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World Forestry Congress Addresses Forests and Energy

© WFC 200920 October 2009: A special forum on Forests and Energy convened today as part of the XIII World Forestry Congress, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event consisted of three panels, addressing the current status and trends of technology for wood energy production and use, the social and environmental impacts of bioenergy production, and bioenergy policy and measures to plot a course for sustainable outcomes.

Panelists commented on, inter alia, the economic viability of wood energy, and the development of criteria and indicators for sustainable woodfuel production. It was noted that biomass use should be determined locally, depending on energy needs and efficiency of the energy used to produce biofuels. A question was posed to the audience on whether increased bioenergy production is good or bad for forestry, with results showing slightly more support for a negative view of bioenergy.

The XIII World Forestry Congress, co-organized by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Argentina, opened on the evening of Sunday, 18 October 2009, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Themed “Forests in Development: A Vital Balance,” the Congress has brought together approximately 7000 participants from international organizations, governments, academia, private sector and civil society, representing160 nations, to discuss forest issues. [IISD RS coverage of the congress]