TALLINN – Commenting on a conference on the New European Bauhaus initiative that took place on Thursday, Henrik Valja, head of the Estonian Forest and Wood Industries Association, said that wood is increasingly seen at a high level in the European Union as a carbon sink, not only in forests but also in products and construction.
"In Estonia, we tend to forget in the forestry debate that socio-economic needs for jobs, resources and products will not disappear during the green transition. Forestry and adding value to wood by transforming it into long-term products that help replace products with a larger environmental footprint is an opportunity and an advantage for Estonia," Valja said in a press release on Friday.
"In commercial forest, we need to focus on growing high-quality timber suitable for the production of long-lasting, added-value products. In order to invest in even more value added, businesses need certainty about the availability of raw materials as well as policy priorities," the CEO of the timber industry body said.
Valja added that the mission of the forest and wood industry has always been smart and sustainable forest management, which would continue through generations both in terms of climate and the environment, as well as jobs.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas took part on Thursday in an event dedicated to the use of timber and timber architecture at the Finnish Nature Center Haltia where an announcement was made that Estonia together with Finland and Sweden will start developing skills needed for the sustainable use of wood.
Estonia is also set to join the Nordic Bauhaus initiative focusing on creating an inclusive and sustainable living environment that takes into consideration everyone's needs, spokespeople for the government said.
The prime minister pointed out that Estonia as well as the other Nordic countries are rich in forests, and wood is a crucial material for ensuring sustainable construction.
"Estonia together with Finland and Sweden will create a program for developing wooden construction skills to engage in cooperation and exchange knowledge about wooden architecture and construction," she said, adding that the platform will be part of the New European Bauhaus academy for sustainable construction, which was announced by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in Finland on Thursday.