Yesterday, in an event under the umbrella of the Austrian EU-presidency, the “FTP (Forest-based Sector Technology Platform) Vision 2040 of the European Forest-based Sector” was launched. The venue, the very prestigious Marmorsaal in the premises of the Federal Austrian Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism, was fully packed with representatives from some 20 European countries.
The conference, entitled “Vision 2040: The future role of the forest bioeconomy in Europe”, aimed to show that the forest-based sector is a leading actor in and enabler of a circular bioeconomy. Representatives of the European Commission, national public authorities, as well as researchers, business representatives and forest owners tookpart in panel debates and inspiring talks. All in order to help moving from promises to actually achieving real facts and figures.
A message by Elisabeth Köstinger, Austrian Federal Minister for Sustainability and Tourism opened the conference by congratulating the stakeholders of the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform on the successful launch of a new Vision for 2040: “I am pleased that you have selected Vienna as the venue for the FTP conference. The forest-based sector is one of the largest industrial sectors in Europe. It is very important for Austria”.
“The Vision, which includes ten Vision Targets for 2040, – Köstinger Continued – is very ambitious. It will require policymakers, Member States’ administrations and the stakeholders of the forest-based sector to work together to make the Vision a reality. This job starts today”.
“The European forest-based sector has a major role to play in the bioeconomy. The sustainable management of forests,and the provision of wood, for various uses in implementing the bioeconomy plays a crucial role for the future development of our society. In this context, future EU research policies will be decisive for a successful bioeconomy development”, stated Peter Mayer, Managing Director of the Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW) and co-chair of the FTP National Support Group in Austria.
“Last year was a record year for European funding to boost research and innovation in the forest-based sector. The positive trend demonstrates confidence that forest owners and industry can deliver sustainable bioproducts and technologies that will enable the EU to make true on its commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement and theUnited Nations Sustainable Development Goals”, explained Johan Elvnert, FTP Managing Director.
“We can provide solutions to the global challenges like no other sector. This is why a European Vision, based on the efforts of the whole forest-based sector is so important. FTP Vision 2040 is fully aligned with Södras vision for the future” said Lena Ek, Chair of the Board of FTP and President of Södra, Sweden’s largest forest-owner association, and an international forest industry Group with net sales in 2017 amounting to 2 billion Euro.
A new Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, to be launched in 2019, will provide the roadmap that will enable the forest-based sector to achieve its Vision 2040, in cooperation with public authorities and the European Community.