News

Barents Forest Forum

Dates: September 17-18, 2015
Location: Joensuu Science Park, Joensuu, Finland

Promoting wood construction and forest energy

The Barents Forest Forum acts as a cooperation platform for various forest sector stakeholders, and over hundred participants are expected to the event. Contributions from business, research and development, education and administration highlight the role of forest bioeconomy in the Northern Europe, in particular wood construction and forest energy as drivers of sustainable development.

The first Forum day is featured with high level practice oriented presentations and networking, while the second day is devoted to practical demonstrations during the excursion.

The Forum is organized under the auspices of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council as one of the key events under the Finnish chairmanship.

To register and learn more about the scope of the Forum, visit Barents Forest Forum

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Air Pollution in the Nordic Countries from Biomass Burning in Eastern Europe: A Policy Brief

Authored by Per Erik Karlsson, Lars Hole, Hans Tømmervik & Elena Kobets

Original source and complete policy brief: NordPub

Abstract
Polluted air with impacts on human health and ecosystems is transported with the winds over very long distances. Large-scale biomass burning is an important source for polluted air over the northern hemisphere. In 2006, biomass burning occurred on approximately 2 Mha forest and agricultural land in Russia and neighbouring countries. This highly polluted air was transported across northern Europe all the way to Iceland and Svalbard. High air concentrations of black carbon, ozone and high deposition of nitrogen were measured in Scandinavian forests. High concentrations of particulate matter caused health problems. Large-scale wildfires in Russia have continued until today. The Nordic countries and the EU ought to support neighbouring countries in order to restrict wildfires. Important activities are preventing the burning of agricultural waste and fire-prevention activities in forests.

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ENERWOODS International Conference

Hosted by: ENERWOODS & Nordic Energy Research
Date: Thursday, 27 August 2015
Time: 08:30-17:00
Location: The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, Stockholm

Wood based energy systems from Nordic and Baltic Forests – How to increase forest productivity and adaptation in tandem with more efficient use of the wood

Welcome
The Nordic countries have ambitious goals to almost eliminate the fossil fuel from their energy supply and to show global leadership in the transition towards sustainable and renewable energy systems.

The prime objective of the ENERWOODS project is to provide scientifically based knowledge about the role of Nordic forestry in the development of Nordic renewable energy systems. ENERWOODS is funded by Nordic Energy Research under the Nordic Council of Ministers.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Nordic way? And what can we learn from forestry elsewhere and the global forest landscape restoration efforts to support and increase forest adaptation and mitigation?

The conference is free of charge and includes two sessions:

1. Morning Session I – ENERWOODS results

  • Selected results will be presented and we welcome discussions of the implications and perspectives for forests, forestry and the energy and resource supply systems in a renewable Nordic energy system.

2. Afternoon Session II – ENERWOODS in practise and perspectives for the future and the global outlook.

  • Invited speakers provide overview and inspiration for next generation Nordic – Baltic forestry and for future and better uses of wood and woody biomass.

Registration deadline: Saturday, 15 August 2015

Registration application here

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Forest Chemistry: ‘Political Support Measures Essential to Commercialisation of Green Chemicals’

Authored by Anna Strom
Original article: Bio4Energy

In terms of technology, the chemical industry at Stenungssund, Sweden, could make the switch today to a renewable raw material as a partial base for its production, according to a recent report from a Swedish national Forest Chemistry project, using existing technology for making plastics from petrochemicals.

However, for the industry to achieve a level of profitability when using wood or woody waste as feedstock comparable to that of using chemicals refined from fossil oil, political support measures similar to those in place for certain types of bioenergy production would be needed, the report authors from SP Processum and Chalmers Technical University say.

“The project shows that it is possible to replace parts of the fossil raw material and to continue and to use existing technology, but [production] volumes and economics are more tricky bits. The conclusion is that ‘green’ chemicals would need to be supported by incentives similar to those in place for bioenergy production”, said Bio4Energy scientist Leif Jönsson, professor at Umeå University, who led one of the Forest Chemistry research projects on the so-called Sugar Platform.

The research in Forest Chemistry focused on three tracks of the chemical-making operations: Production of butanol, olefins and methanol extracted from the sulphate process of pulping operations. An environmental impact assessment was performed by Bio4Energy researchers at the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden in the form of a life-cycle assessment attempting to gauge the environmental and climatic impact of switching 25 per cent of the raw material base for the totality of the production at the industrial cluster to woody feedstock, as compared with a continued used of petrochemical feedstock.

