Forest biomass is increasingly being considered as a source of sustainable energy. It is crucial, however, that this biomass be grown and harvested in a sustainable manner. International processes and certification systems have been developed to ensure sustainable forest management (SFM) in general, but it is important to consider if they adequately address specific impacts of intensified production and harvesting methods related to forest fuels. To explore how existing SFM frameworks address sustainable forest fuel production, criteria and indicators (C&I) from 10 different international processes and organizations and 157 international, national and sub-national forest management certification standards under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) were reviewed. International processes include indicators that require identification or reporting of availability, harvested amounts, value, or share in energy consumption of forest fuels. Forest certification standards address several specific woodfuel issues, but not always in a consistent manner. It seems that developed countries more frequently address environmental consequences of harvesting residues or whole trees on soil fertility and biodiversity, while developing countries more frequently address social issues, such as local people’s access to firewood and working conditions in charcoal production. Based on findings, options to improve SFM standards for sustainable forest fuel production are discussed. These options include clarification of terminology, systematic inclusion of important management impacts unique to forest fuel production, coordination of efforts with other related governance processes, including tools promoting sustainability at more integrated levels, such as landscape, supply chain and global levels.

Contact Information
Contact Person: 
Inge Stupak
Contact Organization: 
Forest & Landscape Denmark, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen
Publication Information
Author: 
Inge Stupak
Brenna Lattimore
Brian D. Titus
C. Tattersall Smith
Publication Year: 
2010
DOE Information
Bioenergy Category: