World of Wood Festival
The World of Wood Festival for COP26
ARTICLE · By Timber Trade Federation · Friday 1st October 2021
With the eyes of the world on COP26 in the first two weeks of November, the global timber industry is collectively hosting the ‘World of Wood Festival’ in London.
This six-week celebration of global timber and global forests takes place from 25 October to 3 December at the Building Centre in Store Street, London, online, and virtually.
The COP26 climate talks will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree on coordinated action to tackle climate change. Building on crucial climate change policy, the World of Wood Festival will showcase the vital role that forest supply chains have on our climate in local and global environments, and feature innovations and the design and increased carbon storage potential of responsibly sourced timber from around the world.
Devised and coordinated by the UK Timber Trade Federation and CEI-Bois, representing European woodworking industries; the team has created an alliance of over 40 separate associations, organisations, businesses and campaigns representing global forest growth and development, engineered mass timber and wood-based products from Indonesia to Ghana, Australia, North America and China. This initiative is also supported by UK Aid, under the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s FGMC programme (Forest Governance, Markets and Climate).
Global action, global collaboration
Recognising that global action against climate change requires global collaboration, the WOW Festival will bring together the international industry through events and opportunities for action. The six-week program highlights the full timber supply chain from different regions of the world, unpinning governance and sustainable management practices, as well as the products that come out of these forests, their uses, and applications.
The World of Wood Festival tells the story of how global forests and the wood products cycle is helping to avert climate change, decarbonising construction, and supporting social, environmental and economic growth through governance in developing countries. Within these three connected themes, one key message prevails and remains more crucial than ever: that wood equals hope.
David Hopkins, Chief Executive of the Timber Trade Federation, said
“COP26 is an unmissable opportunity for policymakers to put into action what we as the global timber and forest sector already know; that nature-based solutions are an essential part of the climate mitigation necessary.
“Global forests and wood products are crucial to averting catastrophic climate change.
“We want to display the beauty of timber, its role in the climate emergency as a carbon store and to build global recognition that good governance and forest management is the fundamental component of growing forests around the world”.
The World of Wood Festival
The WOW Festival will celebrate international best practices and use its in-person and digital experience platforms for discussion and knowledge-sharing to help strengthen forest governance and trade in wood products globally.
Drawing attention from the increasingly busy streets around Tottenham Court Road in central London, the crescent outside the Building Centre on Store Street will be home to the “Wood Passage”; an illuminated sculpture from proHolz Austria which guides visitors through the journey from the forest, to tree, to house.
The Building Centre itself will host exhibitions telling the story of global forest management with a focus on European, North American, and tropical timber forests and production and twelve hybrid events including keynotes speeches, debates, webinars and report launches calling for policy change.
The Festival will also exhibit the Wood Awards shortlist as a celebration of the ultimate expression of design in wood and responsibly sourced timber from around the globe, and will host the winner’s ceremony later in November.
The WOW Festival will be supported by an event website www.worldofwoodfestival.org as a key resource and home for timber products, forests and climate information from the Festival’s supporters from all over the world, and a WOW Festival mobile augmented reality app will be launched for the start of the festival.
The AR app will offer engaging interaction with six key messages and a virtual ‘Timber Beacon’: a pavilion installation designed for the Festival by award-winning architectural practice and timber advocates dRMM. “As world leaders discuss our global responsibilities and collective response to climate change during COP26, our message for the future is powerful: in wood there is hope,” said dRMM founding director, Prof Alex de Rijke.
David Hopkins said, “We have ensured that the World of Wood Festival is accessible both in-person and virtually. COVID is a consideration, but we also want to reach as wide an audience as possible. Visitors will be able to fully experience, explore and understand our messages in a fun, immersive and memorable way whether they join us in real life or digitally.”