Cooperation is key in advancing the sustainable development of the forestry and wood sector in Central Europe. This was one of the conclusions participants of the ROSEWOOD Central Europe Hub Launch drew. At the event, which took place in Wasserburg (DE) at Lake Constance in June, stakeholders from Switzerland, Germany and Austria discussed the current situation of wood mobilisation in the region as well as future opportunities for the sector. Markus von Willert (Wald-wird-mobil, Germany), Hermine Hackl (Forst Holz Papier – FHP, Austria) and Alex Arnet-Muri (Proholz Lignum Luzern, Switzerland) presented regional best practices in wood mobilisation.
The countries covered by the Central Europe Hub face similar challenges when it comes to activating private forest owners with smaller lots of land. In Germany, for instance, half of the woodland lots are privately owned, the large part measuring below 20 hectares or even less.
In economic terms, it is therefore difficult to encourage these owners to mobilise wood from their lands. Moreover, today’s urban forest owners are not as connected to their soil as traditional, farm-residing forest owners have been. New models of cooperative management and other communication concepts are therefore needed to activate them. The ROSEWOOD central hub kick-off introduced into innovative approaches of private forest owner activation. One of the best practice examples, the German online platform www.wald-wird-mobil.de is presented in the ROSEWOOD newsletter.
Another challenge discussed during the event concerned collaboration along the wood value chain. At the moment, cross-sectoral cooperation, e.g. between architects and timber producers, is rare, although transfer of information, in particular regarding the construction sector’s demands in terms of wood quality and today’s possibilities of timber preparation would be very important.