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SIMWOOD: Sustainable Innovative Mobilisation of Wood

10.03.2016

SIMWOOD: Sustainable Innovative Mobilisation of Wood

In November 2013, 28 organisations from 11 countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) began the European collaboration FP7 project SIMWOOD (Sustainable Innovative Mobilisation of Wood).

The total forest area in the Region is 348,233 ha, which represents 9% of the area of the Region and 53% of total forest cover in the country.

This four-year project seeks to provide solutions on how to mobilise forest owners, promote collaborative forest management and ensure sustainable forest functions in order to mobilise the present unlocked wood resources in Europe.

SIMWOOD works in 16 regions across Europe, selected for their high relevance to Europe’s wood mobilisation challenge. In each the SIMWOOD model regions, a detailed analysis of the present situation and the barriers and challenges for wood mobilisation which currently exist, have been made.  SIMWOOD is  working on identifying objectives, developing possible tailor-made solutions, and selecting some to be tested in a series of pilot
projects.

In each region, SIMWOOD has a Regional Learning Laboratory (RLL) as an integral part of the research process. This is linked to existing initiatives in the
region, and is collaborative: teaming up with regional stakeholders to obtain fresh findings on the region’s specific status quo, chances and proposed solutions.

                                                       Pilot Projects
Pilot Project 1
The first pilot project concerns mobilising additional wood fuel from conifer first thinning and consequently additional revenue. In many cases, first thinning is considered a loss making operation, especially in conjunction with road building. Therefore many forest owners cannot afford to thin their plantations. In forests located on well-drained sites that are typically found in the Region, there is the potential for more biomass to be removed during the thinning operations, which would lead to greater wood mobilisation and greater income for those forest owners.

Pilot Project 2
In this pilot project, the aim is to develop a sustainable producer group to engage private forest owners towards the mobilisation of timber in the Region.
A number of activities are form the basis to this project including:

  • engaging with private forest owners in collaborative initiatives; knowledge transfer through workshops, leaflet and training courses;
  • clustering forest activities for economy of scale, facilitating processing and delivery directly from site to increase forest owner profits;
  • standardising forest activities, timber processing and sales to provide transparency and promotion of established best practice using the ecosystem services framework;
  • developing market supports such as depots to collect timber from clusters of smaller sites to increase critical mass for processing, delivery and contracts.

More information on this project is available at the following link:

http://simwood.efi.int/