National parks that genuinely promote biodiversity are the best way to guarantee the future of the timber industry under the New South Wales regional forest agreements (RFAs). Traditional Aboriginal forest burning should play a key role in managing the forests. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz That’s the view of the South East Timber Association in its submission to the renewal of the NSW RFAs. The association represents those involved in harvest operations. SETA’s president, Stephen Pope, said if the park reserve system produced the intended environmental services, the pressure to lock up more forest in reserves would be greatly reduced. Now, almost 80% of public land in NSW was in formal parks and reserves, while large parts of the remaining two million hectares of state forests were unavailable for timber supply. Mr Pope said a stated aim of the RFAs – to provide long-term stability off forests and forest industries – had not occurred. “For over 25 years, small communities across NSW have experienced negative social impacts following cutbacks to the native forest industries,” he said. “The promised replacement jobs in eco-tourism have proved to be nothing more than eco-activist and political hot air.” Mr Pope said the ongoing campaign to close down the native forestry industry would result in higher imports from countries with often lower environmental protection standards than NSW. This was “immoral, arrogant and unsustainable”, he said. Mr Pope said a new forest management approach was needed, as forest fuel loads had increased massively in the past 20 years. “It is only a matter of time before devastating fires will impact south-east NSW forests, unless there are significant reductions in forest fuel loads,” he said. The megafires and wildfires in the Kosciusko National Park in 2002-03 were a warning: they devastated 2.5 million hectares of mostly forested land over 60 days, killing an estimated 370 million birds, mammals and reptiles. A more insidious issue was the general decline in forest health in NSW outside the areas hit by megafires. “The elimination of frequent low intensity burns not only exacerbates megafire risk, it also changes soil chemistry, which impacts on general tree and forest health,” he said. Mr Pope said the conservation model involving the transfer of state forest to the parks and reserves network had proved to be ineffective. Current regulations and management “fail to provide ecologically sustainable management in either the parks and reserves”. This policy had its roots in the concept of “terra nullius” (nobody’s land). “Conservation management language, concepts and practices that underpin the ‘terra nullius’ approach include wilderness, precautionary approach and passive management,” he said. There was now insufficient traditional and /or ecological burning. Mr Pope said policy should now codify active and adaptive management. “Scientific research needs to be interpreted in the context of over 50,000 years of management, at a landscape level, by aboriginal people,” he said. “The loss of aboriginal management of the land has created a major ecological disturbance that many ecologists fail to recognise.” Scientists’ reports too often had an eco-political agenda, not a specific scientific objective. Mr Pope said parks and reserve managers should do co-ordinated survey work for a broader range of key species and report on a five-yearly basis, in line with RFA reporting. This would show that the RFA reserve system was delivering the conservation outcomes that had been expected when the land was reserved. Mr Pope said there had been successes with the current approach. Over the past decade predator control had targeted foxes and wild dogs, which had lifted the number of mammals such as potoroos and bandicoots. This made a mockery of activist claims that “harvesting is the only threat to these species”. “Unfortunately, there is no specific targeting of feral cats across the broad landscape,” he said. Species continued to decline despite the large increase in the area of ‘protected’ parks and reserves. Mr Pope said reformed conservation management would allow the ongoing use of less than 20% of the public native forest estate for the sustainable production of forest products. As well, it would provide “a fair share of environmental and recreational services”, he said.
