Europe’s wood supply in disruptive times

A new study by European forest experts examines Europe's wood supply threats, from climate change to policy issues. The report, part of IUFRO World Series Vol. 42, offers practical solutions for the wood industry, forest managers, and policymakers.

Photo: IUFRO

On 14 March TEAMING UP 4 FORESTS presented a study analysing factors affecting future wood supply in Europe such as climate change, land use and policy developments. The study proposes practical response measures for different stakeholder groups, including the wood-based industry, forest management and policymakers.

Forests in Europe are strongly affected by climate change, with far-reaching consequences for forest health and ecosystem services including the supply of wood. Tree species of great commercial importance are significantly impacted by disturbances such as extreme drought events, bark beetle infestation, and frequent heatwaves and wildfires. Forests and wood-based industries also face other challenges such as political uncertainties and a fragmented forest landscape caused by alterations in land use and wildfires, among others.

The new study titled “Europe’s wood supply in disruptive times”IUFRO World Series 42 – captures the factors identified in numerous scientific studies influencing wood supply from European forests. It outlines the impacts of climate change and also considers other factors, including policy incoherence and socioeconomic developments. Bridging the gap between science and application of insights, it highlights practical implications and response measures for the wood-based industry, forest management and policymakers. The study compiles findings of a wide range of scientific papers and research. Perspectives of different stakeholders have also been evaluated during the process.

The study author team comprised of forest scientists and experts across Europe. Dr Metodi Sotirov from University of Freiburg (Germany), chaired the study team and comments: “Although this is an evidence-based publication with a strong scientific component, it aims to inform decision-makers that operate mainly outside scientific and academic circles, and to contribute to bridging the gap between science, business and stakeholders in the forest and wood-based sector.”

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The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) is a non-profit, non-governmental international network of forest scientists, which promotes global cooperation in forest-related research and enhances the understanding of the ecological, economic and social aspects of forests and trees. IUFRO unites more than 15,000 scientists in almost 700 Member Organizations in over 110 countries, and is a member of ICSU.