The European Community will take its first steps towards the integration and further sustainable development of the European forest-based sector in November.

EFORWOOD, a four-year research project with a planned budget of €20m, €13m of which is coming from the European Commission, is co-ordinated by Skogforsk, the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden. It will host a meeting in Uppsala, Sweden on November 14-15 which is expected to attract representatives from 38 research institutes, universities and European industry confederations in 21 countries – including four international research organisations.

The aim of EFORWOOD is to develop a decision support tool that will be used to evaluate and develop the contribution of the European forest-based sector to a sustainable development from an economic, environmental and social point of view.

The project will cover the whole European forestry-wood value chain, from forestry, industrial manufacturing and consumption to recycling of materials and products.

Project co-ordinator Kaj Rosén said the project structure facilitates co-operation and to enable EFORWOOD to reach its targets all the project partners must share data and know-how.

He said it is also important that EFORWOOD’s contacts with the European forestry and forest indusry sector work well and special sub-projects and activities will promote co-operation.

Mr Rosén added: “The commitment from the European forestry wood chain participants is a good sign for the future.”