One third of our country is covered by forests. The Czech Republic is the 12th country with the highest forest coverage in Europe. We are the No. 4 in terms of timber stock per one hectare (246 m3/ha) and No. 6 in annual timber increment per hectare (7.8 m3/ha) in Europe.
The increment of timber in Czech forests totals to approx. 18m cubic metres per year and 14 – 15m are harvested. Hence, the timber stock is growing every year.
After WW2, timber belonged to strategic raw materials that was to be used frugally in former Czechoslovakia. Therefore, timber use in the Czechoslovak, and later in Czech economy dropped dramatically, which resulted in the Czech Republic ranking among countries with the lowest timber use.
Long-term vision is to double the annual timber use per capita within 10 years from the current 0.23m3 to 0.46 m3. In Austria, the timber use per capita grew from 0.30 m3 to 0.62 m3 over the last 15 years. Similarly, Scandinavian countries achieved a growth of timber use per capita, with Finland with 1.00 m3 per capita in the lead.
Presently, the wood-processing industry is employing over 207k employees, i.e. 16% of the entire employment in the processing industry. There are approx. 24k employees working within forestry.
Timber from well-managed forests belongs to renewable raw materials and its use is environmentally friendly.
(Source: Timber For Life Foundation that was established to support the timber use as renewable material in 2005. LČR is one of the co-founders).