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Global forest and paper industry celebrates International Day of Forests


March 22, 2017
By The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations

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Mar. 21, 2017 – The theme of the 2017 United Nations International Day of Forests is Forests and Energy.

Representing the global forest products industry, the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) strives to help produce renewable energy while reducing the dependence on fossil fuels by using wood manufacturing residuals, byproducts and forest residues — collectively known as biomass — to produce much of the energy required for its operations.

According to the international carbon accounting principle, when combusted for energy, biomass does not contribute to global climate change as growing trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere via photosynthesis.

“The forest-based industry also can substitute for a wide range of fossil fuel-based products on the market, hence providing additional climate benefits as well as welfare to society,” said ICFPA president Elizabeth de Carvalhaes.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, wood provides the world with roughly 40 per cent of current global renewable energy supply, more than solar, hydroelectric or wind power. Sustainably-managed forests have a key role in meeting several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and providing solutions for a growing green economy.

To increase the role of forests in providing renewable energy and to reduce the use of fossil fuels, the forest-based industry invests in technological innovation and sustainably-managed forests to improve yields and practices. In the past 10 years, the energy share of biomass and other renewable fuels has increased 10 percentage points from 53 to 63 per cent.

The ICFPA represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations around the world.