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UNECE/FAO Forest Newsletter Highlights Wood Energy Impacts and Data Reliability

UNECEOctober 2012: The latest Forest Newsletter of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) focuses attention on two workshops on the impacts of wood energy use and wood energy data reliability, as well as their Joint Wood Energy Enquiry, which provides information on the origin and amount of wood energy consumption.

The first workshop, organized in Geneva on 8 May 2012, discussed the economic, environmental and social aspects of the increasing wood demand for energy purposes. The newsletter notes that the wood industry, utility companies, forest owners and entrepreneurs mainly highlighted the positive aspects of wood as energy source, such as: energy security; reduced dependence on fuel imports; and investments and job opportunities in the forest sector. Environmental NGOs, on the other hand, stressed the negative ecological impacts of wood energy use on forest health and biodiversity, and noted the importance of the efficient use of wood energy.

The second workshop, organized in Paris on 11-13 June 2012, discussed the reliability of wood energy data, which are often scattered across several agencies and mixed with statistics on energy from renewables and waste. This workshop supplemented work by UNECE and FAO on their Joint Wood Energy Enquiry (JWEE), which is now in its fourth edition. By providing data on origin and use of wood for energy, the JWEE offers a framework for dialogue and cooperation between relevant wood energy stakeholders. The results of the JWEE are expected by April 2013. [Publication: UNECE Forest Newsletter]