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Saxony wants to use wood from its own forests more efficiently

Martin Dulig speaks after a cabinet meeting in Chemnitz / Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa
Martin Dulig speaks after a cabinet meeting in Chemnitz / Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa

Saxony wants to make better use of wood from local forests. According to Economics Minister Martin Dulig (SPD), the potential of wood for achieving climate targets is still vastly underestimated. "The abundance of wood, especially in the Westerzgebirge, provides a good basis for long and robust value chains in the region - from felling and processing in sawmills to use as a building and construction material in numerous applications," explained Dulig on Tuesday in Eibenstock. This creates local jobs, shortens transport routes, saves resources and strengthens the economy in rural areas as a whole.

Saxony has around 521,000 hectares of forest, which corresponds to around 28 percent of the state's surface area. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, around 1120 industrial and craft businesses use wood as a raw material or process it into furniture, for example. The industry employs around 16,500 people and generates an annual turnover of around 3.6 billion euros, it said. The construction industry is not even included in this figure.

The better use of wood was the subject of a specialist event in Eibenstock on Tuesday. Saxony is pursuing a cascade use approach in its raw material strategy for wood: priority is given to long-lasting wood products, such as construction timber and wood used in machine, car or ship construction, over its use as an energy source.

"Wood from sustainable forestry is an ingenious building material. With modern technologies, we can build wooden houses, for example, quickly, flexibly and in a way that protects the climate and conserves resources. And there is more than enough wood growing in Germany and Saxony's forests," emphasized Barbara Meyer, State Secretary in the Ministry for Regional Development.

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