Having the opportunity to attend to The world congress to present the REINFFORCE project and the EFIATLANTIC Regional Office on EFI stand, it was surprising to see how few countries (France, USA, Korea, ..) had stands compared with the amount of NGOs, and international companies or organisations. it was also interesting to see how the main issues addressed dealing with forestry at the worldwide level are different from the main considerations at the european level in some topics.
In the final declaration the main conclusions and the strategical actions proposed by the conference are :
- The fact that forest is more and more affected by non sectoral phenomena such as climate change, demography, water demand, fuels needs, competition with agriculture, reveals the necessity to implement mechanisms for cross-sectoral monitoring and reporting to influence policies and actions related to forestry and to improve communication towards urban society disconnected from forest.
- So there is a need to create financial incentives for landowners and communities to manage for these values, and support REDD process.
- A way to fight again deforestation, degraded landscapes and increasing wood demand is to expand planted forests. It is time to recognize the importance of planted forests in meeting economic, social and environmental needs. Then we will need to implement technologies to maintain and enhance the productivity of planted forests and their contributions at local and landscape levels.
- Forest is providing a renewable energy for cooking and heating, anyway, the risk of an over-harvesting of the forest for fuel threaten sustainability of forest sector. Then the conference suggests to Implement good governance policies for sustainable bioenergy development and develop and improve technologies for more efficient production and diverse use of biomass for energy including second generation technologies.
- Forest is already affected by climate change, and its adaptation to new climate will play a key role in climate change mitigation. So it is important that forest plays an important role in climate change negotiations and it is necessary to expand research on forest adaptation;
- Forest sector is a green industry, and should be promoted in future policies. To expend the range of forest products, research on clean technology should be extended.
- Develop financing strategies within the framework of national forest programmes using innovative instruments for investment and market development in forestry.
The last recommendation is a financial recommendation; many of the 7000 attendees were governments representatives of developing countries explaining the strategies they are implementing, and the support they need from REDD process. Early 2009 IUFRO published this report on forest and climate change. As a result, as world bank said that we can reduce poverty with forestry, as some Copenhagen participants announced they were ready to pay for avoiding deforestation and climate change, as traders are looking for fair save investments, many financial organisations are reconsidering forest as a good investment.
On the other hands, many speakers of the forum Forest and Bioenegy displayed graphs with a peak oil in 2010-2012 and not in 2020 or 2030 as we used to see so we can expect a significant increase of wood demand for fuel in a world where oil will be missing. So oil and energy supply companies will start to invest in forest sector. For biorafineries, also agronomic groups may be interested.
So one of the challenges for forestry in the next years is (as said in declaration 4) to be able to deal with this financial world and international business so used to manage huge benefits and unused to manage long term processes and sustainability.
During the forum of climate change, many evidences of climate change and its impact on tree growth, tree health, wood production and die-back were described. Many assessments of the economic risks are available; but either the prediction for desertification is obvious, either the uncertainty on regional climate changes is to hight, but in most of the cases, the adaptive measures are not well identified, and it was very difficult to find someone saying what we should do to adapt forest to climate change except expending research and maintaining diversity . The only case studies were some minor reforestation programs or the new policies starting as for example in Canada who after having turned 10% of the forest areas in protected forests, 20% into plantation forests, plan to do more intense management and monitoring in the remaining 70%… As done in many European countries for many decades