countries in the UNECE region

[PDF here]



International conference on governing and managing forests for multiple ecosystem services across the globe

An International Conference on “Governing and managing forests for multiple ecosystem services across the globe” will be held in Bonn, Germany on 26-28 February 2020.

The conference aims to compile and synthesize the scientific evidence related to the current state of integrated forest management approaches.

As such, it will bring together different disciplines from policy analysis, ecology, economics, forest (ecosystem) management and conservation and consequently engage policy makers and practitioners.

More information on the event:

European Forest Policy Post-2020


What is the Green Deal for European forest policy?

How to improve policy coordination?

These questions will be discussed in the next ThinkForest seminar on 18 March 2020 in Brussels.

ThinkForest is a high-level science-policy forum which brings together policymakers, the scientific community and stakeholders to build bridges on pan-European forest and bioeconomy issues. The event is chaired by Janez Potočnik, ThinkForest President. Registration to this event will open early February.

More information is here: 

Workshop on on the actual uses of the data generated by the German National Forest Inventory (NFI) and on potential further data needs

On 11-13 May 2020 a workshop/congress will be held at the University of Göttingen on the actual uses of the data generated by the German National Forest Inventory (NFI) and on potential further data needs.

The congress will be organised in cooperation with the Thünen Institute and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.The congress will give a platform for exchange and discussion on the use of data and results of the NFI. Additionally the congress will give insight into options of potential further developments of the German NFI. The conference language will be German.

You are welcome to attend, report on your experience on the use of the NFI data and discuss with colleagues. Of course, experiences of user needs assessments and of impact assessments from other NFIs are welcome.

A first announcement of the congress you can find on Registration will be open by 1 January 2020.

If you plan to give a presentation you are invited to send title and summary (max. 300 words) to [email protected]. For questions please contact [email protected]

World BioEconomy Forum

The World BioEconomy Forum (WCBEF) was founded in 2018 by a team of global experts - including experts in technology, marketing, stakeholder engagement and sustainability in forestry, pulp and paper industry - who realised that sustainable, circular, forestry bioeconomy is our future. Europe has been leading the bioeconomy sector to date, but in the last few years the efforts to introduce and implement bioeconomy policies have spread out worldwide. In the last two years, WCBEF has been providing the global platform for the Circular Bioeconomy stakeholders to get together, exchange views and come up with a joint agenda on this increasingly important topic.

The first event was a success and demonstrated the need for a global discussion platform and the need to develop a visible identity for the circular bioeconomy. The themes of the second forum in 2019 were Implementing Biostrategies, Forests Mitigating Climate Change, CEO Discussion on the Bioeconomy, Circular Bioeconomy, and Evolving Value Chains Based on Bio-feedstock - Plastics, and the attendees came from 22 countries and from five continents. As a result of the WCBEF 2019, the delegates agreed upon eight declarations to further develop the common agenda on the circular bioeconomy.

Next event will be arranged on September 9-11, 2020 in Ruka, Finland. The themes 2020 will cover the following: Roundtable for Biostrategies, Sustainable Financing, CEO panel, Bioeconomy & Education, Bio-based value chains – Case lignin. The program consists of panels and high-level presentations on the Circular Bioeconomy and climate change.

More information is available here.

How to contribute? Deadline to provide contributions to the next issue is 15 March 2020. 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.