Bioenergy from forests is the energy generated from the combustion of wood and wood wastes, or biofuels derived from wood. Though the environmental footprint of bioenergy from forests has been the subject of substantial investigation and engagement by academic researchers, private sector stakeholders, NGOs, and government entities, disagreement remains about the ultimate environmental, climate, and economic impacts of biomass combustion.
Climate-positive forest products have the potential to deliver massive climate change mitigation benefits when substituted for other traditional resource-intensive inputs under specific conditions and with appropriate safeguards. The pressing need to respond swiftly and decisively to climate change creates both pressure and opportunity to promote climate-positive forest products.
As we see wildfire occurrences and severity increase around the world, there is a need to understand changing fire dynamics and learn from challenges and successful strategies. These fires severely impact life, economy, and the ecosystem services of forests. While fire can be a natural part of ecosystems, with certain species and forest dynamics dependent on it, fires are now occurring at increasing intensity and frequency and in places that have not typically burned in the past.
There are a number of strands to the genesis of The Forests Dialogue’s Tree Plantations in the Landscape (TPL) initiative. All have their origins in recognition that planted forests, including tree plantations established for wood production, continue to grow in both extent and significance. Tree plantations currently provide almost half of the world’s industrial wood, a proportion expected to increase significantly in coming decades. They also have great potential to deliver environmental services and social benefits.
The Land Use Dialogue (LUD) is a dialogue process that supports multi-stakeholder decision making around key socio-environmental and ecological issues at the landscape level. The global initiative and community of practice is coordinated by The Forests Dialogue and implemented by partners at regional, national, and landscape levels.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the bio-energy sector will experience significant growth over the coming decade, rising from the current 10 percent to 30 percent of the world's primary energy mix by 2050. The world population is predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050 and will need food and energy.
Recognizing that there might be unrealized opportunities for collaboration between environmental groups and the forestry industry in the Atlantic rainforest region of Brazil—one of the most diverse and threatened areas of the world—TFD convened a series of dialogues from 2003 to 2007 focusing on improving cross-sectoral cooperation for biodiversity conservation in the region.
Recent acceptance of the role of forests in combating climate change provides significant opportunity for the forest sector to play an influential role in international climate policy negotiations, both under the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change and its associated Protocols, and in relation to the emerging voluntary market for forest-based carbon offsets.
Land and forest tenure security has been recognized globally as a catalyser for stronger governance, improved livelihoods and increased conservation of natural resources. In the previous decades, governments have gradually recognized local peoples’ rights to forests and land. However, tenure rights remain unclear and with wide gaps across many countries. Uncertain land and forest tenure represent a great risk to sustainable landscape initiatives.
TFD continues to focus on climate change by bringing key leaders together to explore REDD+ Benefit Sharing. For REDD+ to be effective, a benefit-distribution system is needed to incentivize stakeholders, in particular the forest-dependent poor, to participate in REDD+. But a range of critical questions remain on the nature of such a system.
Using wood as fuel for heating and cooking is one of humankind’s oldest practices. An estimated one-half of the world’s population relies on wood-based biomass in the form of fuelwood and charcoal to meet their daily energy needs. Wood fuel production accounts for more than half of the annual global forest harvest.