European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 126, Issue 3, pp 391–400 | Cite as

Future harvesting pressure on European forests

  • G. J. NabuursEmail author
  • A. Pussinen
  • J. van Brusselen
  • M. J. Schelhaas
Original Paper


We provide quantitative insight in the spatial distribution of the future supply of wood as a raw material from European forests (27 countries) until 2060. This supply is tested for two scenarios: ‘projection of historical management’ and ‘new management trends’ and compared against a benchmark scenario. The new management trends scenario incorporates influences of issues as nature-oriented management, carbon credits and increased demand for bio-energy. The results of these projections provide insight in the state of the European forests and indicate that under the ‘new management trends’ supply can still increase to 729 million m3 by 2060 in Europe, whereby almost throughout Europe we allow harvest to be higher than increment for some time. Without linking countries dynamically through international trade, we identify regions where harvesting pressure is highest. Under the new management trends scenario, the harvested volume is reduced with 82 million m3/year (compared to ‘projection of historical management’) because of stricter management constraints. However, the management regimes as parameterised here allow harvesting pressure to remain highest in Central Europe and some Scandinavian countries, notably Finland and Norway.


European forests Forest resource Wood products Markets Nature-oriented management Carbon credits 



This paper is partly based on a study commissioned by the CEPI in Brussels. We want to thank the steering committee at CEPI that guided the project. In the finishing stages, the work was supported under the EU funded FP6 EFORWOOD-IP project (contract 518128). Furthermore, we are greatly indebted to the country data correspondents who provided the forest inventory data. Without them these analyses are impossible. These are: Albania, Dr Eng. Bashkim Mal Lushaj; Austria, Dr Klemens Schadauer; Belarus, Mr Mikhail V. Kuzmenkov; Belgium, Wallony, Prof. J. Rondeux, Flanders: Mr Bart Roelandt; Bulgaria, Dr Stefan Mirchev, Croatia, Dr Goran Kovac, Czech Republic, Dr Miloš Kraus; Denmark, Dr Kim Dralle; Estonia, Mr Ulo Viilup; Finland, Prof. Erkki Tomppo; France, Dr G. Pignard; Germany, Mr Peter Lohner; Greece, Dr I Meliadis; Hungary, Dr Peter Csoka; Ireland, Cormack Judge; Italy, Dr Franco Cozza; Latvia, Sanda Zauere. Lithuania, Edmundas Petraukas; Luxembourg, Mr Marc Wagner; Macedonia, Mr Luktscho Nesterovski; the Netherlands, Ir. H. Schoonderwoerd; Norway, Mr S.M. Tomter; Poland, Mr Roman Michalak; Portugal, Mr Antonio Leite; Romania, Mr Claudiu Zaharescu; Russia, Mr Valentin V. Strakhov; Slovakia, Mr Ivan Luptak; Slovenia, Dr Hocevar; Spain, Dr J.A. Villanueva; Sweden, Dr U. Söderberg; Switzerland, Dr U.-B. Brändli; Ukraine, Vladimir F Romanovsky and Dr Igor Buksha; Turkey, Mr Ulvius; UK, Mr Simon Gillam; Yugoslavia, Mr Milan Medarevic. The data update part of the study was done in collaboration with Volker Sasse at UN-ECE Timber Committee in Geneva under the EFSOS programme.


