EFI at the European Forest Week

EFI took part in the first European Forest Week in October both in events organised in Brussels and in Rome. One of the major efforts was the collaborative forest & wood exhibition organized in the EU Economic and Social Committee building in Brussels. In his opening speech of the exhibition Director of EFI, Risto Päivinen, assured of the growing forest resources in Europe and emphasized the need for communication. The exhibition will bring the message of forests – their role in climate change and the state of forests in Europe to visitors and workers in the European Economic and Social Committee building for a full month.

The Forest & Wood exhibition was jointly prepared by the European Forest Institute, Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF), State Forests of Europe (EUSTAFOR), Scandinavian Forest Owners, European Confederation of woodworking industries (CEI-Bois), Federation of European Municipality Forests (FECOF) and European farmers and European agricultural co-operatives (COPA*COGECA).

The role of forests and the forest-based sector in meeting the EU’s climate commitments

’Are foresters a bit like forest, quiet and silent?’ asked Poul Skytte, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Fischer Boel, when he concluded the conference on the role of forests and the forest-based sector in meeting the EU’s climate commitments held 23 October in Brussels. A call for more communication on the state of forests, multifunctionality of forests and economic importance of forests was repeated during the conference which was held in conjunction of the European Forest Week.

The speakers of the conference represented different stakeholders of forest-based sector and non-governmental organisations. This versatility of participants allowed for an open debate on the future role of forests. On one hand it is important to move to use more wood in construction and to find innovative uses for wood, while at the same time forests are a host for huge variety of biodiversity and are one of the main elements of environmental sustainability.

The conference was followed by the opening of the forest and wood exhibition at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). The conference was organised by the EESC in conjunction with the European Forest Week and it gathered 160 participants.

The first European Forest Week was held from 20-24 October 2008. It consisted of over 100 forest-related events held concurrently in 30 countries across Europe. The main event took place at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 21-24 October 2008.

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