The first issue of Forest Energy Forum (known as FEF here in our Wood Energy Group) has now been distributed to over 2 000 subscribers worldwide and we have even had to make a reprint of another 500 copies! I wish to express my sincere thanks to our numerous colleagues who have sent their congratulations for the initiative and for their encouragement to continue.

In addition to the normal distribution, we are currently making arrangements for our own Forest Energy home page (within FAO’s Web site: http://www.fao.org), from where, in the near future, you will also be able to access all issues of FEF and where you will be able to read about other issues and papers on wood energy – sorry, forest energy ....

Many important subjects are covered in this issue, among which: the Unified Wood Energy Terminology, Definitions and Conversion Factors (UWET), the World Forestry Congress held in Turkey in October 1997, the Kyoto Protocol and the Clean Development Mechanism and the Forum on "Forests and Energy" which took place in Germany in January 1998. [For more information on all these subjects, please see Special Features.]

Last year ended (and the biennium, since our budget covers a two-year period) with many wood energy activities successfully completed. The regional studies for the collection of statistical data on wood fuel consumption (under our initiative Wood Energy Today for Tomorrow [WETT]) in Europe and the OECD countries and in Asia have been completed and the results are being distributed [see under Publications for more information]. We have also been able to compile data for Africa and Latin America, in order to prepare our Wood Energy Information System, thanks to the generous and valuable contribution of Prof. Luiz Horta Nogueira, who has taken a sabbatical from his university to work with us within the framework of FAO’s Academic Programme, and who has written about his experience [see under Points of View].

Thanks to the meticulous organization of my friend and colleague Torsten Frisk (who is the Senior Forestry Officer in our FAO Regional Office in Santiago, Chile), met the National Coordinators of the Latin America Technical Cooperative Network on Dendroenergy (LAND) in Havana, Cuba, from 3 to 6 November 1997. Together with the participants from the Grupo Latinoamericano de Energización Rural Sostenible (GLAERS), we discussed the multidisciplinary aspects of the utilization of biomass for the combined production of fuel and food. [For more information, please see Mr Frisk’s contribution under Events of Interest.]

We have also been involved in the preparation of a paper for the World Energy Council (WEC), which will be a contribution to the Study on Energy in Developing Countries to be presented at the 1998 WEC Congress to be held in Houston, United States, from 13 to 17 September 1998. The paper provides a general description of wood energy systems with the aim of explaining the dynamics, the mechanisms and the actors involved within these systems and their interrelations within the forest and energy sectors. I hope it describes the importance of wood fuels to the forestry and energy sector and will give a greater visibility to wood energy issues in this important event. This paper will be printed by the Wood Energy Group in due course and will be available to those interested. [For more information on WEC, please see under Events of Interest.]

Finally, I am extremely happy with the level and type of contribution received from readers so far; however, I hope that for the next issues even more colleagues involved in forest energy will express their views, opinions and experiences (in English, French or Spanish) through FEF. We have created a special section, Points of View, which I hope you will feel free to use as a sounding board for any ideas, opinions or criticisms you may have. I look forward to hearing from you.

Miguel A. Trossero


M.A. Trossero
Senior Forestry Officer (Wood Energy)
Wood and Non-Wood Products

Utilization Branch
Forest Products Division
Forestry Department
FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy.
Tel.: (+39 06) 57054175
Fax: (+39 06) 57055618
E-mail: miguel.trossero@fao.org


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