Forestry is mostly a national obligation for the independent states to determine how to grow and maintain their forest cover. However, there are several regional policies that advocate for the conservation of forests.
There was a regulation that was passed by the European Union in 2013 to prohibit the placement of illegally harvested timber and its products in European Union open markets.
The European Union also has some set common actions in the strategy for forests. It contains recommendations on what should be done to increase the current forest cover in member countries.
There is also a common agreement that emissions and removals from forests should not exceed the carbon (IV) oxide emissions.
The Role of Biomass
It is important to note here that forestry biomass is the most important source of bioenergy because it makes up more than 66% of the region’s bio-energy consumption. Wood fuels for bio-energy come in the form of wood pellets, wood logs, and wood chips.
A big chunk of the materials for wood pellets are by-products of trees such as sawdust and barks. There are also wood chips from other industries such as pulp mills, wood-working industries, and sawmills.
For our forests to sustain the production of biomass to be used for energy production, it is essential that undertake careful forest management policies. In this regard, forest management can be ensured by employing national legislation by member states. For example, countries can set apart some forests as reserves and promote the plantation of more trees in them.
Another objective would be to call upon tree harvesters to plant 2 trees for every tree that they count down. While this might appear like an exaggeration, it is the required step because not all the planted trees will grow to maturity.
International commitments and voluntary efforts will also go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of our forests. Each country needs to honor its international commitments to forest conservation.
In addition to this, the government should be willing to incentive individuals, communities, and non-governmental organizations that are working towards forest conservation. Small efforts like offering seedlings can go a long way.