Climate change could speed the natural regrowth of forests on undeveloped or abandoned land in the eastern US, according to a new study. Source: Eureka Alert If left to nature’s own devices, a field of weeds and grasses over time will be replaced by saplings, young trees and eventually mature forest. Earlier research has shown that this succession from field to forest can happen decades sooner in the southeastern US than in the Northeast. But it wasn’t obvious why, especially since northern and southern fields are first colonized by many of the same tree species. Now, a study published Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences points to temperature as the major factor influencing the pace at which trees take over. The results suggest that as temperatures rise, faster-growing forests on lands that humans have left idle could play a bigger role in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, say researchers from Duke University and Syracuse University. The team conducted the experiment at six sites up and down the eastern US, from New York to Florida. At each site, the researchers followed the early lives of four tree species that are common early arrivals in abandoned farm fields – loblolly pine, black cherry, red cedar and sweetgum. Using plastic wading pools as planters, they grew the trees from seed in plots with varying soil fertility, and with and without different mixes of early succession plants such as broomsedge and goldenrod. In each plot the researchers also measured light availability, soil moisture, nutrients and other variables known to affect plant growth. After two years, the tree seedlings grew faster at southern sites. But surprisingly, other plant species grew slower. One possibility is that soil fertility is the main factor, said co-author Jason Fridley, associate professor of biology at Syracuse University. The thinking was that poorer southern soils produce a sparser carpet of weeds and grasses. This might in turn shade emerging tree seedlings to a lesser extent than in the north, and make it easier for them to grow up through the gaps. But statistical analyses weighing the relative effects of soil fertility and other factors revealed that temperature was the biggest driver of tree seedling growth. Part of the reason is that milder winters and earlier springs mean a longer growing season, said Justin Wright, associate professor of biology at Duke. The results are important because average annual temperatures in the eastern US are predicted to warm by five to nine degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Rising temperatures could also bring more droughts, Wright cautions. But in the absence of drought stress, even minor warming will likely accelerate the transition from field to forest. This also means that northeastern meadows that normally persist for decades may become shorter-lived, Mr Fridley said. The forests that replace them probably won’t mirror native forests, he added – especially if cold-intolerant trees that are common colonizers of southern fields find it increasingly easy to survive and take hold in the north. “Certainly, in the next 100 years and maybe in the next 50 years, fields will likely transition much faster to woody vegetation,” Mr Fridley said. “The double whammy is the trees themselves are going to change too.” But young, rapidly growing trees can potentially absorb more carbon dioxide than weeds and grasses as they convert the heat-trapping gas to the sugar they need to grow. That means that undeveloped or abandoned land, if left undisturbed, could soon play a bigger role in offsetting human sources of carbon dioxide emissions. “Faster-growing forests on once-cultivated land aren’t going to solve the climate change problem,” Mr Wright said. “But one of the reasons we care about these abandoned sites is they have really high potential for carbon sequestration.”
The EU’s highest court has ruled that Poland’s logging in the Unesco-protected Białowieża forest is illegal, potentially opening the door to multi-million euro fines. Source: The Guardian At least 10,000 trees are thought to have been felled in Białowieża, one of Europe’s last parcels of primeval woodland, since the Polish environment minister, Jan Szyzko tripled logging limits there in 2016. Greenpeace says that as many as 100,000 conifers and broad-leaved trees in the lowland forest may have been lost. Poland had claimed that the chainsaws were needed to excise a spruce beetle outbreak but, in a damning ruling, the EU judges found that Poland’s own documents showed that logging posed a greater threat to Białowieża’s integrity. A minimum fine of €4.3m – potentially rising to €100,000 a day – could now be levied against Poland unless the tree felling is stopped. James Thornton, the chief executive of the green law firm ClientEarth, said: “This is a huge victory for all defenders of Białowieża forest. Hundreds of people were heavily engaged in saving this unique, ancient woodland from unthinkable destruction.” The EU’s environment commissioner, Karmenu Vella, tweeted: “Protecting biodiversity paramount. We welcome the Polish Govt’s recognition & look forward to implementation”. The European court of justice ruling follows reports of imminent Polish concessions in a separate dispute between Warsaw and Brussels over the independence of its judiciary and free media. EU officials though stressed that Białowieża was a “very separate” case, adding that the commission would now closely monitor Poland’s response to the verdict. “If they comply with the judgment, no problem,” one EU source told the Guardian. “If they don’t, we have a possibility to go to a second infringement procedure that may end up in fines.” A government statement said that Poland would soon propose a “compromise solution” for Białowieża, after a new protection plan had been prepared. Henryk Kowalczyk, the country’s environment minister, added: “Poland will respect the verdict. The Białowieża forest is our national heritage. All the activities have been undertaken with its preservation in the best possible condition for present and future generations in mind.” Another