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This year’s International Day of Forests (21 March) under the slogan "Forests and Energy"

Ljubljana, 17 March 2017 - Every year on 21 March, at the initiative of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation, we celebrate the International Day of Forests, dedicated to promoting and raising awareness about the importance of sustainable and careful use of forests as one of the most important natural resources. The central topic of this year's International Day of Forests around the world is "Forests and Energy".

Forests are an important source of renewable energy, since the wood energy represents approximately 40 percent of the renewable energy supply. Almost 50% of global wood production, amounting to approximately 1.86 billion m3 of wood, is used as energy for cooking, heating and producing electricity. For 2.4 billion people woodfuel means a cooked meal, hot water and warm home. 

 

Approximately one quarter of the felled wood in Slovenian forests, in 2016 amounting to 6.1 billion m3, is used for energy purposes. Wood is a carbon neutral energy source and therefore its energy use does not contribute to the deterioration of greenhouse gas emissions in air and it mitigates consequences of climate change. However, burning wood in unsuitable combustion installations can have negative consequences for local air quality. Processing wood into products should take precedence over its burning, since it is only natural to use wood as a wonderful natural material firstly for wood products with high added value and only after its life span comes to an end as a source  of energy. 

 

Firewood and wood burning is the first thing that comes to mind in a discussion of wood and energy; however, forests also provide us with other forms of energy, including those which our body consumes physically and those that offer visitors mental or spiritual energy. The youngest swear by its fairy-tale energy.

 

The entire programme of events celebrating the International Day of Forests is published on the Slovenian Forest Service's website Zavod za gozdove Slovenije.