Even with these impressive credentials, wood or more generally, forest biomass continues to hold untapped promise for reducing society’s dependence on fossil fuels and playing a critical role in the transition to a green economy. However, ensuring forest biomass can fulfil expectations and deliver an expanding source of sustainable and renewable energy is a delicate balance that requires attention on a range of issues. It’s within this context that the utilization of forest certification for providing assurances and promoting sustainable forest management is essential. Yet little is known about forest certification outside the traditional forest sector.
A proliferation of voluntary biomass standards have emerged in recent years. Moreover, the regulatory environment is evolving, and in some regions mandatory criteria have or will be established to address issues on renewable energy and sustainable biomass. How are these measures placed to protect forest resources while promoting the sustainability of biomass and bioenergy production? How does RED, REDD+, LULUCF and forest certification interact and impact the market? What’s the impact of the EUTR, requiring safeguards for legality of woody biomass which is brought for the first time into the EU market?
In the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, PEFC is convening a multi-stakeholder dialogue event to explore sustainability issues related to expanding use of forest biomass for energy & other industries, and the application of forest certification. The event ultimately seeks to build stronger relationships and understanding between sectors on sustainable forestry and promote the exchange of knowledge and available tools.
The event will:
· Explore the landscape of biomass standards and policies for their ability to safeguard social, environmental and economic values within the context of forestry biomass production;
· Assess the demand for and the role of proven forest certification systems in providing additional assurances to forest biomass production;
· Engage a diverse group of stakeholders in an event focused on forests and how to realise their full potential and their sustainability in light of growing energy demands
· Identify opportunities for collaboration amongst stakeholders
PEFC is the world’s largest forest certification system and certification system of choice for small- and family forest owners. More information about PEFC: www.pefc.org