UN-Backed Workshop Addresses Wood Energy in the CIS and Turkey

17 June 2010: At a workshop on policy options for wood energy in countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), national forest and energy experts discussed ways to accelerate the production and use of cost-effective wood energy in the region.

The workshop, held in Minsk, Belarus, from 1-4 June 2010, was hosted by a number of regional offices of various UN organizations, including the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the UN Economic Commission for Europe/FAO Forestry and Timber Section. Participating experts reported on the status of wood energy in the region, noting that some countries were already making extensive use of wood energy, while others were having difficulties in mobilizing wood due to lack of infrastructure.

The experts recommended improving policy coherence between public and private bodies concerned with energy and forestry, and encouraged countries to use internationally-recognized standards for wood fuels and energy-generation equipment. They concluded by stressing the need for greater local and national political commitment to wood energy use.

The EU and the International Energy Agency (IEA) are expected to launch an updated Joint Wood Energy Enquiry, a region-wide survey on wood energy, later in 2010. [UNECE/FAO Press Release]