Wood is a very versatile raw material and thus an important resource for many industries, such as construction, furniture, pulp and paper, bioenergy and biorefineries (new chemical products). Using wood is one of the safest ways to reduce the CO2 emissions that are the main cause of climate change. Already today, a variety of innovative products can be produced from wood which are expected to stimulate significant growth of the forest-based sector within the green economy. Mobilising more wood therefore offers a major opportunity for Europe to reduce its impacts on the environment and develop a sustainable bio-based economy. Today, Europe’s large unused wood potential is ‘locked’ in forests where harvesting is limited due to complex barriers associated with regulation, accessibility, ownership structures and other technical, social and economic factors. A large share of the unused potential can be mobilised through more active forest management and without disturbing other forest functions.
The newly published SIMWOOD-project's Handbook for wood mobilisation in Europe aims to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities of wood mobilisation from managed forests by increasing the sustainable harvesting of wood. Based on a survey of initiatives and pilot projects in several European countries, the main barriers impeding wood mobilisation are presented along with a set of corresponding measures and interventions that are considered capable of lifting these barriers. It provides a thorough overview of the topic from a European perspective and is aimed at practitioners and policy makers in the forest-based sector. It is also useful as an introduction for readers interested in wood and biomass who have a different background, for example in biochemistry, new materials or renewable energies.
The policy brief presents the SIMWOOD pilot projects and other key outcomes of the project: the SIMWOOD Information System and the Handbook of wood mobilisation. It is aimed at policy- and decision-makers at various levels, including regional forest administrations, forest owner associations, and other stakeholders, such as hunting associations and conservation groups.