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Protection of biodiversity or more wood for bio-energy?

11.04.2008
As the EU promotes renewable energy with clear targets for 2020 and the wood markets show increasing demand of raw material, the present political discussions are focussing on availability and mobilization of wood in Europe.

On the other hand, policies are being developed to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010 and beyond. Protecting biological and landscape diversity has resulted in various protection regimes across Europe, which affect the economic exploitation of forests.

But to what extent do currently protected forests limit the potential wood supply?

A recent study carried out at the European Forest Institute provides an estimate of the felling restrictions imposed by biodiversity and landscape protection in European forests that are currently protected and the wood volume affected.

It was found that the wood volume affected by protecting forests for biodiversity or landscape was about 68 million m3, which is approximately the same as the volume of roundwood production in Germany and Italy combined in 2005.

The report serves as a source of information in discussing whether to protect European forests for biodiversity or to harvest more wood for producing bio-energy. This information can be adopted by policy makers, industry and NGOs alike to ensure we make decisions that promote sustainability of forest land use.

Anu Ruusila | alfa
Further information:
http://www.efi.int
http://www.efi.int/attachments/publications/tr_27.pdf

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