New European research-backed programme aims to increase sustainable forestry

EIT Climate-KIC is to launch an ambitious forestry innovation programme combining bio-economy, conservation and sequestration approaches to help deliver European mitigation targets.

The programme will aim to bring more of Europe’s privately owned, unmanaged forests into sustainable production through increased investment, new forest management techniques, the use of advanced geo-data for monitoring and traceability, and the creation of bio-based wood construction value chains to replace fossil-based material use.

Evidence base

The plans are underpinned by a body of new research initiated by Climate-KIC and partners including leading institutions Wageningen University (Netherlands), INRA (France), Lund University (Sweden), and I4CE (France).

Released today on UN International Day of Forests (21 March), EIT Climate-KIC and the future of the forestry sector, suggests that forests currently account for around 10 per cent of Europe’s total greenhouse gas mitigation efforts, but innovation could double this impact by 2050 if afforestation is supported, forest management is improved and fossil-based construction products are substituted with wood-based ones. 

The report underlines how greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing between public and private decision-makers is needed to deliver climate-smart forestry solutions that go beyond simple carbon sequestration.

“We will pioneer the innovation urgently needed to sustain the vital jobs, economic growth, biodiversity, and valuable environmental services delivered by Europe’s forestry sector today, for tomorrow.”

A systemic approach to sector innovation is vital for EU forests to adapt and play an enhanced role as carbon sinks and carbon stores. This includes encouraging greater substitution of fossil carbon products like cement and plastics with wood and bio-based products, argues EIT Climate-KIC Chairman, Anders Wijkman.

Speaking at a Climate-KIC event in Stockholm to increase the use of wood in construction, Wijkman said: “Uniting forestry stakeholders behind bold long-term commercial and environmental goals will deliver multiple benefits. Public-private innovation must drive new bio-based markets for sustainable EU wood products and secure diverse and resilient forestry resources needed to safeguard our environment and economy for decades to come.”

Optimal balance 

Through its forestry programme, Climate-KIC will help catalyse commercially viable innovation as a complement to traditional conservation approaches to ensure EU forests achieve the optimal balance between their full environmental and economic potential, according to Director of Sustainable Land Use at EIT Climate-KIC, Daniel Zimmer.

“Europe’s forests can and must play a bigger role in the fight against climate change. A more inclusive, productive and climate-resilient EU forestry sector can increase commercial returns for landowners, reinforce Europe’s bio-economy and displace unsustainable pressures on forests in other parts of the world,” Zimmer said.

Pressing the urgency of the research and the forestry programme, Fabrizio Rossi, Programme Lead EIT Climate-KIC’s climate-smart forestry programme added:

“Forests and wood value chains play a vital role in the global carbon cycle and EU economy but climate change increases the threats they face from forest fires, storms, drought, floods, and pests. We aim to pioneer the innovation urgently needed to sustain the vital jobs, economic growth, biodiversity, and valuable environmental services delivered by Europe’s forestry sector today, for tomorrow.”

Climate-KIC is currently developing a multi-year strategy with its core partners. The new capacity-building programme to enhance climate-smart and sustainable forestry and develop wood value chains will be formally launched later in 2018.

EIT Climate-KIC and the future of the forestry sector – key findings:

  • EU forests have a key role to play in tackling global climate change.
  • Innovation in Europe’s forestry sector could double its current contributions global greenhouse gas mitigation.
  • New conservation and sustainable commercial approaches must be combined with innovation in the circular economy.
  • New business models are needed to integrate accounting methodologies and financial instruments for risk management.
  • New traceability and transparency measures must be facilitated in the wood market to improve links between sustainable forestry management and downstream value creation.
  • Substitution of fossil carbon with bio-based products, including wood construction should be boosted.

Read the full report here.

 
Location
Sweden
Related Focus Area
Sustainable Land Use
Related Goal
Goal 6: Nurture forests in integrated landscapes
Articles you may be interested in
In The News
A new air and climate plan for Milan

The City Council of Milan approved the Air and...

A new air and climate plan for Milan
In The News
Meet the three EIT Climate-KIC innovators nominated for EIT Awards

Three innovators from EIT Climate-KIC’s community have been nominated...

Meet the three EIT Climate-KIC innovators nominated for EIT Awards
In The News
100 European cities take up the challenge to become carbon neutral by 2030

On Monday 13 June, the representatives of the 100...

100 European cities take up the challenge to become carbon neutral by 2030
In The News
The role of cities and regions in transforming wood value chains

Climate smart forest economies It’s a crucial decade for...

The role of cities and regions in transforming wood value chains
In The News
Glasgow City Region pioneering forest economy innovation to drive climate acti...

