On 15th June 2006, the European Union has announced of its action plan in favour of forests (COM/2006/302). Each of the mentioned actions has been proposed in view of the improvement of the long-term competitiveness of the forest, of the protection of the environment, of the quality of life and the national and international coordination. These 4 objectives are essential to assure a lasting forest management and the multifunctional role of the forest. Among the actions that contribute to improve the forest competitiveness, the promotion of the use of the forest biomass to produce the renewable energy has been underlined.
Within the ambit of this action, a permanent cooperation has formed between the European Landowners ‘ Organization (ELO), the European Federation of the Forest Townships (FECOF) and the Institute of French Local Forest Formation (IFFC) to enable the implementation of an initiative titled " European Network of Forest Energy" (EUROFORENET), with the support of the High Level Group on Environment of the European Commission.
The major objectives of EUROFORENET are to provide recommendations through a practical guide on the management of local forest resource by the private and local foresters and the promotion of the use of bioenergy stemming from this resource.
EUROFORENET’s mission is to stimulate co-operation between both private and public stakeholders, in order to improve at the local level the efficiency of forest-wood-energy supply chains in various Member States of the European Union.
EUROFORENET has two main objectives:
- To propose a set of recommendations, tools and guidelines for local private and public decision-makers, aimed at promoting energy-oriented sustainable forest management.
- To promote the benefits of bio-energy, in relation to:
- environmental conservation
(e.g. Kyoto protocol, Natura 2000, Göteborg Strategy, etc.),
- economic viability
(e.g. revenue generation, market development, Lisbon Strategy, etc.),
- social capital
(e.g. employment, capacity building, dissemination of good practices, communication, etc.),
- cultural respect
(e.g. heritage, transmission and continuity in the management of natural resources, etc.).
- environmental conservation
In order to achieve these objectives, EUROFORENET uses two tools:
- a communication campaign and awareness raising campaign, developed on the one hand by means of dedicated website (www.euroforenet.eu), and on the other hand by means of
monthly thematic articles aimed both at experts and non specialists,
- a platform for study and analysis of the wood-energy supply chain, composed of 4 distinct working groups that engage professionals and specialists from France, Belgum, Italy and Slovenia, with the intention of developing a practical guide for October 2007.
EUROFORENET is therefore well-placed to inform the target audiences, whether they are private and public forest-owners or links in the wood-energy supply chain, about the opportunities and the constraints which concern local forestry networks in the European Union.