How can a market function as a lever to turn the negative trends of forest destruction and degradation into the opposite – rehabilitation and restoration?
“Towards a future of wood cities and restored forests – modelling pathways for development of a new forest industry in the Global South”, 2021
A four-year research project in Tanzania. The project is a collaboration between the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and EIF. Starting from where we are today (standard concrete building, degraded and declining forests, small informal wood-processing industries), we will model pathways of coordinated incremental change across the entire value chain to arrive at the desired end state (wood cities, fully restored natural forests, prosperous regional wood industries).
This is a new area of research in forestry, and we will refine the methodology using Tanzania as a case study. We will involve diverse actors throughout the process to build expertise within each field, create public awareness, and partnerships with future markets (i.e., architects, city planners, and mayors). This work is closely linked with several other funded research projects and REFOREST Africa, a new regional Ph.D. school based in Tanzania.
Funding by the Swedish research council for sustainable development – FORMAS
Sida International training Program: Locally Controlled Forest Restoration – A governance and market oriented approach for resilient landscapes, 2021-25
The program is intended for a wide group of participants with an interest in locally controlled forest restoration including government agencies, forest owners’ associations, forest and water managers, entrepreneurs, NGOs and market actors. In the first course round the program is open for participants from the following countries: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Laos, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.
The project is led by the Swedish Forest Agency and financed by the Government of Sweden through Sida.
Wood cities and restored forests in the tropical world – a natural climate solution – Development of a tropical forest-based industrial system and a platform for scaling it, 2020-21
The objectives of the project are twofold:
– To develop a wood-based natural climate solution; An industrial system for wood-based construction in tropical cities based on restoration of surrounding degraded forest landscapes, and
– To build a platform for scaling the solution; A collaboration of new and existing actors aligned to support in the rapid local growth of the system, and for scaling the system in the tropical world.
The project will span over two and a half years and involve pilot studies in three countries, as well as engagement of over twenty-five leading experts in all parts of the industrial system as well as in its implementation and financing.
Supported by the Reforestation Accelerator (World Resources Institute and The Nature Concervancy)
“The Forest Restoration Entrepreneur program – The Ethiopia pilot”, 2020-21
A training program for selected current and aspiring entrepreneurs within the forest-wood value chain. This pilot is running in cooperation with local partners in Ethiopia during 2020 and, due to the Covid-lockdown prolonged into 2021.
Funding by the Swedish Institute
“How good is Good Wood? Can a novel timber industry concept save tropical forests?”, 2020-24
A three-year research project in Tanzania and Mozambique. The project is a collaboration between the Swedish agricultural university (SLU) and EIF. project goals are to (1) quantify the carbon, forest restoration, and socio-economic outcomes of the Good Wood model in three pilot projects, and (2) estimate the potential of this model to contribute to climate change mitigation, forest landscape restoration, and sustainable development across the global South.
Funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet)
”Transformative timber value chain demo project, Ethiopia”, 2019-21
The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change has recently embarked on a ten-year National Forest Sector Development Program (NFSDP). The overall vision of the program (NFSDP) aims at transforming Ethiopia’s forest sector in a way that increases its contribution to the GDP, generate employment and enhance quality environmental services.
EIF’s role is to strengthen the capacity for timber-based entrepreneurship and to demonstrate the possibilities of implementing innovative small-scale production systems, which enable long-term viable small-scale operations of wood production and locally controlled regenerative forest management.
The production system is designed for smallholders and adapted to the local situation to make forest management attractive prospect despite the extremely degraded state of both the little remaining natural forest and plantations.
The program is financed by Sida, UNDP and the government of Ethiopia. EIF is working in partnership with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).
Research and development of “The Good Wood model”, 2017-18
Based on findings in the Fair Wood research project, the “integrated approach” used in Sweden was further developed to fit in degraded and deforested landscapes of the Global South. This model describes scalable modern timber-based industrial systems, based on a starting point of diverse and degraded natural tropical forest and smallholder plantations. The long-term objective is restoration and reforestation into bio-diverse and climate-adapted forests as well as the emergence of sustainable regional forest sectors.
“Demonstration of a novel production system for wood and energy products (forestry, sawmill, further processing), enabling restorative and sustainable use of the degraded and threatened natural miombo forest of Mozambique”, 2016-20
In close cooperation with the LevasFlor management, this project has entailed designing and implementing a state-of-the-art small-scale forestry and sawmill operation – enabled by innovatively combining leading edge small-scale machinery.In Mozambique the natural miombo forest is degrading rapidly. The LevasFlor sawmill and forest concession is a unique operation which is now becoming well-known in the country for showing that another way is possible. As a direct result of this project, this FSC-certified, sustainable and inclusive forest enterprise has entered into a state of robust economic growth based on competitive products, high utilization and value addition.The project comprised many activities including:
– Establishing an integrated and detailed plan for upgrading of; logging and silviculture, sawmill operations and further processing, including kiln-drying
– Design of sawmill production system, system optimizing and full-scale operation test
– Installation support for a) machine operation, b) health and safety, c) prototyping and product development d) maintenance, e) wood properties and quality management
– Purchasing and Installation support for upgrading of kiln and boiler for customer adapted high quality artificial drying.
– Training of staff: a) health and safety b) prototyping and product development c) maintenance d) machine operation e) wood properties and quality management f) wood value optimisation g) saw doctoring
(Two mid-term evaluations were carried out on-site by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth – one of social aspects and one of technical aspects – with positive results.)Funded through a grant within the “Demo Environment programme” managed by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket) and LevasFlor Ltd, Condue, Mozambique
“The Fair Wood research project”, 2015-17
A research project for the design of an intervention program to facilitate self-sustaining wood value chains based on timber from tropical forests controlled and responsibly managed by local smallholders. Research was conducted in five countries during ca one and a half year and comprised local smallholder situations, international value chains, international expertise on technology, finance and intervention models.A partnership with WWF Sweden, Forest Stewardship Council of Sweden and Pivot point with funding from Sida and Tetrapak. Download report
Water, forests, people – building resilient landscapes”, 2016
Founders of EIF participated in the Swedish Water House (SWH) Cluster Group for Water and Forests which highlighted the importance of forests and sustainable forest management to securing water resources globally. The report describes how establishing resilient landscapes is the most promising way forward and that Sweden’s extensive experience and competencies constitute a substantial resource.
The Report can be found at: www.swedishwaterhouse.se/en/ cluster-groups/water-forests
Rättvist trä – en studie av den Svenska marknaden för synligt trä
A study of corporate wood buyers/users in Sweden from 2012 showed interest in dual certified, FSC+Fairtrade, tropical hardwood. Download report
Poverty and forest certification
This report from 2011, shows that support for implementing sustainable forest management and certification should be accompanied by support for all aspects of the forest business, to be effective for poverty alleviation. Download report