“We have examined the preconditions both for processes in which cellulose-based ethanol and methanol made by gasification of raw materials from the forest are produced as starting materials from the production of chemicals and plastics. The project results show that it is feasible to use existing techniques, even if additional technological progress is welcome as it would make the processes more efficient.

“Looking at the technical side of things is very important since, in addition to bulk products, one could make high value-added products. There is good reason to continue the work, for instance on lignin products”, according to Jönsson.

Bio4Energy’s LCA researchers on the project stressed the importance of assessing the sustainability of products coming out of the cluster along their collective value chain.

“One has to look at the whole value chain. This is a very important result of the project for industry”, said Johanna Berlin who works as a research and business developer at the SP’s Gothenburg branch.

“If environmental impact strategies are designed based on what happens inside the gates of an industry cluster only, one runs the risk of causing greater emissions outside the gates than necessary”, Berlin added.

The Forest Chemistry project, started in 2012, has involved cooperation by chemical and forestry industry, as well as scientists from the academy and consultants from research institutes. It has served to bring two industries together which previously would have had little contact, and bred an understanding that industry and academy need to cooperate for society to realise a transition to a bioeconomy, according to the project’s final report, published last month.

“The project has succeeded in bringing together the forestry industry and biorefinery industry and academic actors. The parties appreciate this very much and would like to see a continuation”, Jönsson said.

The final report of the Forest Chemistry project, From green forest to green commodity chemicals – Evaluating the potential for large-scale production in Sweden for three value chains, is available for download on the website of the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems.

The following organisations have been part of the Forest Chemistry project:

AGA;
AkzoNobel;
BioEndev;
Bio4Energy – Professor Leif Jönsson, PhD student Frida Røyne (SP/Umeå University), as well gasification and torrefaction researchers at the Luleå University of Technology (Rikard Gebart) and Umeå University (Anders Nordin), respectively;
Borealis;
Chalmers University of Technology;
Domsjö Fabriker
Holmen;
Ineos;
MoRe Research;
Perstorp;
SCA;
SEKAB;
SP Processum;
SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden;
Sveaskog and;
Umeå University.

SP Processum, acting as project leader for Forest Chemistry, issued a press release in Swedish on the conclusions drawn in the project’s final report.

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SNS Funds Four New Networks – This Time Together with NKJ

For the period of 2015 – 2017, SNS is collaborating together with the Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research (NKJ) by financing four Nordic research networks. The aim of this funding opportunity is to promote international and cross-sectorial networking between researchers and stakeholders from the agricultural and forestry sectors.

These networks will form a platform for communication as well as assess challenges, knowledge gaps and opportunities in the areas of sustainable biomass utilisation and production in both sectors, while in context of the transition to a greater bio-based economy.

SNS-NKJ Networks:

1. SNS-NKJ 01: “Fibre Ties – The use of fibrous materials from biomass”
Coordinator:  Anne Christine Steenkjær Hastrup
Funded with 345.000 SEK

2. SNS-NKJ 02: “Sustainable production of biomass – a sectorial perspective”
Coordinator: Ljusk Ola Eriksson
Funded with 180.000 SEK

3. SNS-NKJ 03: “Effects of bioenergy production from forests and agriculture on ecosystem services in Nordic and Baltic landscapes”
Coordinator: Nicholas Clarke
Funded with 330.000 SEK

4. SNS-NKJ 04: “The Nordic network for pathogen-informed control of oomycete diseases in forestry and agriculture”
Coordinator: Laura Grenville-Briggs Didymus
Funded with 183.000 SEK

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New Homepage for Nordic-Baltic Bioeconomy

The Nordic Council of Ministers, along with SNS, are highly active within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Reagion (EUSBSR).

In connection to the 6th EUSBSR Forum in Latvia, a homepage for the EUSBSR Bioeconomy was launched last week.

Welcome to explore the site with an interactive map and a “Resources” section that includes the key documents for realising the bioeconomy in the EUSBSR. There is also a possibility to read the Newsletters and become updated on activities and projects.

Link to the EUSBSR Bioeconomy homepage 

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Two Possibilities to Apply for SNS Research Funding!

