Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)
As most of the forests worldwide are managed, sustainable forest management
(SFM) is a key issue to halt the alarming global forest loss
of 13 million hectares per year. This is essential to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions caused by deforestation, to slow down the loss
of biodiversity and to ensure environmental services
forests provide for human well-being.
is one of the main reasons for
deforestation. It takes place in various countries around the world –
from the tropics up to the temperate and boreal forests of Eastern Europe
and Russia. Illegal logging causes governments in developing countries
of an estimated €10-15 billion every year in lost revenue and depresses
wood prices by 7% to 16% globally. Producer countries
have to be supported to strengthen governance and forest
law enforcement in order to eliminate illegal logging –
although legality is only the first step to sustainability.
is widely seen as the most
important initiative of the last decade to promote better forest management.
Certification provides forest owners a competitive advantage
for maintaining and accessing new markets as well as a benchmark for best
In the last decade however, an inflationary trend in the number of certification
systems of various quality makes it hard for companies and consumers to
judge the effectiveness of these tools, although the key to improve the
way forests are managed through forest certification is the credibility
and quality of forest certification systems.
Growing demand for – fuel
wood for private households as well as wood chips for biomass power plants
– brings new challenges for sustainable forest management. Forest
biomass production should follow ecological guidelines
in order to avoid future growth loss, to maintain stability of forest
stands, and to reduce impacts on biodiversity. In order to avoid reverse
effect on greenhouse gas balance biomass action plans
have to assure ecological criteria for production and import of biomass
Marketing of Sustainable Forest Products
A growing number of companies takes leadership and promotes responsible
forest management instead of purchasing timber and paper products from
illegal and unsustainable sources. allows wood processing companies
as well as forest and paper industries to guarantee their
customers the exclusion of illegal and unsustainable wood from the supply
In order to meet the growing demand of certified timber and paper
products, between certified
companies have to be improved.
Retailers can undertake a stepwise approach to achieve more of forest products. about sustainable forest products
secures a steady growth in demand for certified timber and paper products.
Agricultural commodities like
gain in importance as a driving force in rain forest destruction.
Raising demand for biofuels will push forest conversion,
unless criteria for sustainable production are developed and implemented.
Forest degradation and destruction through illegal and unsustainable management
practices and land-use change is driven forward by the
demand in European countries for timber, paper, pulp, soy and palm oil.
help to determine
import routes of critical products as well as to develop adequate solutions
to reduce Europe’s footprint on the World’s
The (CITES) protects specific species of animal or
plant including timber which are close to extinction. CITES is currently
the only legal instrument, which allows authorities of consumer countries
to control the legal origin of timber products, to confiscate
goods deriving from illegal sources and to prosecute
related trade. Common timber species like Merbau will
get listed on CITES within the next months.
Environmental & Forest Policy
The European Union adopted an (FLEGT) to tackling
illegal logging. Voluntary partnership agreements are currently negotiated
with producer countries to push for good governance and
to ensure only legal timber enters the EU. Support of EU governments is
needed to negotiate strong partnership agreements, implement an effective
FLEGT licensing scheme and prove options like additional legislation or
broadening the range of wood products covered by FLEGT.
As timber bought for public purposes makes up 18% of the timber market
in Europe, greening is an
important tool to improve forest management worldwide.
In several EU member state countries public procurement policies are currently
under revision. Strong environmental criteria are needed to ensure on
legally and sustainable harvested timber is sourced through public procurement
contracts in the EU.
and action plans should not
focus on improving forest management on national level only, but take
international responsibility into account.
, which are currently under
development in the EU and several member states, should include criteria
on responsible production of biomass to ensure sustainability
of bio-energy. Rainforest destruction for production of biofuels
like palm oil worsens global greenhouse gas balance.
Forests & Climate Change
Global warming provides serious threats to forests and challenges sustainable
is needed to mitigate effects of climate change, as risk
of extreme weather events, pests and forest fires will
Forests as limit the greenhouse
effect contributing to global warming, by absorbing CO2, the main greenhouse
gas. Inversely, forest destruction contributes to 20% of global CO2 emissions.
Recognition of forest conservation and restoration as
carbon offsets may provide new funding options, by selling such carbon
offsets under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), created by the Kyoto
Protocol or on the voluntary market.
Forests serve as natural habitats to almost two thirds of all Earth’s
species, therefore acting as a stronghold to safeguard biodiversity. Considering
nature conservation in forest management is essential
to fulfil the international commitment of the Convention of Biodiversity
(CBD), to stop loss of biodiversity.
The return of large carnivores like bear, lynx
and wolf to Central Europe reveals the urgency of adequate
. Wildlife management plans
have to consider wildlife conservation as well as human needs and are
best developed under participation of all relevant stakeholders. Instruments
exist to reduce damages on human property without harming the wild animal.
for wildlife can be improved
by specific forest management measures like increasing the amount of dead
wood in favour of biodiversity. Planting fruit trees and other
eatable plants improves food supply for bears.