The role of forest products in the global bioeconomy - wood-based products contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals

21 March 2022, Rome, Italy - Switching from fossil-based products to renewable wood-based products can help combat climate change and achieve Sustainable Development Goals, according to the report Forest Products in the global bioeconomy: Enabling substitution by wood-based products and contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals, launched today on the occasion of the International Day of Forests (IDF 2022).

Developed by FAO in collaboration with the European Forest Institute, the report brings together the most up-to-date knowledge on the role of forest products in the global bioeconomy, providing a wide range of practical actions to increase the contribution of forest products to climate change mitigation and to sustainable development.

“Currently, around 75% of all consumption is based on non-renewable material resources, and the extraction, transportation, processing, use and disposal of those resources are taking a serious toll on the environment, climate and biodiversity,” said Sven Walter, Senior Forestry Officer at FAO.

Wood-based products can assist with climate change mitigation by storing carbon, while also helping to avoid or reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the materials they substitute for such as concrete, steel, plastics and synthetic fibres.

The report also outlines the emerging technologies that open up the range of uses for forest products while decreasing material, carbon and water footprints and reducing pollution and waste generation. Among the innovations showcased in the publication there are cross-laminated timber for construction, wood foam for packaging, lyocell or other wood-based textile fibres, and bioplastics.

Finally, this comprehensive report offers policy makers, the private sector governments, international cooperation bodies and researchers a set of recommendations to both enable and boost forest product substitution for sustainable development.

The report was launched on the occasion of today’s International Day on Forests, celebrated at the EXPO 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates during the event “Inspire for the Future – The Role of Forests in Ensuring Sustainable Production and Consumption”.


last updated:  Monday, March 21, 2022