Virtual field tours

Online workshop with virtual field tours in North and Eastern Europe and northeastern America

Dialogue on governance to develop sustainable forest landscapes
for production of wood for energy and the bioeconomy


Workshop website

Recordings of the workshop sessions


Virtual field tours

Forest management and forest bioenergy in Latvia

This virtual field tour video series was planned by Dagnija Lazina and Andis Lazdins, Latvian State Forest Research Institute, SILAVA, as part of the outcome of a network activity funded by Nordic Forest Research and supported by International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy. The series consists of five videos that were recorded in places that had also been suggested for the original in-person tour planned for May 2020, which was transformed to an online workshop due to COVID 19 pandemic. The four workshop sessions took place 12, 13, 26, and 27 October 2021.

The tour has five stops covering the whole domestic forest bioenergy supply chain, from afforestation, forest management, harvesting, wood processing in the forest, or at industrial wood pellet producing facilities, to a heat and power plant.


Stop 1. Combined heat and power plant in Jelgava city

Gren is a green energy company formerly known as Fortum, which is a provider of district heating and cooling services in the Baltic States. Company offers environmentally friendly, safe and sustainable energy solutions. Company currently offers to the customers in Latvia heat production, district heating and maintenance and servicing of district heating networks, individual heating solutions for legal customers, servicing of individual heating points in buildings, as well as direct payment service. In Jelgava city for energy production are used low quality wood, forest harvesting residues and residues from sawmills.


Stop 2. Afforestation of abandoned areas and biomass production for energy from private forest lands – the role of land owner cooperation

Afforestation of marginal areas is an additional source for bioenergy production, wood harvested during tending’s could be used for bioenergy production. Later on, tops of trees, branches and curve, or rotten timber, harvested during thinning and final felling will be sold to biofuel plants un pellet factories, and bioenergy produced. Appropriate choose of species for afforestation increase share of high value timber. Cooperation is opportunity for small and middle size forest owners gather different wood assortments – finally more timber will be collected for production long-life products with higher value. Smart fertilization – recycling of municipal waste containing plant nutrient elements helps re-cultivate former abandoned areas and produce biomass, additionally capturing C.


Stop 3. Production of forest biofuel at Joint Stock Company “Latvia’s State Forests” (LVM).

The purpose of the activities of Joint Stock Company “Latvia’s State Forests” (LVM) is administration of state-owned forest property and management of public forest, ensuring preservation and increase of its value and generation of revenue for its owner – the State. LVM’s strategy states that by means of the rational management of state-owned forests, the company will be a stable and predictable partner on the market and will implement state interests as stated in the Latvian Forest policy. These interests include generating profit from the management of this sustainable national asset (the forests) without depleting its value while still preserving values such as important environmental and cultural-historical heritage and ensuring the accessibility of the forests to the public. Biofuel production is one of the economic activities at LVM. Forest biofuel is produced from harvesting residues, low quality logs and during maintenance of forest infrastructure.


Stop 4. Forest fertilization research program – increasing of carbon stocks in forest lands and sustainable management of risks

The aim of the research program is to maximize the economic effect of forest fertilizer application in Latvian forestry, and to create a positive and responsible attitude towards the improvement of the tree growth conditions. Program covers the following areas: technical solutions for application of wood ash in order to improve tree growth; increase economic effect and reduce potential negative environmental impact; economic effect and environmental impact of application of nitrogen containing fertilizers in mature coniferous and birch stands; economic effect and environmental impact of different dosages of nitrogen fertilizer in young and middle-aged coniferous and birch stands, considering repeated input of the fertilizers; economic effect and environmental impact of application of a mixture of nitrogen and wood ash in drained middle-aged coniferous and birch stands; additional increment of fast-growing and introduced tree species after application of nitrogen and wood ash containing fertilizers; impact of forest fertilization on water ecological quality.


Stop 5. Sustainable pellet production at SIA Latgan

One of the greatest challenges nowadays is to find sustainable sources for affordable energy. Pellets are produced from five types of raw materials – dry sawdust and wood shavings, wet sawdust, wood bark, wood chips and low-quality stem wood. The wood pellets are environmentally friendly biofuel, that is well suited for automated systems and can be used both for households and for a large-scale industrial heat and electricity co-production. Company is joined the certified wood processing community and supports such forest management that maintains valuable ecosystems and ensures safe, healthy and fair working conditions for people working in forests. With wood certification, they exclude any unverified material, which may originate from environmentally and socially damaging sources. Third-party controls help ensure that the absolute best service is provided to current as well as future customers and partners, it means 100% sustainable wood supply.


Links to existing “virtual field tour” videos for other countries, including the Baltic Sea Region, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Sweden and the USA.




The IEA Bioenergy Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP) is organised under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA) but is functionally and legally autonomous. Views, findings and publications of the IEA Bioenergy TCP do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or its individual member countries.

Views and findings presented in the workshop “Dialogue on governance to develop sustainable forest landscapes for production of wood for energy and the bioeconomy” are entirely the speakers’ and participants’ responsibility and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the their organizations, the SNS secretariat, IEA Bioenergy or any individual member countries.

Online workshop with virtual field tours in North and Eastern Europe and northeastern America


General information

Goal: The goal of the network activity was to engage stakeholders and bring them together to discuss the benefits and challenges to governing sustainability within a forest management context, with particular emphasis on forest bioenergy, including calculation and modeling of forest carbon and climate change impacts. The geographic focus was on boreal and temperate forests in Northern and Eastern Europe, and North America.

The audience: The audience was cross-section of forest sector and society involved with and concerned about the governance and documentation of sustainable forest bioenergy and bioeconomy supply chains, for example, forest landowner and owner associations, wood pellet companies, wood chip producers, traders, investors, private, state and federal foresters, forest industry, bioenergy utilities, state conservation organizations, public and private providers of relevant data for verification, academia, NGOs, staff of forestry certification systems and certification bodies, consultants, policy makers, and the general public.

Outcome: The network activity, which was originally planned to take place as a physical tour through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in May 2020, was transformed into an online event, with the outcomes listed in the table below, including four online workshop

Planning committee: Inge Stupak (coordinator), University of Copenhagen, Denmark,, Andis Lazdin, Latvian State Forest Research Institute (SILAVA), Latvia,, C. Tattersall Smith, University of Toronto, Canada,, Dagnija Lazdina, Latvian State Forest Research Institute (SILAVA), Latvia,, Dave M. Morris, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), Ontario, Canada,, Diana Lukminė, Lithuanian Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry, (LAMMC), Lithuania,, Helja-Sisko Helmisaari, University of Helsinki, Finland,, Iveta Varnagiryte-Kabasinskiene, Lithuanian Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry, (LAMMC), Lithuania,, Kristi Nigul, Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMU) and HD Forest, Estonia,, Lars Högbom, SkogForsk, Sweden,, Liviu Nichiforel, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania,, Nicholas Clarke, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Norway,, Puneet Dwivedi, University of Georgia (UGA), Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, USA,




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