Forests and forestry play a key role in policy targets to achieve climate neutrality. In a comprehensive new European Forest Institute study, a multidisciplinary team of 12 authors from 7 countries have analysed how much forests and wood use can contribute to climate change mitigation, and how that contribution can be maximised.
Biome Bioplastics and Suregreen begun large scale UK-wide field testing and initial commercial sales of their novel biodegradable tree shelters. The development of these biodegradable tree shelters aims to tackle one of the forestry industry’s plastic pollution challenges and support the UK’s afforestation efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve its carbon neutrality targets by 2050, the UK government pledged to more than double tree planting rates, with an ultimate target of 30,000 hectares per year, equivalent to 90-120 million trees planted. Yet, while tree shelters are essential to protect saplings and help them grow safely, they are not collected at the end of their lifetime, already leading to an estimated 2,500 tonnes of plastic ending up annually in the natural environment after use.
Last Thursday the European Parliament gave a “go” to the Com Agri Report prepared by MEP Petri Sarvamaa on the “European Forest Strategy – the way forward”. This plenary vote sent a positive signal for forest owners and managers and the 4 million workers involved in the forestry value chains.
“Transitioning towards a circular bioeconomy is a fundamental step. But new markets, products and sustainable value chains will need to be created.” To say it – in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Marc Palahí, director of EFI (European Forest Institute). He talks with us after his business trip to China.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
Experts from the leading edge of bioeconomy gather together in the outstanding nature of northeast Finland for roundtable discussions at the second ever World BioEconomy Forum in September. From September 11 to 13, Ruka will host some of the world’s most influential bioeconomy stakeholders, policymakers, researchers and innovators as speakers. Program is arranged by well-established Advisory Board (AB) of circular bioeconomy advocators.
The European Forest Institute (EFI) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) plan to join forces on research including the role of sustainable forest management in achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and to better connect science to policy action.
The two organizations on May 24 signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Barcelona, establishing a partnership to advance and communicate forest science and support sustainable development. The agreement will help put forests front and center on the global development agenda, according to Marc Palahí, Director of EFI, and Robert Nasi, Director General of CIFOR.
“Growing the Irish Forest Bioeconomy”. This is the title of a report launched by the minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D. The report, produced by the Council for Forest Research and Development (COFORD), on the contribution and potential of the forest sector in the emerging Irish Bioeconomy has been submitted to the Department of An Taoiseach (taoiseach means leader and is the prime minister of Ireland). This is part of the on-going process to develop a Government Policy Statement on the Irish Bioeconomy.
“Biofuels are expected to play a major role in road transport but the regulatory environment remains uncertain. Legislation is required for the EU to grow in locally produced sustainable biofuels. Therefore the rules need to extend beyond 2020. The long lasting policy processes are now creating uncertainty. Industry and investors need a stable, long term regulatory framework for biofuels”. To say this was Marko Janhunen, Vice President of Stakeholder Relations, UPM Biorefining, last Thursday in Brussels in the framework of CEPI European Paperweek, where the Finnish company presented its Biofore Concept Car, an example of how new biomaterials can be applied in the automotive industry.
The opportunities for the forest sector in the transition to a bioeconomy, the challenges it faces and its essential contribution to combating climate change was discussed at the high-level seminar “Forests and the bioeconomy: future steps” organised by the ThinkForest forum at the European Parliament in Brussels on 13 November.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the biggest multitechnological applied research organisation in Northern Europe, at the request of the South Australian State Government, studied the condition of the forest sector industries in the Green Triangle region and examined the added value that may be achievable through high technology production.