The global need for food, fibre and fuel – is there enough land to satisfy the demands?


The global need for food, fibre and fuel – is there enough land to satisfy the demands? Mer information

The global need for food, fibre and fuel – is there enough land to satisfy the demands?

This is a joint undertaking by the four KSLA Committees on International Forestry Issues, International Agricultural Issues, Energy Issues and Sustainable Development.

Watch the recording of the conference.

Läs Green Industry’s referat från konferensen.

In the last ten years or so, there has been a sharply increasing international focus on the need to produce more food, bio-energy and wood fibre. The reasons are many, more or less obvious, and interlinked in often complex ways.

With the globalisation of economies, industrial processing and trade flows, these needs for increased production of plants for different purposes, and the enormous array of issues related to them, have acquired international prominence of unprecedented nature. Virtually every UN-body, development bank, international policy and research institute, global and local environmental and social NGO, and others with programmes or mandates touching upon agriculture, forestry, environment or energy, have launched programmes, held seminars and conferences, produced studies and reports or got engaged in research and advocacy work. 

The production of the “three Fs” – food, fibre and (bio-)fuel, as they are popularly referred to (sometimes a fourth F, feed, is added, referring to the production of animal protein) – have one thing in common: they all rely upon photosynthesis and therefore they all require suitable land to grow on. The issue of if and where there is land, and particularly reasonably good and productive land, available for the required increases in the production of food, fibre and fuel, has become one of the most hotly debated issues in recent years, as the global competition for such land increases almost exponentially. 

The purpose of the conference, and a follow-up one on 22 November, is to present and discuss a comprehensive overview of the current situation and thinking regarding global production of food, fibre and bio-fuel and to focus on the issue of land availability for such production. The conferences are a joint initiative by four of KSLA’s Committees (see above). They will be international in character, but also point at the relevance of these issues to the Swedish green sector, e.g. in the fields of development cooperation, trade, business opportunities, etc.

In this first conference, focus is on presenting facts on demand, supply, production and trends, where and how production is currently done, and projections on what will happen in the next 20 years for food, fibre and fuel, and on availability of and competition for land for this production. In the second conference, focus will be on the technical, economic, social and environmental issues that must be addressed in order to achieve the required increase in production from limited land areas available. For more information on the background to the conferences, see .


Moderator of conferences: Mr. Lennart Båge, Ambassador and ex-President IFAD

09.00  Coffee and registration

09.30  Welcome and presentation of KSLA
Mr. Åke Barklund, Secretary General and Managing Director, KSLA

Introduction to the conferences – their purpose, scope, structure and goals
Dr. Björn Lundgren, Chair KSLA Committee on International Forest Issues

09.50   Session 1: Global demand for food in the next 20 years 

Presentation: No. 1: Dr. Stefan Wirsenius, associate Professor, Division of Physical Resource Theory, Chalmers University, Gothenburg

Presentation No. 2: Dr. Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, Team Leader of FAO’s Global Perspectives Studies team

Presentation No. 3: Mr. Harald Svensson, Chief Economist, Swedish Board of Agriculture, Jonkoping

11.00  Session 2: Global demand for wood and fibre in the next 20 years

Presentation: Mr. Jan Winzell, President,PöyryForest Industry Consulting AB,Stockholm

11.30  Session 3: Global demand for bioenergy crops in the next 20 years

Presentation No. 1: Dr. Stefan Bringezu, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment  andEnergy,Germany

Presentation No. 2: Anders Dahlberg, handling officer, the Swedish Energy Agency

12.15   Lunch in Oscars Källare

13.00  Session 4: Availability of and competition for land to meet increased demands of food, fibre and fuel

 Presentation: Prof. Sten Nilsson, CEO, Forest Sector Insights AB, ex-IIASA

14.00  Panel – discussion and questions

Panel made up of “international” speakers in sessions 2–5 plus one or two more:

  • Dr. Stefan Wirsenius,
  • Dr. Dominique van der Mensbrugghe
  • Mr. Jan Winzell
  • Dr. Stefan Bringezau
  • Prof. Sten Nilsson
  • Director Annika Söder,  UD, (Department for Multilateral Development Cooperation)

   15.00  Coffee

15.15  Continued discussion and question session

15.45  Summary and round-up by moderator and KSLA organisers

16.00  Mingle in The Foajé