Innovation and sustainable management will ensure competitiveness of the forest-based sector in the future

Thursday 09 June 2016
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Under the title ‘Future of the Forest – Czech contribution to challenges for European Research and Policies’, the Czech Liaison Office for Research, Development and Innovation (CZELO) hosted a seminar to discuss and reflect on how to set short and long-term strategies for future management of forests in face of climate change, the impacts on the forestry sector and the role of science and policy. Welcomed by the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Address Pavel Poc, representatives of the European Commission, academia and business participated to the event that took place in Brussels, on 2 June 2016.

From the left to the right: Piotr Borkwovski, EUSTAFOR Executive Director; Johan Elvnert, FTP Managing Director; MEP Address Pavel Poc (S&D); and Pavlína Pancová Šimková, European Research Officer (CZELO).                                                      

Introducing the innovative portfolio of the forest-based sector, FTP Managing Director Johan Elvnert affirmed that “the future of the forest-based sector stands in enabling the circular bioeconomy. The sector’s ambition is to bring even more breakthroughs to the market,” he stated. Elvnert underlined the need invest on research areas focused on improving the harvesting possibilities in Europe, enhancing biomass production and ensuring wood supply for the operations.

In the view of Piotr Borkwovski, Executive Director of the European State Forests Association (EUSTAFOR), sustainable forest management is the reason behind the expansion of forest areas in Europe. He highlighted that in the 49 million hectares of State managed forests the annual harvest totals nearly 120m3 million while annual increment reaches up to 200m3 million.

A complete picture about the future of EU forests was outlined by other speakers: Peter Löffler (European Commission, DG ENV), Alexandre Fernandes (Joint Programming Initiative Clima); Xavier Noyon (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification); Radek Pokorný (Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences), Tomáš Hlásny (Czech University of Life Sciences); and Johannes Vallivaara (ProAgria Lapland).