Three perspectives to assess and foster sustainable wood: global, landscape, value chain
Wood is, by definition, a sustainable material: it is renewable and biodegradable. It has, however, to be produced at least at the same rate as it is consumed, while accounting for competing demands on land, and for all environmental, economic and social potential benefits and trade-offs. This presentation aims to provide a framework for the sustainable development of wood production and consumption along three perspectives: global, landscape and value chain. From a global perspective, wood is to be considered as a renewable material to be compared to other materials. It invites to analyze its use to growth time ratio, how it can be recycled and its final use for energy production, with corresponding contributions to climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration and substitution to other materials. At landscape level, sustainable forest management calls for an integrated landscape approach, taking into account, along with wood production, all potential impacts on natural resources and human well-being, including remote effects. Value chains can enhance the sustainability of wood by improving resource efficiency, reducing waste, facilitating the use of less valued species and parts as well as recycling and final use for energy production. It is along value chains that are distributed economic and social benefits and that sustainable consumption and production can be linked. Such a framework is effective to assess the sustainability of wood in all its dimensions while facilitating the consideration of synergies and trade- offs in order to design appropriate institutions and policies to enhance bioeconomy and sustainable development.