government source told the Guardian: “The issue is not black and white, but nobody will be questioning the ruling.” Białowieża is one of the last remaining fragments of the primeval forest that carpeted Europe 10,000 years ago, and it remains a haven for birds, wolves, lynx and 25% of the world’s European bison population. Nestled across Poland and Belarus on the watershed of the Baltic and Black Seas, Unesco has classified the forest as a site of “outstanding universal value”. But Greenpeace argues that it is still threatened by government plans to replant in virgin forest areas, and should be turned into a national park. Its spokeswoman, Kasia Jagiello, said: “Białowieża has beautiful powers to regenerate itself – if it is left alone. If you plant new trees in logged parts of the natural forest, you risk turning it into a managed wood, and we have more than enough of those in Poland.” The group is fighting for charges to be dropped against 300 activists arrested during anti logging protests, and fears that public safety will be used as “a pretext” for continued low level logging. Poland has withdrawn its heavy machinery from Białowieża, while preserving a right to continue logging where falling trees or branches are a concern. But the EU court found that Poland had not defined precisely what “public safety” meant, and that its “active forest management operations” could not be permitted for that reason. The issue could be a test for the commission, which sees “a positive recalibration” in Warsaw, since Jan Szyzko’s removal as environment minister in January. Ariel Brunner, head of policy at BirdLife Europe, said that the EU’s swift action had “stopped the chainsaw massacre of Europe’s most iconic forest, but only after substantial damage has already been done. The commission must now show the same resolve in tackling the many other cases of illegal environmental destruction underway throughout Europe.”
The 3rd Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit (APRS) starts on 23-25 of April in Yogyakarta, Indonesia with the theme: Protecting Forests and People, Supporting Economic Growth. Source: Timberbiz Seven subthemes have evolved through APRS activities and in response to partners’ and participants’ engagements and priorities. These seven submthemes form a starting point for the selection of discussion topics at the 2018 APRS. Forests in NDCs The objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement cannot be achieved without forests. Many countries in Asia and the Pacific give a large importance to forests and trees in their NDCs. Also, as strongly stipulated under the Paris Climate Agreement, REDD+ has been widely recognized as a positive incentive mechanism, as well as an important mitigation action from the forestry sector. Restoration and Sustainable Management of Peatlands Sixty-eight percent of the world’s peatlands can be found in Southeast Asia. Formed over centuries of waterlogged conditions, peatlands cover 3% to 5% of the earth’s surface but are home to more than 30% of the carbon stored in soil. Mangroves and Blue Carbon Mangroves are among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics and support numerous ecosystem services. These forests form an important part of the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems, called “blue carbon.” Community Forestry Government plays a key role in establishing land and forest tenure laws and in supporting related access, rights and use. This can lead to resource protection and set incentives for investors to promote the growth of sustainable small and medium enterprises. Ecotourism and Conservation of Biodiversity Economic incentives are imperative for nature conservation and ecotourism, when done correctly, combines environmental – and biodiversity – awareness and sustainability with local economic benefit. Production Forests Timber has been the principle driver of economic development for many Asia-Pacific countries. Production forests also provide non-timber products and environmental services, linking forestry with economics and climate and water regulation. Forest Finance, Investment and Trade The demand for high-value food commodities, such as palm oil, increases pressure on forests and contributes to deforestation, while unsustainable logging in natural forests contributes to forest degradation. Several public and private policy responses have emerged to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. More information about the event is available at www.cifor.org
The Timber & Working With Wood Show is on from tomorrow Friday 20 April until Sunday 22 April in Brisbane. Source: Timberbiz This is one of Australia’s premier events for woodworking and encompasses information and attractions for everyone with an interest in wood from the hobbyist to the enthusiast to the skilled tradesman. The event opens daily at 10am at the Brisbane RNA Showgrounds and finishes at 4pm at the Brisbane RNA Showgrounds. Tickets are available for one day or for the whole event. Sourcing Timber Whether you’re looking to source a one-off piece of unique timber for a sculpture project, a plantation timber for your construction needs or rare salvaged wood for a musical instrument or special piece of furniture, the show brings the Asia Pacific’s best timbers together under the one roof. DIY Furniture Making From the fundamentals of furniture making through to the more complex finishes and construction techniques, discover the joy of selecting the perfect piece of unique wood for your project, planning, designing and creating your own wood furniture at the show. Renovating or Restoring Find out how to restore a timber home or furniture to its former glory; demonstrations, products, tools and maintenance tips to get it right the first time and enjoy your restoration project for many years to come. Wood Working for Women Working with wood has become a popular hobby for women of all age groups, and the show will bring some of Australia’s leading experts together to provide informative and exciting demonstrations on specialised finishes, craft projects, carving, framing and furniture making.
Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers has received the initial results of coastal process modelling at Smith Bay, the site of the proposed KI Seaport. Source: KIPT and Timberbiz The initial modelling, by the coastal process modeller Dr Ian Teakle, addressed the primary and secondary effects of the dredging needed to create a berth pocket and to level the seaward approaches. The results are favourable, and show that: Smith Bay is subject to natural variation in water quality. Fine materials are periodically deposited from nearby watercourses and then re-suspended and dispersed during periods of wind-driven waves. The general area is subject to low velocity, underlying, longshore currents that are mainly driven by tidal effects in the Gulf St Vincent and Investigator Strait. The prevailing direction of these currents at Smith Bay is westwards, so that the net movement of any suspended particles is away from the intakes of the onshore abalone farm located several hundred metres to the east of the site. Notwithstanding the general westward current, in certain wind and tide conditions the currents run eastwards. The net effect is that construction work in water would need to be conducted during periods when there was no likelihood of significant eastwards currents, and with monitoring equipment in place. The coastal process modelling did not identify any significant or persistent effects on marine flora and fauna beyond the footprint of the development itself. This is readily achievable. The next phase of modelling will address the effect of the inwater structures on coastal processes and will assist in optimising their design. As previously announced, the company remains committed to delivering and operating the KI Seaport in a way that minimises negative impacts on water quality. The results show that this is achievable. Full details of this and other studies will be available in the forthcoming Environmental Impact Statement for the project.
A Golden Bay couple’s “true love of wood and all its forms” has inspired an educational community event to be held in East Takaka on the weekend. Source: Stuff NZ The Living Wood Fair is described by Golden Bay residents and co-founders Liv and Graeme Scott as an educational two-day event for all ages, celebrating “all things wood”. It will be held at Totara Whenua and the adjacent historic Fairholm Gallery, on April 21-22. Its creators said participants would be entertained by an exciting array of workshops, exhibits, demonstrations, talks and activities. The idea came about because of their “true love” of wood and all its forms, but they had also taken inspiration from European and American-style wood fairs. However, the couple said they had added their own twist: a strong emphasis on environmental impact on the local area and beyond, and the forestry industry in New Zealand. “There is a real need to inspire and enable people to take positive steps to improving our environment,” Liv Scott said. “[The fair] is about starting a solutions-focused conversation and saying: let’s look at how each individual can change, at a grassroots level, what they’re doing. ‘I’ve got this bit of land, what can I do with it?'” Graeme is a carpenter who’s worked with wood from an early age, but in the last 13 years specialised in log home building and traditional timber framing, alongside conventional building in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. He said the fair would focus on all aspects of growing and milling your own timber; environmental sustainability, care and protection; creative arts, wood and bush crafts, and natural shelters and homes. “The Living Wood Fair will appeal to anyone who likes wood,” he said.”Including lifestyle and forestry block owners, farmers, woodworkers and millers, self-builders and tiny home enthusiasts, forestry advocates, environmentalists, and business and industry specialists.” The main arena would host the market and food stalls, kids’ activities, natural building area and information hub, with live musical acts throughout the day and locally-brewed beverages. The workshop zone featured indoor and outdoor creative workshops while the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Talk Zone would hold informative talks. The final zone would be located in the historic Fairholme Gallery displaying a tree themed with artistic creations. It would be not only a fun day out for families, but a place to “learn new skills, to network with individuals and companies in these fields,” Graeme said. A line-up of speakers includes a botanist, a gardening guru, specialists from the MPIs Sustainable Forest Management team and Afforestation, the Living Building Challenge and Federated Farmers. Workshops include kids’ bush crafts, edible plants and herbalism, string making, wooden spoon carving, the ancient art of hedge laying, basic skills for earth building, handsaw restoration and sharpening, how to make a dovetail timber joint, chainsaw maintenance and much more. Day tickets to Living Wood Fair are $15 and free for children under 16yrs. The two-hour workshops cost $25 per adult, or $35 for one adult and a child.