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CEPI report warns of wood shortfall

CEPI report warns of wood shortfall
The pulp and paper industry could face a lack of wood as a raw material in coming decades, with Europe looking at a potential shortfall of around 50m cubic metres per year by 2020.

This was just one of the facts that emerged from the Confederation of European Paper Industries' (CEPI's) survey into wood consumption, details of which were announced by the vice chairman of its forest committee and managing director of SCA Holz, Wilhelm Vorher, at CEPI's 10th annual meeting in Belgium.

Vorher said capacity in the pulp and paper industry was expected to increase by 10% in the next five years, so the pulp and paper industry, forest owners, decision makers and environmental organisations needed to act to prevent the shortfall from becoming a reality.

'By doing this we could achieve a win-win situation for all stakeholders,' he said.

Despite the warning, Vorher said that due to sustainable forest management practices, the annual felling rate of 418m cubic metres represented under half the net annual forest increment at 793m cubic metres.

'Over the past 10 years forests on the European continent have increased by 9m hectares to cover more than 1bn hectares,' he said. However, only 30% of these European forests were managed for wood production, he added.

Vorher said forest-based industries should be seen as a cluster, not only from the outside but also by insiders.

'If the viability of the pulp and paper industry decreases, the entire cluster will suffer,' he added.

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