News

Forests and the bioeconomy: future steps

You can register for the November ThinkForest event- Forests and the bioeconomy: future steps.

The European forest-based sector is undergoing more significant structural changes than for decades, and the next 20 years are likely to change the sector even more. Many of these changes originate outside the sector itself: the need to move societies towards a more resource-efficient bioeconomy, the new economic role of Europe in a globalised world, and the impact of new technologies.

Against this background, ThinkForest discusses ‘Forests and the bioeconomy: Future steps’.

The event will be held at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium (Jòzsef Antall Building, Room 6Q1) and it will focus on following points:

  • Experiences from the forest and bioeconomy strategies
  • What does science say about the future of the forest-based sector?
  • Outlook for the European forest-based sector in the bioeconomy
  • What policy measures do we need to take?

Hosted by Christofer Fjellner, MEP
Opening by Göran Persson, President of ThinkForest
Keynote by Sylvi Listhaug, Minister of Agriculture and Food, Norway

Registration and more information HERE

SNS at IUFRO World Congress in Salt Lake City

This year’s IUFRO world congress was held in Salt Lake City (Utah, USA) and brought together some 4000 participants. Researchers from all over the world gathered to share their knowledge and experience related to forest research. This was a great opportunity for networking and information sharing. The SNS secretariat, represented by Inga Bödeker and Jonas Rönnberg, was also present at the event. SNS hosted its own booth where the strategy for 2014-2017 was presented and latest updates about the organization were spread. Here are some views and updates on what SNS achieved during the congress:

Interesting discussions:

We had the opportunity to talk to a wide range of SNS – funded researchers and listened to their presentations. Topics ranged from watershed ecology in forests with its role in clean water supply ; the ecological impact of dead wood on the forest floor and in the soil especially on forest soil C storage via Ecosystem services and their impact in Bioeconomy; to other topics like: implementing climate change in forest policy in Sweden and how to model different scenarios of forestry and society (and climate) to be able to make the best policy decision for a safe future for our forests and the society.

This shows that SNS supports a wide thematic range of forest research, where all topics are equally important for a healthy environment and ecosystem services to society,  climate change and sustainable forestry that will enable the bioeconomy.

The Bioeconomy side event organized by SNS and Taylor and Francis, promoting the special issue on Bioeconomy 29 (4):

This side-event was a set of lectures given by different experts in the field. Bioeconomy can have different definitions and it often depends on who you talk to.

For some it is simply biotechnology, for others it is the development of a new product from biomass to sell on the market. Some only regard the social aspects: why do we need to implement the Bioeconomy?

But regarding the forestry sector: Aren’t all these aspects based on a sustainable forestry? During this side event all these aspects where highlighted and discussed by presenting the 5 top Research Articles from the special issue on bioeconomy 29 (4)

IMG_IUFRO

Inga (first left) hosting the SNS- SLU booth during the IUFRO congress.Photo: I.Wallin

 

Inga’s personal impressions: 

SNS already has a great overview of the importance of all the different aspects in forest research described above and how they integrate into a sustainable forestry that positively impacts society.

What I found striking though is that there seem to be silos between the researchers of these different areas in forest research. For example, researchers in forest policy that are working with climate change and want to use the forest as main carbon (C)-sink do not take the forest soil into account even though it contains manifolds more C than the above ground biomass (trees). On the other hand, many forest-soil scientists do not know how to actually implement their research findings into forest policy. It is often difficult to know how and where to communicate their findings in a good way in order for them to be heard not only by fellow researchers in the field but also by policy makers.

Here SNS could possibly help and step up by connecting different research areas by networking and matchmaking activities in the future. More so, this will hopefully contribute to a joint discussion on climate change, mitigating C emissions, bioeconomy and forest policy on a Nordic level.

Overall conclusion

In conclusion, all aspects are important: from sustainable biomass production with least environmental impact (sustainable forestry) via the technical research and development towards the social level by implementing and tying the forest sector to bioeconomy.  During the IUFRO congress it became very clear that SNS has a very important role to play not only in Nordic but also in international forest research. SNS will continue facilitating networking and research by co-funding quality research, actively participating in forest policy and research activities in the European Union and beyond.

NordGen Thematic Day in Stockholm

Updates on NordGen’s thematic day that was held in Stockholm on the 9th of October are now available on the NordGen homepage (NOTE: the information is available in Norwegian only).
Read the updates HERE
 

#NORDICFOOD2024

Where will New Nordic Food be in ten years? Does the Nordic kitchen live up to the ideals that started the whole Nordic food movement ten years ago? And how can we get more social advantage out of the potential inherent in the concept of “the Nordic”? The Nordic Council of Ministers will explore these questions in a series of workshops in the coming months.

Find out more HERE

A new bioeconomy in the Baltic Sea Region – doing a lot with little

Nordic networking met German financial muscle at a bioeconomy seminar in Berlin, the third event in a series of forums designed to promote the move towards a sustainable biobased economy in the Baltic Sea Region.

Read full article HERE

Fruitful outcome of the NordGen Forest Conference in Son, Norway this September

The conference “Need for seed – Nordic forests in coming decades” was convened on 8-9 September 2014 in Son, Norway with around 50 engaged participants. The two interesting days were packed with interesting presentations and valuable participation from the audience.

More information on the outcome of the conference can be found HERE

Researcher position – Wood technology at the Norwegian forest and landscape institute

The Norwegian forest and landscape institute is looking for a researcher in the field of wood technology. The applicant needs to hold a PhD in wood technology. The position will cover several aspects within wood technology such as: anatomy, chemistry, microscopy, wood properties and wood water relations. There is a need for an outgoing and innovative thinking researcher that can contribute to achieving new solutions with wood. Good knowledge in environmentally benign wood protection is preferred.

Apply HERE

Safeguarding genetic diversity in Noway

Access to genetic resources is fundamental to the production of food and other agricultural and forestry products. The Norwegian Genetic Resource Centre coordinates expertise and activities to conserve and utilize genetic resources for food and agriculture in Norway.

Read article by John Olav Oldertrøen from Skog och Landskap Norge HERE

NordGen Scholarship Reports for 2014

The NordGen Forest scholarships are meant to contribute to common Nordic benefit by supporting education, continuing education and knowledge exchange for persons working or studying within forest seed or plant production, regeneration methods and tree breeding in the Nordic countries.

Recently, two summaries of the most recent activities supported by NordGen Forest have been published:

  1. Agnes Bondesson and Hanna Andre, Sweden: Field work in Iceland, to study soil temperatures’ effect on the growth of Sitka spruce
  2. Emad Jaber, Finland: Attendance at the XVI International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions XVI IS-MPMI 2014

Download present and previous reports HERE

NEW REPORT : Wood preservation with chemicals

The Nordic Council of Ministers, the BAT Group under the Working Group for Sustainable Consumption and Production, has requested the consultant to prepare a report on Best Available Techniques (BAT) in wood preservation with chemicals in the Nordic countries. The Nordic wood preserving industry produces around 2.1 million m³ of impregnated wood per year, which is about one third of the total supply of pressure-treated wood in Europe. This report describes the present status of the used technologies, their emissions and impacts on the environment and technologies that can be considered BAT. The report will also be used as an input from the Nordic countries to the EU process under the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) for preparation of the BAT Reference Document for preservation of wood and wood products with chemicals (WPC BREF) which is foreseen to start in 2014.

Download report HERE