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned about risks to which agricultural and forestry workers are exposed at the 6th International Forest Engineering Conference (FEC2018) Quenching our thirst for new knowledge held on 16 – 19 April 2018, Rotorua, New Zealand. Sources: Prensa Latin, Timberbiz In a document ‘Heat administration for agricultural workers’ and ‘Report and Analysis of Accidents in the Forestry Work’, the specialized body called on governments and the private sector to improve labor security in those sectors where ‘extenuating tasks are done, considered the most dangerous to health’. The first document calls attention on the increase in mortality rates due to heat related illnesses, the most acute problem in tropical or arid climates of south eastern Asia, Subsaharan Africa and the Pacific, where temperatures are regularly high throughout the year, even fatal for their health. These could be reduced ‘with adequate organization and education’ says the document. The analysis of accidents in silviculture also calls to adopt a system of standardized reports so the interested parties and authorities may better identify prevention efforts. It demands that ‘accident reports be impartial, free of censure for fear of the implication of responsibilities and offer data capable of suggesting solutions to experts’. According to the text, the introduction of more efficient and secure machinery can reduce deaths in that sector by 75% and even more in some countries. More than three-fourths of the poor of the world live in rural zones where many persons depend on agriculture, fishing and forestry, and the work is usually hard and dangerous, stressed Jonas Cedergren, forestry official of FAO, as he presented both documents at the 6th International Conference of Forestry Engineering, hosted by New Zealand.
Australia’s consumption of sheathing material, especially Oriented Strandboard has grown strongly in recent years, faster in fact than the rate of housing growth would suggest. Source: IndustryEdge for Timberbiz Over the last year, imports of OSB rose almost 50% and for the year-ended February, topped 50,000 m3 for the first time. The main grade of OSB saw imports rise more than a quarter to almost 39,000 m3 for the year-ended February 2018, prompting IndustryEdge analysts to state that the result underscores the continuing strength in the Australian housing sector. “OSB is basically a sheathing material and it is used on new dwellings and renos more than anywhere else.” IndustryEdge’s Tim Woods said. “Growth in OSB use is telling us that the housing market is still strong, but also that other sheathing materials like plywood are being deployed into different applications.” Mr Woods pointed to the rising average price of OSB imports, which were up 5.2% for the same period, and averaged AUDFob500/m3 for the year, as evidence that OSB is not winning market share based on price. However, he qualified the comments by pointing to the more than tripling of imports of the ‘Other’ grade of OSB imports. “Having leaped to 11,206 m3 for the last year, the Other grade has clearly won some market share. It is relevant that this material saw its average import price plummet more than 60% over the year to average just AUDFob198.28/m3 for the year.” Mr Woods said. “It seems this is mainly a different product to what was being imported a year earlier, but it is not immediately clear what grade or end-use that material is being put to.” IndustryEdge would not estimate the average amount of sheathing being applied to Australian dwellings, but said that exploratory work being undertaken by FWPA may well lead to detailed data on this in the future. Woods did say that given the well understood role of OSB in house sheathing, the new area of interest would be in the uses and application of OSB in townhouses, particularly as they are a growing housing format in what is a gradually declining domestic housing market. This data is analysed in IndustryEdge’s monthly publication, Wood Market Edge, which is available for subscription, and is also provided on a complimentary basis to subscribers to the monthly wood products trade data series, which includes Woodchip Export, Log Export and Sawnwood Import and Export data.
