Wallonia announces new government structure to assist wood sector

Wallonia announces new government structure to assist wood sector
The Hallerbos in Halle, Monday 19 April 2021. Credit: Belga / Benoit Doppagne

The Walloon Economic Wood Office (OEWB) and Ressources Naturelles Développement ASBL (RND) are merging to become Filière Bois Wallonie, Wallonia Economy Willy Borsus and Environment Minister Céline Tellier, announced on Wednesday.

The new tool, which will be based in Marche-en-Famenne, will be in charge of increasing the added value of sustainably produced wood through its processing and valorisation in Wallonia and of creating cohesion between the actors of the wood sector.

Its missions will be adapted to take into account the changes that the sector has undergone and is still undergoing, particularly in terms of innovation, and it will be provided with resources in line with its ambitions.

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In concrete terms, Filière Bois Wallonie will provide economic, technical and technological monitoring of the wood sector with the aim of providing decision-support tools for companies and the Walloon Government. It will also ensure the sustainability of the forestry resource; create cohesion in the sector; place its development in an international context and respond to the missions entrusted by the regional government.

Everything has been done to ensure that the 18 members of staff of the two merged organisations are taken on in the new structure, the authorities assure.

In Wallonia, the forest occupies 33% of the territory, 8,000 companies are responsible for its management and the activity represents some 18,000 direct jobs.

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