Forest Bioenergy

TF Forest Bioenergy

Task Force Coordinator:

Rolf Björheden, Sweden


Elspeth MacRae, New Zealand

Rationale and Objectives

There is a rapidly growing interest in using forest biomass for energy (heat, power and transportation fuels) and biobased products. Wood is an abundant, sustainable resource that can help create a more stable energy future, improve environmental quality, and increase economic opportunities.  Forests provide goods, services and values such as wood and non-wood products; jobs, businesses, and income; enhanced water and air quality, water supply, wildlife habitat; and recreation opportunities, in addition to energy feedstocks. Challenges exist in developing technologies and processes that can reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of producing biofuels and bioproducts. Questions that should be addressed include the environmental, social, and economic outcomes of a developing forest bioenergy sector.

Special emphasis areas of the Task Force include

  • Efficiency and sustainability of forest bioenergy technologies and production systems
  • Forest bioenergy markets and economic and social outcomes of a developing forest bioenergy sector
  • Quantification of potential resource competition (bioenergy, fibre, traditional forest products etc.) and subsequent impacts

Terms of Reference

The main purpose of the Task Force on Forest Bioenergy is to synthesize and disseminate state-of-the-art knowledge to and to increase the dialogue between the various actors and stakeholders in this growing field. The work of the Task Force will reflect the great differences in needs, problems and possibilities of forest bioenergy projects in different parts of the world. The identified target group includes the scientific community, landowners, the industry, NGOs, government agencies, policy-makers, research funding entities and other stakeholders. The term of the Task Force will be 2010-2014.

The Task Force will focus on the following activities:

  1. Dissemination of knowledge supporting the development of forest bioenergy
    An initial conference will start this process, the COST-ESF Conference on the Future Role of Bio-energy. This is to be held in Europahaus, Vienna, November 6-11, 2011.  Recognizing that travel to such events is necessarily limited, the Task Force will work with partners to convene a webinar series promoting communication and extending knowledge dissemination.

  2. Stimulating knowledge exchange and coordinating development efforts
    The network built around Task Force may function as an arena for discussion between the actors, and also serve as a vehicle for identifying research and development needs and coordinating these efforts. The Task force will promote contacts between IUFRO and other organizations and activities in forest bioenergy.

  3. Providing decision support through identification of best practice
    A series of brief Case study brochures is planned. The series will provide descriptions of actual forest bioenergy projects from different parts of the world. The aim is to show how projects must be adapted to local natural, societal and economic conditions, how problems and pit-falls have been overcome and avoided, and the benefits of the projects. The aim of the series is to stimulate development through examples and to decrease risk through improved knowledge. Normally the cases will be identified through the Task force network within IUFRO.

In addition, the Task force will prepare an annual report on the Task Force activities to the IUFRO Management Committee and Board. A proposal of supporting activities that may be taken up by other IUFRO units will be included in the annual report.

Work of the Task Force will generally be done through email, conference calls, and videoconferences.

Task Force members and their areas of expertise

Rolf Björheden, Forest operations and forest bioenergy supply systems
Elspeth MacRae, Biorefinery technology and industry
Sanjeev Chauhan, Short rotation forestry, agroforestry (Div 1 Silviculture liaison)
Shawn Mansfield, (Div 2 Physiology and genetics liaison)
Hans Rudolf Heinimann, (Div 3Forest operations Division Coordinator)
Margarida Tomé, (Div 4 Forest assessment Division Coordinator)
Marilyn Buford, Ecological sustainability (Div 5 Forest products liaison)
Cecil Konijnendijk, Urban forestry (Div 6 Social aspects liaison)
Viktor Bruckman, Air pollution, climate change and forests (Div 7 Forest Health liaison)
David Flaspohler, Forest bioenergy and biodiversity (Div 8 Forest environment liaison)
Daniela Kleinschmit, (Div 9 Policy and economics Division Coordinator)

Send comments to Rolf Björheden (Task Force Coordinator)