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Conference paper, 2018

Sustainable forest operations (SFO): A new paradigm.

Nordfjell, Tomas; Marchi, Enrico; Chung, Woodam; Visser, Rien; Abbas, Dalia; Mederski, Piotr S.; McEwan, Andrew; Brink, Michal; Laschi, Andrea


Wood has played a major role throughout human history. With increasing climate change, resource shortages and the need for environmental protection, wood products have been receiving increased attention as key resources for the development of a sustainable bio-economy. A sustainable forest management depends largely on carrying out forest operations in a sustainable manner. In this context, it is important to understand the major driving factors for the future development of forest operations that promote economic, environmental and social well-being. The main objective of this paper is to identify several important issues of forest operations in the light of a new sustainability framework, while offering a new forest operations paradigm. Previously developed concepts of forest operations are reviewed, and a newly developed concept – Sustainable Forest Operations (SFO), is presented. Five key performance areas to ensure the sustainability of forest operations include: (i) Environment; (ii) ergonomics; (iii) economics; (iv) quality optimization of products and production; and (v) people and society. Practical field examples are presented to demonstrate how these five interconnected principles are relevant to achieving sustainability, namely profit and wood quality maximization, ecological benefits, climate change mitigation, carbon sequestration, and forest workers’ health and safety. The new concept of SFO provides integrated perspectives and approaches address ongoing and foreseeable challenges the global forest communities face, while balancing forest operations performance across economic, environmental and social sustainability. In this new concept, we emphasize the role of wood as a renewable and environmentally friendly material, and forest workers’ safety and utilization eff iciency and waste management as additional key elements of the sustainability. For the practicality of SFO, it is essential to: (i) promote operationally safe, environmentally responsible, locally acceptable and economically viable forest mechanization; (ii) invest on workforce training that improve not only operational skills but also awareness of health and safety issues and quality operations that are sensitive to changing work conditions; (iii) develop certification programs to meet and enforce new standards; (iv) encourage forest professionals to improve their management skills and sustainable business strategies; (v) improve forest workers’ health and safety without compromising the profitability, viability and economic competitiveness of forest business and practices; and (vi) encourage renovation and innovation of forest machinery in order to improve the efficiency and greenness of forest operations. It is crucial for local, regional and global markets to recognize the important role of wood products and their sustainability in the bio-economy, and therefore provide their fair values in order to fulfill or further expand the sustainability of forest operations

Published in

Title: 51st Edition of the International Symposium of Forest Mechanization, Proceedings
ISBN: 978‐84‐96442‐84‐9
Publisher: E.T.S.I de Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural


51st Edition of the International Symposium of Forest Mechanization