Knowledge Based Bio-Economy


Short rotation forestry balances carbon emissions

Project Acronym BENWOOD

Title of project Coordination actions in support of sustainable and eco-efficient short rotation forestry in CDM countries

Research area Agriculture & Forestry (Forest energy – short rotation forestry as a sustainable and eco-efficient land use management system for fossil fuels substitution within cdm-projects)

Contract No 227321

EU Contribution 999 000 EURO

Start date April 2009

Duration 18 months


The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets. This may involve investment in emission reduction projects (Joint Implementation Projects or JI) in any other qualifying country as an alternative to reducing emissions domestically. One way of reducing CO2 output within a developing country is to encourage the use biomass rather than conventional fossil fuels, while the production of trees on a short rotation basis (short rotation forestry – SRF) is an effective way of generating such biomass. In SRF culture techniques are more intensive than in conventional forestry resulting in higher yields of biomass that are harvested when the trees have reached a size that is easily handled and economically sound, typically between 2 to 25 years. SRF may be regarded either as forestry or as agricultural practice, depending on whether the plantations are grown on forest or agricultural land. In order to meet these objectives this project sets out to understanding current barriers and find solutions to identified problems through simplification. It will first assess the state of the art of SRF as a biofuel source in CDM and JI countries with a focus on CDM countries forming links with other European and non-European R&D-activities related to SRF.

Expected Impact:

The results from this project should contribute to opportunities for participation in various schemes that have been set up aimed at mitigating climate change by allowing CO2 production in one region to be offset by CO2 emission reduction in another region. Hence, it will have an effect on industrial policy and investment both in the developed countries seeking to reduce the cost of generating CO2 and in the developing countries where increased investment will occur. The topic of short rotation forestry chosen will impact on specific sectors, not only resulting in increased investment in forestry, but also increasing markets for equipment linked to biomass processing as well as generating markets for forest products with a focus on biofuel producers. This would include electric utilities, pulp & paper producers, manufacturers of fibreboard etc as well as identifying a SRF R&D agenda for researchers and industry users including boilers, ovens, chippers, pellet producers and related activities.

Expected Results: (As specific as possible)

The main result will be an overview on SRF production practices covering planting material, harvesting, transport logistics and other production activities as well as summarising the state of the art at the research level. Information will include information concerning how the resulting biomass may best be used establishing the the economic basis of various use chains. It will also provide an assessment of the most relevant differences, advantages and risks of SRF practices at both a national l level as well as, in a more concise form, at global scale. Investigations will provide focused information specific to CDM countries with a focus on Brazil, India, the Peoples Republic of China and various African countries resulting in information covering eligible planting material, crop and field maintenance procedures, the need and possibility for irrigation and other production aspects, providing recommendations for best practices. It will also establish a Stakeholder Advisory Panel, based on participation on a voluntary basis with contributors from the field of CDM/JI project development.

The project will generate guidelines covering short rotation forestry as well as standards for land use management aimed at farmers, European JI/CDM project developers as well as stakeholders from the energy and biomass sector. Investigation will result in a consensus concerning recommendations of best practices based on an input procedure that will be open to all relevant stakeholders identified that are identified. The conclusions will be disseminated quite wwidely through presentation at international events, the publication of a brochure including the developed guidelines and standards and the elaboration of a DVD containing film clips and photographs covering the most relevant processes of the SRF production chain. This will provided training for farmers.

Website of project


CoordinatorThomas Lewis,


Energieautark Consulting Gmbh, Austria,


Alasia New Clones, Italy,

Kochanska-Dubas Jolanta, Poland

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Forestry, Croatia,

University of Göttingen, Germany,

Competence Centre Hessian Raw Materials, Germany,

Punjab Agricultural University, Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources, India,

The Plantar Group (Brazil)

Bioenergy 2020+ GmbH, Austria,

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Production Ecology, Sweden),

School of Environment and Natural Resources, Bangor University, UK,

International Centre for Research on Agroforestry, India,

Beijing Forestry University, Institute of Wood-based Material Science, China,

University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Institute of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Austria, forschung.boku.