9.2.3 Wood supply, production and consumption of forest products
Global wood harvest is about 3 billion m3 and has been rather stable in the last 15 years (FAO, 2006a). Undoubtedly, the amount of wood removed is higher, as illegally wood removal is not recorded. About 60% of removals are industrial roundwood; the rest is wood fuel (including fuelwood and charcoal). The most wood removal in Africa and substantial proportions in Asia and South America are non-commercial wood fuels. Recently, commercial biomass for bioenergy received a boost because of the high oil prices and the government policies initiated to promote renewable energy sources.
Although accounting for only 5% of global forest cover, forest plantations were estimated in 2000 to supply about 35% of global roundwood harvest and this percentage is expected to increase (FAO, 2006a). Thus, there is a trend towards concentrating the harvest on a smaller forest area. Meeting society’s needs for timber through intensive management of a smaller forest area creates opportunities for enhanced forest protection and conservation in other areas, thus contributing to climate change mitigation. With rather stable harvested volumes, the manufacture of forest products has increased as a result of improved processing efficiency. Consumption of forest products is increasing globally, particularly in Asia.