Luxembourg forest wood, screened by Forest Stewardship Council analysts, has been identified as containing a “low risk” of so-called unacceptable sources by the FSC. It is a good news for the entire timber sector in the country and the Greater Region
Sustainable forest management worldwide is the primary concern of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which works to promote best practices according to strict social, environmental and economic criteria.
Luxembourg, where a national branch of the FSC is active, is obviously not exempt from the certification process.
To prevent companies from turning away from Luxembourg wood that does not have uncertified FSC certification, the Forest Stewardship Council Luxembourg (FSC LUX) has taken the initiative to carry out a national “controlled wood” risk analysis (ANR) for the Grand Duchy.
After being approved in principle in March 2017, this analysis was first drafted and submitted to the FSC in January 2018 and then a final version in August 2018, after receiving feedback during a public consultation period in spring 2018.
The private sector with the public sector
The working group that worked on this analysis included representatives from the Nature and Forestry Administration (NFA), the FSC, private companies in the timber industry and the Luxembourg Wood Cluster.
The conclusions of this national risk analysis were approved in June 2019 and are particularly positive, since according to the FSC, wood of Luxembourg origin currently presents a “low risk” (it is the lowest level of risk measured, zero risk does not exist) with regard to all categories of indicators defining the notion of “controlled wood”.
In other words: all wood from the Grand Duchy can be recognised as “controlled wood”, since it offers the minimum guarantees required by the FSC to be able to integrate, in defined proportions, the manufacturing processes for FSC MIX certified products.
These “required guarantees” make it possible to exclude forest practices considered “unacceptable” by the FSC, and which would involve, in particular, wood harvested illegally or in violation of traditional rights and human rights or wood from natural forests transformed into plantations or non-forest uses or wood from forests containing genetically modified trees.
“For a sustainable management”
“Without this risk analysis, wood from uncertified Luxembourg forests could no longer have been used in FSC Mix products. This would obviously have had a significant impact on the local market, especially for industrial wood,” explains Philippe Genot, Luxembourg Wood Cluster manager at Luxinnovation. “This risk analysis gives a certain guarantee or basic control for all wood from Luxembourg’s forests. In any case, wood can only be considered as a ‘sustainable resource’ if forest management is also sustainable. In this way, we obviously support, as part of our actions within the Wood Cluster, the continued deployment of forest certification in Luxembourg.”
“We also welcome the conclusion of this study,” says Frank Wolter, Director of the Nature and Forestry Administration. “Applying and promoting sustainable forest management is part of our daily work and FSC certification stimulates our process of continuous improvement of these management techniques based on scientific advances and citizens’ expectations. In addition, certification supports and enriches our communication work.”
In Luxembourg, according to the Wood Mapping published in spring 2019, some 500,000 m3 of wood is harvested from the 92,000 hectares of forests (which represent nearly 36% of the country’s territory, source: the ANF’s national forest inventory). The forest-based sector entails 19,000 jobs spread over more than 1,200 companies whose activity is wholly or partially related to wood.