State Foresters Gathered in Brussels for the International Day of Forests Dedicated to Forest and Energy
PRESS RELEASE 22.03.2017
The European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR) held its General Assembly in Brussels on 21 March 2017, establishing the orientation for EUSTAFOR’s activities for the year to come and confirming Per-Olof Wedin, CEO of the Swedish State Company Sveaskog, for a new term as EUSTAFOR’s President. The previous evening, EUSTAFOR hosted a state forest reception at the European Forestry House in Brussels.
Following the EUSTAFOR General Assembly, more than 50 CEOs and other representatives from European State Forest Management Organizations joined together with high-level policymakers and diverse stakeholders at the International Forum “The Value of Wood” at the Résidence Palace (International Press Center) to celebrate the International Day of Forests where Mr. Wedin gave a keynote presentation on “How State Forests Boost the Bioeconomy.”
“Our mission is to provide European society with an entire range of ecosystem services such as biodiversity, clean water to drink, clear air to breath, beautiful landscapes and recreational infrastructures in addition to employment opportunities for rural populations and raw material for downstream industries,” stated EUSTAFOR’s President, Per-Olof Wedin. The President also emphasized the role of bioenergy, stating that “bioenergy does not compete with the bioeconomy but is instead its enabler.”
The Value of Wood forum consisted of two panel sessions: The first, chaired by MEP Paul Brannen (S&D/UK), focused on Sustainable Architecture and Construction and the second, moderated by MEP Henna Virkunen (EPP/FI), examined different aspects of Forests, Innovation and the Bioeconomy.
The forum kicked off the Forest City Project, a public information campaign and exhibition to be displayed in the European Quarter through 5 June 2017 (World Environment Day). EUSTAFOR is a strategic partner of the project, organized by Revolve Media, together with the European Organization of the Sawmill Industry (EOS), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform (FTP). The initiative provides an excellent opportunity to show how forests and their products contribute not only to our daily lives, but how they are also helping society to face global challenges such as climate change and the need for more sustainable production and consumption patterns.
Following the event, Piotr Borkowski, EUSTAFOR’s Executive Director, highlighted that “Through the positive results of their everyday management, European state forests managers provide a genuine contribution. Their sustainably managed forests have a great potential to play a key role in reaching EU targets and ambitions in terms of climate change, energy and the economic transition to a bio-based economy, while at the same time ensuring environmental sustainability.”