Following Rio +20: European Forests and the Green Economy

Speakers and panel discussions on 3 October focused on forests and the green economy. There was wide-ranging discussion on the huge potential which the forest sector can offer - and the challenges which it faces - , and a consensus that we need to raise awareness of the forest sector at a policy level.

The speakers raised issues such as the full potential of the Green Economy has not been achieved, how to best make use of scarce resources and what are the challenges and legislative initiatives related to a green European economy. It was pointed out that the EU Resource Efficiency Initiative does not currently contain much about the forest sector and EFI and its members were urged to participate in this. EFI network was also invited to participate in discussions on an FAO Action Plan for the Forest Sector in the Green Economy.

A lively panel discussion followed, which focused on the allocation challenge of balancing the different uses of wood. It was pointed out that policy design was very important, and that it was also important to look at the volumes of allocation – energy has the tendency to be the driving agenda, rather than other uses such as biochemicals. Finally, it was reiterated that it was important to push the scientific agenda at a policy level, to promote the forestry sector in a fragmented policy environment.

The presentations of the conference are available here.

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