The First Call:
OPEN CALL – The Centre of Advanced Research (CAR)

Over the course of the past 10 years (2005-2015), the Nordic Forest Research Cooperation Committee (SNS) has established and supported 4-5 CARs (Centres of Advanced Research). SNS has evaluated CARs to be an important and effective tool for forest research and long-term networking in the Nordic region and adjacent countries. SNS has decided to announce an OPEN call for CARs 2016-2020. 

Timeline of Call and Application period:
Deadline for applications for new CAR-projects for the period 2016-2020 is 15.9.2015 at 24:00 CET. The applications will be externally reviewed and successful applicants will be notified in December 2015 with project start January 1st 2016.

Rules of Applications and the Application Form can be viewed and downloaded HERE

The Second Call:
OPEN CALL – SNS Research Projects to begin in 2016

SNS would like to announce a call for SNS research projects to start in 2016. Projects should relate to the prioritised themes of the SNS strategy. SNS wishes to initiate projects which focus on “Forestry within bioeconomy, climate, and social-aspects” that are key elements in both, national, regional and EU strategies.

Timeline of Call and Application period:
The call will be announced on Wednesday the 17th of June 2015
Deadline for application is September 15th 2015 at 24:00 CET. Successful applicants will be notified in December 2015 and financing will start in January 2016.

Rules of Applications and the Application Form can be viewed and downloaded HERE

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Upcoming Conference: Managing Forests to Promote Environmental Services

The final CAR-ES conference is to be held in Copenhagen, the 3rd – 5th of November 2015

Managing Forests to Promote Environmental Services:

Climate change adaptation and mitigation, water protection, biodiversity conservation, and soil quality maintenance

Carbon sequestration, water protection and biodiversity are key environmental services provided by the Nordic and Baltic forests, and each of them are linked to soil properties and quality. Various types of forest management have different effects on these services, and knowledge on how the forest management can help maintain and enhance them is crucial to sound decision making in the forest sector and in policy development.

The conference is being arranged to properly round-off the activities of the SNS funded CAR-ES network for the 2011-2015 period. All researchers working with these topics are warmly invited to present their work. The conference will present state-of-the-art, and identify knowledge gaps to be addressed in the future. Also other stakeholders are invited to participate and present.

 CAR – ES is hoping to see as many of you as possible!!

More information on the conference can be found on the conference homepage, as well as for registration and abstract submission.

Everyone with an interest in environmental services from forest is welcome! From the Nordic – Baltic countries and all over Europe!

For practical questions and scientific contents, please contact Inge Stupak (ism@ign.ku.dk), Leena Finer (leena.finer@luke.fi), and Lars Högbom (Lars.Hogbom@skogforsk.se).

Important dates:
Abstract submission: No later than 21st of August 2015
Notification of acceptance: 19th of September 2015
Registration closes: 3rd of October 2015

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EFINORD-SNS Meeting: Phytophthora Diseases of Forest Trees in Northern Europe

On Monday the 25th of May, the EFINORD – SNS Phytophtora network met in Alnarp for a workshop on Phytophtora caused disease of forest trees in Northern Europe.   20150525_135515

The goal of the meeting was to inform about basic biology and spreading of Phytophthora-diseases in forest trees; present the relevant ongoing research activities; and gather information about research needs and knowledge gaps from practical forestry, including urban forestry.

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Phytophtora research in Southern Sweden and ongoing phosphite treatments of beech trees in Malmö’s Pildammsparken were presented by Michelle Cleary and Ann-Mari Fransson (both SLU). Iben Thomsen from KU in Denmark informed about Phytophtora – diseases in Denmark and Venche Talgø from Biofors, Norway presented the biology of and aetiology of Phytophtora.

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The afternoon was spent to observe Phytophtora damages in the Alnarps park and having a look on ongoing research in the SLU laboratories in Alnarp.

The full program of the day can be found here: Program_Phytophthora meeting 150525 Alnarp

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Tenth Volume Jubilee of the Journal Wood Material Science and Engineering

Now in its 10th volume, Wood Material Science and Engineering is a multidisciplinary and international journal with the aim to serve at the forefront of the wood science and technology field.

To celebrate the 10th Volume Jubilee, the editor has chosen ten outstanding articles from the past ten years that can be read here.

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