Climate change poses a threat to European Forests. As a result, disturbances like windstorms, fires and bark beetle outbreaks are increasing. What does this mean for the wood value chain? What can the forest industry do to boost the resilience of European forests, and what innovations are needed in the value chain? In our panel at the international LIGNA Fair, we discussed these questions with 3 experts: Annechien Hoeben from the RESONATE project (Resilience research, University of Graz), Dominik Wolfschütz (VDMA e.V. Woodworking Machinery) and Timo Gelzhäuser (Gelzhäuser Forst), moderated by Gesche Schifferdecker (European Forest Institute, RESONATE Communications manager).
One of the questions we touched upon was the need to increase efficiency, e.g. via advancing wood storage capacities in forests, at primary processing facilities like sawmills, pulpmills and energy plants, and at secondary processing facilities. This will help to manage peaks in wood abundance after a disturbance, while also increasing the likelihood that wood will remain in the local value chain. Furthermore we discussed the need for innovative approaches e.g. with modern machinery which increases flexibility and resource efficiency. Therefore, investments in the processing of different (hard)wood species or damaged wood and modern wood-based materials are useful, as well as exploration of new production methods and technologies. Finally, the panelists stressed the need for more collaboration between different value chain actors from forest owner to wood processing to the end user, and loyalty especially in challenging times.
As part of the preparation for the LIGNA, we also developed a flyer targeted at value chain stakeholders, with observations from RESONATE’s research on value chain resilience: LIGNA_FLYER.pdf (resonateforest.org)