The future planetary wellbeing requires a transition from a fossil- to a bio-based economy. This includes an increasing mobilization of raw materials from forests. Besides raw materials, forests provide multiple benefits to societies, such as climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration, provision of goods or recreation opportunities. Forests are also important for biodiversity conservation. However, holistic analyses of sustainability performance of forest-based value chains addressing the multifunctional nature of forests are still lacking. An important challenge for European Union (EU) governments, forest owners and managers is how to increase the capacity of forests to produce raw materials while simultaneously taking the various aspects of sustainability into account. The proposed symposium will present approaches to assess both the potential of EU bioeconomy policy (e.g EU 2012) implications and more academic scenarios (e.g. O’Neill et al. 2015) to increase the delivery of wood products while contributing to climate change mitigation in such a way that, the delivery of other ecosystem services and the persistence of forest species are also warranted in the long-term. For this holistic evaluation we have convened an interdisciplinary group of foresters, a system scientist, and ecologists conducting analyses of scenarios that are formulated together with stakeholders. We aim to identify novel combinations of forest management practices and wood product portfolios meeting the raw material needs of bioeconomy sustainably across EU. We will combine socioeconomic scenario analyses, life cycle and climate impact assessment and use state-of-the art forest planning optimization tools and ecosystem services and biodiversity models. Both national and landscape analyses will be presented including a wide range of organism groups (birds, bryophytes, lichens, wood-inhabiting fungi) from forests in Mediterranean Spain, central Europe and boreal Sweden and Finland.
EC 2012. Innovating for Sustainable Growth - A Bioeconomy for Europe. 2012. European Commission. Brussels.
O’Neill, B. C. et al. 2017. The roads ahead: Narratives for shared socioeconomic pathways describing world futures in the 21st century. Global Environmental Change 42: 169-180.