26 November 2021
World of Wood Festival highlights role of timber in creating a low-carbon future
With the eyes of the world on COP26 in the first two weeks of November, the global timber industry has been collectively hosting a World of Wood Festival.
This six-week celebration of global timber and global forests began on 25 October and extends to 3 December 2021, taking place both physically at the Building Centre, London, and virtually around the world.
During this festival, attendees have been learning how global forests and the wood products cycle is helping to avert climate change, decarbonise construction, and support social, environmental and economic growth through governance in developing countries.
This has been supported by a series of online, physical and hybrid events which included keynote speeches, debates, webinars, and report launches calling for policy change, broadcast from the Building Centre around the world.
The festival reached its crescendo on 25 November with the winners of the Wood Awards 2021 announced in the annual Wood Awards ceremony, a celebration of the ultimate expression of design in wood and responsibly sourced timber from around the globe.
Exciting digital features of the WOW Festival are ongoing, and include a mobile augmented reality app. You can also catch up on the full range of events and news on the World of Wood website
The WOW Festival was also at the heart of the launch of two bold statements from the global timber industry. These were:
- Growing Our Low-Carbon Future: Time for Timber, which focuses on European and North American forestry and timber industries, and how we can use wood to transform our built environment into a form of carbon capture and storage. This was launched at the RIBA Built Environment Summit on 28 October 2021.
- Global Forests Need Global Governance: Tropical Timber Accord, which sets out a new vision for tropical forests outlaying how we can improve governance and embed the principles of sustainable forest management to protect biodiversity, preserve forests, and improve the lives of forest-based communities. This was launched in the Blue Zone on 4 November 2021.
Speaking on the event, Timber Trade Federation chief executive David Hopkins said:
“The construction and built environment sector is responsible for nearly 40% of global energy related CO2 emissions. A significant percentage of this comes from the extraction, processing and energy-intensive manufacturing of building products.
“To achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, construction must rapidly decarbonise whilst still meeting the needs of a growing urban population, the increasing demand for new buildings and the urgent requirement to renovate existing buildings.
“Wood is the only sustainable structural material that grows worldwide which can enable a substantial decarbonisation of the built environment based on existing business models and proven technology; providing vast carbon sinks in our rural areas and carbon stores in our cities.
“The World of Wood Festival provides a bridge for the world to find out more about the role of timber in reducing carbon emissions, and preserving and growing global forests, as well as these two key documents which will act as a basis for galvanising global action.”
You can watch any of the previous World of Wood events online, and we encourage you to sign up to join the final two events, which are Upskilling Our Future Built Environment Professionals on 30 November 2021, and Tomorrow's Timber on 1 December 2021.
About the World of Wood
The World of Wood was devised and coordinated by the UK Timber Trade Federation and CEI-Bois, representing European woodworking industries; the team has created an alliance of over 40 separate associations, organisations, businesses and campaigns representing global forest growth and development, engineered mass timber and wood-based products from Indonesia to Ghana, Australia, North America and China.
This initiative is also supported by UK Aid, under the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s Forest Governance, Markets and Climate Programme programme (FGMC).
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