  1. Berndes G, Hoogwijk M, van den Broek R (2003) The contribution of biomass in the future global energy supply: a review of 17 studies. Biomass Bioenerg 25:1–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bundeswaldinventur (2006) Das wichtigste in Kurz. Bundesministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz. Accessed July 2006
  3. CEPI (2002) CEPI Forest Committee, WG Wood availability. Questionnaire on fibre supply and demand 2001: results. In: Jordan L (ed) Confederation of European Paper Industries, internal document. Presented in Frankfurt, September 2001, 20 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Dielen LJM, Guegan S, Lacour PA, Maki PK, Stolp JAN, Rythonen A (1999) Wood: for energy or FBI? Impacts of increased use of renewable energy on the European Forest Based Industry. SBH, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  5. EEA (2006) How much bio energy can Europe produce without harming the environment? EEA Report 7/2006. Copenhagen, 67 ppGoogle Scholar
  6. European Commission (1997) Energy for the future: renewable energy sources—White Paper laying down a Community strategy and action plan. Communication from the Commission, Brussels COM(1997)599 finalGoogle Scholar
  7. European Commission (2005) Communication from the European Commission on the Biomass Action Plan, COM(2005)628 finalGoogle Scholar
  8. European Commission (2006) Communication from the European Commission on An EU Strategy for Biofuels, COM(2006)34 finalGoogle Scholar
  9. FAO (1948) Forest resources of the world. Unasylva 2:161–182Google Scholar
  10. FAO (1955) World forest resources—results of the inventory undertaken in 1953 by the Forestry Division of FAO. FAO, Rome, 120 ppGoogle Scholar
  11. FAO (1960) World forest inventory. FAO, Rome, 136 ppGoogle Scholar
  12. FAO (1976) European timber trends and prospects 1950 to 2000. FAO, Rome, 308 ppGoogle Scholar
  13. de Goede DM (2000) Between fear and hope, a scenario study into the long-term international consequences of a changing forest management in western and central European countries, vol. 32. Wageningen University and Research Center, Department of Environmental Sciences, Forest Policy and Forest Management Group, Wageningen, 93p + appGoogle Scholar
  14. Nabuurs GJ (2001) European forests in the 21st century: impacts of nature-oriented forest management assessed with a large scale scenario model. Joensuu and Wageningen. PhD thesis, University of Joensuu. Research Notes 121. European Forest Institute and Alterra, 130 ppGoogle Scholar
  15. Nabuurs GJ, de Goede DM, Michie B, Schelhaas MJ, Wesseling JG (2002) Long term international impacts of nature oriented forest management on European forests—an assessment with efiscen through wood products trade flows. J World For Resour Manag 9:101–129Google Scholar
  16. Nabuurs GJ, Schelhaas MJ, Ouwehand A, Pussinen A, van Brusselen J, Pesonen E, Schuck A, Jans MFFW, Kuiper L (2003) Future wood supply from European forests—with implications to the pulp and paper industry. ALTERRA Report 927. Wageningen, 140 ppGoogle Scholar
  17. Nilsson S, Sallnäs O, Duinker P (1992) Future forest resources of Western and Eastern Europe. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. A report on the IIASA forest study. The Parthenon Publishing Group, England, 496 ppGoogle Scholar
  18. Pussinen A, Schelhaas MJ, Verkaik E, Heikkinen E, Liski J, Karjalainen T, Päivinen R, Nabuurs GJ (2001) Manual for the European Forest Information Scenario Model (EFISCEN 2.0). European Forest Institute. EFI Internal Report No. 5. 49 ppGoogle Scholar
  19. Sallnäs O (1990) A matrix growth model of the Swedish forest. Studia Forestalia Suecica. No 183. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Forestry, Uppsala, 23 ppGoogle Scholar
  20. Schelhaas MJ, Nabuurs GJ, Sonntag M, Pussinen A (2002) Adding natural disturbances to a large scale forest scenario model and a case study for Switzerland. For Ecol Manage 167:13–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Spiecker H, Mielikainen K, Kohl M, Skovsgaard JP (1996) Growth trends in European forests. European Forest Institute Research Report 5. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, 372 ppGoogle Scholar
  22. Trømborg E, Buongiorno J, Solberg B (2000) The global timber market: implications of changes in economic growth, timber supply, and technological trends. For Policy Econ 1:53–69Google Scholar
  23. UN-ECE (2005) European forest sector outlook study, main report. Geneva timber and forestry study paper 20. Geneva, 234 ppGoogle Scholar
  24. UN-ECE/FAO (1985) The forest resources of the ECE region (Europe, the USSR, North America). Geneva, Switzerland, 223 ppGoogle Scholar
  25. UN-ECE/FAO (1992) The Forest Resources of the Temperate Zones, the UN-ECE/FAO 1990 Forest Resource Assessment, General Forest Information. Geneva, Switzerland, 347 ppGoogle Scholar
  26. UN-ECE/FAO (1996) European timber trends and prospects: into the 21st century. UN-ECE, Geneva. ECE/TIM/SP/11. 101 ppGoogle Scholar
  27. UN-ECE/FAO (2000) Forest Resources of Europe, CIS, North America, Australia, Japan and New Zealand. UN-ECE/FAO Temperate and Boreal Forest Resource Assessment 2000, vol. I. Geneva Timber and Forest Study Papers 17. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Food and Agriculture Organization, Geneva, Rome, 445 ppGoogle Scholar
  28. UNFCCC (2001) The Marrakesh accords and the Marrakesh declaration from the seventh conference of the parties held at Marrakesh. FCCC/CP/2001/13/Add.1. UNFCCC, Bonn, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  29. Weiner RU, Victor DG (2002) Industrial roundwood demand projections to 2050: a brief review of the literature. Manuscript. Council Foreign relations. New York, 6 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. J. Nabuurs
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • A. Pussinen
    • 2
  • J. van Brusselen
    • 2
  • M. J. Schelhaas
    • 1
  1. 1.AlterraWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.European Forest InstituteJoensuuFinland

Personalised recommendations