Scotland’s largest city region is actively tackling climate change...

Glasgow City Region pioneering forest economy innovation to drive climate action
In The News
Forging sustainable timber construction in Europe

EIT Climate-KIC and Built by Nature, announce an initiative...

Forging sustainable timber construction in Europe
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC launches new Circularity Thinking training programme

EIT Climate-KIC is launching Circularity Thinking courses to tackle...

EIT Climate-KIC launches new Circularity Thinking training programme
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC announces four winners of EIT Community Booster

EIT Climate-KIC selected four cleantech start-ups to be part...

EIT Climate-KIC announces four winners of EIT Community Booster
In The News
Science reveals last paths to stop irreversible planetary damage

Climate change is going to get worse, but curbing global warming is...

Science reveals last paths to stop irreversible planetary damage
In The News
EIT Community presents New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards winners

Supported by the EIT Community, the New European Bauhaus...

EIT Community presents New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards winners
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC joins forces with the Government of Ireland to stimulate clima...

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of...

EIT Climate-KIC joins forces with the Government of Ireland to stimulate climate innovation in the agri-food sector
In The News
Climate Lab: EIT Climate-KIC co-initiates hotspot for Vienna’s climate ambit...

Climate Lab in Vienna will give climate actors an...

Climate Lab: EIT Climate-KIC co-initiates hotspot for Vienna’s climate ambitions
In The News
Seven takeaways from the latest IPCC report

On 28 February, the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)...

Seven takeaways from the latest IPCC report
In The News
EIT launches new Global Outreach website

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has...

EIT launches new Global Outreach website
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and Amazon launch call for sustainable start-ups

Working on transformative, systemic innovation to accelerate a net-zero...

EIT Climate-KIC and Amazon launch call for sustainable start-ups
In The News
Votes open for the 2021 New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards – Audience Awar...

Do you want to support innovative solutions that integrate...

Votes open for the 2021 New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards – Audience Award
In The News
Brill Power’s new innovation radically increases battery life and storag...

Brill Power, supported by EIT Climate-KIC, has launched the...

Brill Power’s new innovation radically increases battery life and storage capacity
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC CEO Dr. Kirsten Dunlop gives TEDx Talk

EIT Climate-KIC CEO Dr. Kirsten Dunlop delivered a talk,...

EIT Climate-KIC CEO Dr. Kirsten Dunlop gives TEDx Talk
In The News
Putting theory into practice: EIT Climate-KIC Pioneer innovating the Greek mar...

To tackle complex climate challenges, we need a broader...

Putting theory into practice: EIT Climate-KIC Pioneer innovating the Greek maritime sector
In The News
EIT launches call for proposals to boost innovation in Higher Education Instit...

Unlocking the potential of higher education institutions for innovation...

EIT launches call for proposals to boost innovation in Higher Education Institutions
In The News
Dolomites forging climate resilience

The Italian Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are...

Dolomites forging climate resilience
In The News
People-powered resilience: Andalusia announces new climate action plan

The region’s climate action plan has been announced, with...

People-powered resilience: Andalusia announces new climate action plan
In The News
Built by Nature: new initiative to accelerate the transition to sustainable co...

The built environment accounts for close to 40 per...

Built by Nature: new initiative to accelerate the transition to sustainable construction in cities
In The News
The State of California and EIT Climate-KIC advance partnership for climate in...

Glasgow, 8 November – The California Governor’s Office of...

The State of California and EIT Climate-KIC advance partnership for climate innovation
In The News
COP26: UN Climate Change and EIT Climate-KIC partner to establish new Global I...

A new digital Global Innovation Hub has been launched at...

COP26: UN Climate Change and EIT Climate-KIC partner to establish new Global Innovation Hub
In The News
ClimateLaunchpad announces 2021 competition winners

EIT Climate-KIC’s ClimateLaunchpad – the world’s largest green business...

ClimateLaunchpad announces 2021 competition winners
In The News
EIT Cross-KIC New European Bauhaus launches Ideation – Deadline Extended

EIT Climate-KIC has launched a call for ideas on...

EIT Cross-KIC New European Bauhaus launches Ideation – Deadline Extended
In The News
Call for proposals: Scaling the New European Bauhaus Ventures

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has...

Call for proposals: Scaling the New European Bauhaus Ventures
In The News
Glasgow City Region in the race to resilience

Glasgow, which is hosting this year’s UN Climate Change...

Glasgow City Region in the race to resilience
In The News
Gipuzkoa’s quest for sustainability

Gipuzkoa, the smallest Spanish province located in the Basque...

Gipuzkoa’s quest for sustainability