FEM-50803 European Forest Resources and the Bio-economy

Code last year: (FEM-31303)


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work8
Excursion (one day)8
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. GJ Nabuurs
Lecturer(s)dr. UGW Sass-Klaassen
prof. dr. ir. GJ Nabuurs
Examiner(s)dr. UGW Sass-Klaassen

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Course will build on forest ecology and forest management courses.

Some basic understanding of resource economics, climate change, carbon sequestration, bio-energy, basics of governance  wil help the student


Forests cover 36% of the European land area and are one of the most important types of land use for biodiversity conservation, recreation and tourism, environmental services such as water provision, storage of carbon and provision of renewable raw materials for the bio-economy.
Under the bio-economy the demand for wood is expected to increase rapidly, both to produce new products, traditional products, as well as for energy. How to fulfil this increasing demand sustainably and which are the trade-offs with other functions, is a large challenge for forest management and for forest policy in Europe.
In addition, Europe will depend far more on its own forest resources in the future as other continents show a rapid demand increase as well. Thus, for sustainable multifunctional forest management, the tension between increasing and varying demands on the one hand, and increased pressure from climate change and other environmental changes on the other hand, is currently highly relevant.
This course addresses the subject of the bio-economy, the role of European forests and the changes that are taking place in management and in forest industry.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand and explain the status of European forest resources, their management and demand trends;
- analyse the availability, variability and value of natural resources;
- understand the use of large scale strategic resource analyses;
- reflect on the bio-economy trends and challenges that it poses to the forest sector;
- understand trade-offs between increased demand for wood and the other functions of forests Europe wide.


- lectures, tutorials, group work with a large scale forest resource model EFISCEN. one day excursion to Brussels to the forestry lobby organisations and to DG AGRI/ euro parliament;

- guest lectures from Ministry of LNV (governance) and from Confederation of European Pulp and Paper Industries (CEPI);

This addresses very timely questions of sustainability of increased demand on forests and can tackle how forest mangement can respond to that.


The examination is the presentation of the groupwork.


Papers, presentations and background material will be provided in Brightspace.