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In the Spotlight: Gediminas Jasinevičius

Apr 29, 2014

The "In the Spotlight" series presents one of our Early Stage Researchers per month. The first up is Gediminas Jasinevičius, who is working at the European Forest Institute in Joensuu, Finland.

Next month: Francesca Santaniello at Skogforsk, Sweden

 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: ESR8 GEDIMINAS JASINEVIČIUS

The topic of your research project is “Harvested wood products carbon assessment using ToSIA”. You’ve been working on it for some months now – how is your work progressing? What do you plan to do over the next 6 months?

The topic itself is challenging, due to the fact that carbon accounting in harvested wood products (HWPs) is quite a new issue among policy makers and scientists. The decision to account carbon in HWPs was only made in 2011 (UNFCCC - Durban), before that carbon in HWPs was regarded as instant oxidation.

When a research field is very new, studies require a lot of time and analytical thinking, which is the case with my topic. Carbon accounting methods and models that have already been developed are somewhat complicated or described unclearly. Sometimes I think that carbon accounting in HWPs is too complicated and cannot be achieved. For example, how can we estimate carbon storage in wood products which were produced fifty years ago and still are in use?  After working on this topic for some months, I can confidently say that in order to estimate carbon pool in HWPs, a very complex model is needed. The Ideal model in the forestry sector would be one which is capable of accounting for and simulating temporal dynamics. A potential model for carbon accounting is ToSIA, a tool for sustainability impact assessment of the forest wood chain (FWC). Those chains consist of processes starting from forest planting to the end use of wood products. Material flow is tracked over those processes. The current focus of ToSIA is on sustainability impact assessment of changes in forest value chains. However, FWCs include carbon based material flow, so potentially this tool could be used for the purpose of carbon accounting in HWPs.

So far I have analyzed existing carbon accounting methods and models. A review article on models for carbon accounting in harvested wood products is ready to be published. I have analyzed the ToSIA tool and have modified some of national forest wood chain topologies in ToSIA. In addition, I have built a network by attending number of conferences, training sessions and workshops. These contacts will assist me implementing my future work.

Over the next 6 months, I am planning to do cases studies regarding the national FWC in Lithuania. I will use suitable methods for carbon accounting, which I found in previous studies. I am planning to write and publish a scientific article about this study.   

Why did this exact topic interest you?

In my opinion, research regarding climate change and sustainability have great importance. Political decisions are usually based on approximations; therefore, deeper analysis is needed.  This particular topic interests me because the results of my research might help to answer important questions, like in which direction policies should go in order to mitigate climate change; towards carbon storage in wood products or towards generation of green energy from forestry sector?      

What would you like to do after the CASTLE project has finished?

I would like to continue doing research or to participate in policy making. Nevertheless, my long term goal is to utilize the valuable knowledge and experience which I already gained during the CASTLE project, regardless the sector I will work in. My wish is to stay in European Union and to contribute to the welfare of the community.

What are your thoughts on the CASTLE project so far, and the training courses in particular?

I think that the CASTLE project is a great opportunity for all project participants to develop their skill and knowledge and to contribute to sustainability. The multinational group of researchers makes this project special in a way that we can learn from different experiences.  The training, offered by the CASTLE project, is a great platform for early stage researchers to be up to date about new research methods and to communicate with each other.