Report by Food and Agriculture Organization reveals importance of renewable wood-based products in tackling climate change

A new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations emphasised the importance of renewable wood-based products in combating climate change and achieving Sustainable Development Goals. According to the report, developing awareness and addressing knowledge and implementation gaps in the global forest product value chain can help to ensure the sustainability of a circular forest-based bioeconomy.

The report Forest Products in the global bioeconomy: Enabling substitution by wood-based products and contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals collates the most recent knowledge on the role of forest products in the global bioeconomy. Bioeconomy has emerged as an alternative to the over-reliance on non-renewable natural resources.

Forests and the forest sector are important components of a bioeconomy, and the report examined how forestry can provide green solutions in pivoting the world towards a Net Zero future. This can be achieved via promoting wood as a bio-based material that can substitute fossil sources to produce energy, food, feed, fibre and other manufactured goods, according to the organisation.

Engineered wood and wood-based textile fibres, both of which are forest products, are also renewable and sustainable solutions against climate change. There is increased production and consumption of engineered wood products primarily due to increased applications in wood-frame multi-storey construction.

In a statement at the World Bioeconomy Forum in Belem, Brazil, FAO’s Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries said: “Forest-based industries make an essential contribution to Net Zero emission targets, to which many businesses have committed in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

According to FAO, China, New Zealand, Turkey, the US and the EU have a bioeconomy strategy or action plan, strategic objectives which include a strengthening of research and development, fast-forwarding innovations from laboratory to market roll-out, reducing regulatory barriers, development of a bioeconomy workforce and the fostering of partnerships. However, other countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Australia and the Russian Federation do not have a strategy.

Recommendations for governments, industry and international cooperation bodies are also featured in the report, on how to better contribute to sustainable development.

Source: Down To Earth