UNECE/FAO Policy Forum “Opportunities and impacts  of bio-energy policies and targets on the forest and other sectors

10 July 2007

UNECE/FAO Policy Forum “Opportunities and impacts of bio-energy policies and targets on the forest and other sectors

The Policy Forum will take place during the 65th session of the UNECE Timber Committee. This event will build on open questions and recommendations from the “Wood Mobilization Workshop” held in January 2007 in Geneva, and other related conferences convened by FAO and ITTO.
Concerns about climate change and energy security have led policy and decision makers to expect wood to make a signifi cant contribution to energy supply, and to introduce policies to promote this. Relevant policies along with rising energy prices have increased the demand for wood for energy. At the same time, Europe’s wood processing industries (sawnwood, paper, panels) continue to expand, resulting in increasing competition for raw material. UNECE/FAO statistics show that the volume of wood that is harvested from forests throughout the UNECE region at present is less than the volume increase.
The challenge is how to bring enough wood to the market without compromising the sustainable management of the forest and without undesirable impacts on other sectors and geographical regions. Another challenge is to defi ne what is a sustainable level in the new circumstances. The Policy Forum will focus on the availability of wood resources in the region and how to mobilize them. In addition, the event will also discuss the impacts and consequences of increased wood utilization on and by other sectors and geographical regions.
For the first time the UNECE Timber Committee (TC) will meet together with the International Softwood Conference (ISC) and hold joint market discussions. This year’s discussions should be richer for participants as each group brings a wealth of information from their perspective. The one and half day’s discussions will have two themes: (a) Softwood market developments to meet the ISC’s main interests; (2) Wood energy and mobilization (linked with the Policy Forum (see article.
The Market Discussions will have the traditional basis: Forest Products Annual Market Review, 2006-2007; countrysupplied market forecasts for 2007-2008; and country market statements.