Background

Deutsch  PT  Svenska

Forests are a major natural resource 

Forests cover 159 million hectares or 37% of Europe's land area (Eurostat 2013). As a major biological resource they have multiple ecological, economic and social functions. Besides preserving diverse landscapes, ecosystems, natural cycles and biological diversity, they provide a multitude of forest products - and are the backbone for employment and growth in forestry and the numerous industries which use wood as the primary raw material.

The ‘forest-based sector’ includes all uses of wood from raw timber up to high value end products, such as furniture, construction, paper, renewable energy or bio-based chemical products. Europe’s forest-based industries have 4-5 million employees, around 600,000 enterprises and a turnover of 550 billion Euro, which represents around 10-15 % of total manufacturing.

An increasing demand for wood

The sector’s forecasts for the coming decades predict a substantial increase in the demand for wood: ‘solid’ uses will grow steadily, while new chemical uses of wood will emerge and start to gain momentum. The highest growth rate is expected in bioenergy - wood energy plays a critical role in Europe’s future renewable energy supply and the achievement of climate protection objectives.

Current trends in increasing demand are expected to lead to a scarcity of wood, stronger competition and structural shifts in the forest sector.

How can we mobilise more wood?

Find us from

EU flag
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 613762.