More than 100 years ago Richard Matthews (RM) Hyne, founder of Hyne Timber and Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly successfully introduced a motion that the government take immediate action in the replanting of forests and the creation of a Department of Forestry. Source: Timberbiz The journey began towards ultimately establishing a forest and forest products research facility in 1918. During the centenary celebration, James Hyne, Executive Director of Hyne Timber spoke about the 100 years of Queensland Government research and development, supporting the industry’s security and growth. “Forestry and forest products need science. Trees are a living, natural resource and they all differ. What you can do with trees and how you can do it better has evolved significantly over the years and will never stop evolving, diversifying and improving provided we maintain a continued scientific focus,” he said. “Therefore, the Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Salisbury Research Facility is a critical innovation centre. “To name a few, the facility has undertaken extensive work on drying plantation pines to improve the usability of the wood by increasing straightness and stability. “The quality of our products is bench-marked by industry standards and certifications which are essential for builders and home owners using our products in the majority of Queensland homes. This facility has played an integral role and continues to be involved in underpinning such standards with a fundamental knowledge of timber product through extensive testing over many years.” The research facility also introduced acoustic technology to enable the timber industry to make improvements on grading timber and ensuring quality products. Preservation technology and ongoing improvements to treatments ensures durability of timber products and more efficient use of timber in exposed environments. The establishment of the termite resistance of exotic pines in Queensland was a milestone moment for industry and the community. “I’d like to thank the Queensland Government for their ongoing support and investment in forest and forest product research through the Salisbury Research Facility,” Mr Hyne said. “The staff work with us as partners. They deliver technical expertise with a commercial, customer service focus. We appreciate the pride they take in their work and the passion they share for our industry. “They are delivering growth to the forest and timber manufacturing sectors, creating many jobs predominantly in Queensland’s regions while securing an extensive and diverse supply chain worth billions to the Queensland economy.” James Hyne’s great, great, grandfather, RM Hyne emigrated to Australia from England with his wife in 1864. As a qualified carpenter with a box of tools, he set to work as a successful builder and carpenter during the Gympie gold rush. He established Hyne Timber, then called the National Saw and Planing Mill on the banks of the Mary River in Maryborough in 1882.
Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, India, April 2018—earlier this month, frontline staff of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh (UP) Forest Departments including range officers and forest guards underwent two days of rigorous training to strengthen their legal capacity for effective wildlife crime prosecution and conviction.
GFC actively participated in and organised a number of events at the World Social Forum which was held in Salvador, Bahia, 13-17 March 2018. Together with the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity and several other organisations and social movements, we co-organized two events: The first one titled “Global resistances against corporate power and the struggle for an international treaty on transnational corporations and human rights” discussed the corporate power currently, its growing hegemony and control over …
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Forest machine data may help to take efficiency and precision of forestry to the next level – there are many exciting examples of how machine-generated data can be captured and used. But there are also questions about data ownership, ethics and GDPR-compliance. The SNS CAR NB NORD will arrange a…
Construction is one of several major themes at the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress In a world of increasing urban densification, construction needs to become safer and more resilient. This is particularly true in the context of a changing climate, with its more extreme weather patterns. In earthquakes, an estimated three quarters of deaths are […]
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Momentum continues to build on the successful State of America’s Forests platform as the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities released six new components on the interactive website, usaforests.org.
Deep in Colorado's national forests, shadowy teams of people are clearcutting underbrush, trenching hillsides for cultivation, diverting and damming streams to create reservoirs and using chemicals that are killing fish and wildlife.
Modern monoculture farming, commercial forestry and even well-intentioned gardeners could be making it harder for honeybees to store food and fight off diseases, a new study suggests.
NAMA Facility reports a high proportion of NAMA Support Project Outlines received during the 5th Call have been found eligible. Ecofys analysis highlights lack of successful financial mechanisms attached to NAMAs as one reason behind limited success in securing funds. Countries and organisations discuss climate actions, enhanced cooperation and capacity building, including with focus on transparency.