16 October, 2014, Pristina. FAO GCP/KOS/005/FIN “Support to Implementation of the Forest Policy and Strategy in Kosovo“ project presented the results of the study on Wood Biomass in Kosovo. This study was developed in the period from September 2013 – September 2014 and conducted by GCP/KOS/005/FIN staff, International and National wood biomass experts, and specialists from Center for Energy and Natural Resources of the American University in Kosovo. The  objective of the study was to identify the current situation of demand for fuel wood by Kosovo households, by public institutions and other consumers, and to present the supply potentials based on the FAO-developed Woodfuel integrated supply and demand overview mapping (WISDOM) methodology.

The event organized on 16 October was chaired by Mr Aleksandar Nikolovski, Chief Technical Adviser of the FAO project. Mr Kapllan Halimi, General Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MAFRD) in Kosovo, Mr Vesa Kaarakka, Senior Forestry Adviser at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Mr Norbert Winkler-Ráthonyi, Forestry Officer at FAO REU, Mr Naser Krasniqi National Team Leader of the FAO project, Dr Nike Krajnc FAO project International Wood Biomass Expert, were part of the panel for discussion about study results.

Stakeholders from government agencies, representatives of donors in Kosovo, EU office in Kosovo, USAID, SDC, World Bank and other interested parties followed the invitation of the project and participated in this event to discuss the current state of play in wood consumption, demand and supply in Kosovo.

Opening the event, Mr. Aleksandar Nikolovski, Chief Technical Adviser of the FAO project, highlighted the importance of such a study for the Kosovo forestry sector, in particularly its contribution for identification of accurate figures of demand and supply of wood biomass.

Mr Kapllan Halimi General Secretary of the MAFRD in Kosovo, stated that “this study will be taken into consideration by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development in the process of designing forestry sector policies, which in turn we expect to provide the opportunities for increase of forest sector contribution to national economy”.

Mr Vesa Kaarakka Senior Forestry Adviser at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland emphasized the role of the woodfuel as one of the main source of energy for rural households. “The study presented today is based on a scientific methodology and it is based on a representative sample that ensures identification of the accurate and valuable findings in terms of wood use in Kosovo”, he said.

On behalf of FAO, Mr Norbert Winkler-Ráthonyi, REU Forestry Officer, welcomed the participants and thanked the Finnish Government for supporting the development of the study as part of the Finnish funded GCP/KOS/005/FIN project. He noted that the role of wood fuel is often underestimated by authorities and the general public.

The summary of the study results was presented by FAO GCP/KOS/005/FIN International Wood Biomass Expert, Dr Nike Krajnc. The findings show that the main consumers of the woodfuel in Kosovo are households, followed by so-called touristic facilities and schools. In total, Kosovo uses 2.3 million m³ of wood fuel per year. 88% of households use wood fuel. 51% of households use it during the whole year, while 49% only during the heating season.

Annually, Kosovo rural households use 1.4 m³, urban households 0.6 million m³, touristic facilities around 200, 000 m³, school buildings more than 33,000 m3, wood industry more than 50,000m³ of wood fuel.

More than 90% of the supply of the woodfuels in Kosovo comes from its forestlands, while the rest comes from the agro forestry activities. In terms of balance between demand and supply, there is mismatch mostly in major towns.

Following the question and answer session, the participants of the event concluded that wood fuels are a very important source of energy in Kosovo and the efficiency use by different users should be analyzed further. In this regard, WISDOM will give a comprehensive overview on supply and demand of wood biomass.

“Support to Implementation of the Forest Policy and Strategy in Kosovo“ project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and implemented by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, aims to increase the contribution of the forestry sector to the national economy through sustainable use of forest resources, taking into account multipurpose forestry and including economic, social and environmental benefits as well as its contribution to climate change mitigation.