IUFRO and University of Padova
international conference


Important update!

After careful consideration and in response to the continuing developments surrounding COVID-19,the IUFRO and University of Padova international conference 2020 will be combined with the conference organised by EURAC from 6th to 9th of October in Bolzano.


The social and ecological value added of small-scale forestry to the Bio-Economy

Bioeconomy “encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy” (EC, 2012). It includes forestry and wood production, with the related biotechnological, chemical and energy industries, but also the provision of other ecosystem services that can support sustainable economic growth. “Bio-refineries are increasingly at the core of the Bio-Economy vision at the EU level and worldwide” (World Bio-Economy Summit, 2015). Large private and public investments actors are mainly focused on capital-intensive investments based on low cost biomass in vertically integrated value chains, where the perspective of the social or ecological value added often lacks behind. As counterpart to this mainstream economic trend, we intend to focus our interests towards small-scale labor-intensive activities in the bio-economy context, inclusive the non-wood products and cultural services, as they seem to have a minor role in the discussions of scientists and decision makers.

In the IUFRO Conference we thus want to put our focus on interpreting and promoting the impact of forest bio-economy on the development of quality product markets and nature-based services and the concepts behind them: social innovation, product diversification, multifunctionality and the value added network of vertically and horizontally integrated economic stakeholders. The extension of the economic paradigm towards social and ecological value added, leads us to the need for considering the associated trade-offs or opportunity costs. But the challenges of climate and socio-demographic changes, coupled with complex and dynamically changing political and socio-economic situations underpin the relevancy to transform our business thinking. Porter and Kramer’s (2011) shared value approach may support this mental shift.
For the conference, we are looking for research proposals, project results and conceptual approaches that demonstrate how to support such enlarged interpretation and the development of forest Bio-Economy, inclusive the various facets of social, ecological and economic added values and their trade-offs, generated by multifunctional managed forests and the downstream industries purchasing, processing and selling timber and NWFPs.

The conference is organised in cooperation with the IUFRO division 4.05 and the IUFRO Task Force: unlocking the bioeconomy and non-timber forest products.


  • Cascade use of wood:
    the value added of a cascade use of wood through processing and refining timber before the energetic use and its impact on the wood trade market;
  • Biomass production:
    the value added of biomass from short rotation crops versus biomass from long-term wood production as well as small-scale bioenergy development;
  • Actors along the regional value chain:
    enhancing the Regional value-added in rural areas, through integrating small and medium-sized enterprises in forestry, the wood-processing industry and the craft sector (circular economy);
  • Non-wood forest products:
    the value added chain of NWFPs, their supply and demand as well as the marketing of NWFP.
  • Multifunctional use of forest resources:
    the value added through balancing the multifunctional use of forest resources (bio-economy);
  • Innovation:
    new forest products, innovative services, management measures organizational structure, for enhancing the value added in the bio-economy context as well as high-value forest products chains;
  • Socio-ecological forest services:
    Value added gained through protection against natural hazards, urban forestry in smart cities, ecosystem services, conservation of old growth forests, eco-tourism, etc.
  • Certification and labelling:
    value Added through the certification and labelling of wood and forest products from sustainably managed forests in order to maintain transparency and to prevent illegal logging;
  • Climate change mitigation:
    value added of forest supporting policies (LULUCF) regarding the emerging need at national and regional levels for future compensation measures, to attain CO2 neutrality;
  • Climate change adaptation:
    applicable policy approaches to increase the ability for climate change adaptation;
  • Substitution of fossil material:
    political incentives for substituting fossil building and raw materials with renewable timber products to gain regional value added through promoting short cycle timber production;
  • Valorisation of ecosystem services:
    value added through developing new economic instruments, regulations, policies, and organizational forms to meet the societal demand of forest ecosystem services;
  • Modelling the dynamics of differently managed forests:
    criteria and indicators for modelling the dynamics of differently managed forests under changing framework conditions in the dimensions of economy, ecology and society;
  • Externalities:
    concepts and tools to internalize potential externalities along the forest value chain;
  • Impact assessment and tradeoffs:
    to quantify the sustainable value added in the dimensions of economy, ecology and society and the therewith related tradeoffs.

Organized by

IUFRO 4.05.00 – Managerial economics and accounting,
IUFRO Task Force Unlocking the Bioeconomy and Non-Timber Forest Products (tbc)

Media Partner



The official language of the symposium is English.