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PRESS RELEASE: NEW SINO-AFRICA PROJECT BOOSTS DEVELOPMENT BAMBOO

GFIS - vor 4 Stunden 59 Minuten

PRESS RELEASE: NEW SINO-AFRICA PROJECT BOOSTS DEVELOPMENT BAMBOO FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE A new project will help develop the bamboo sectors in a number of African countries, using experience from China. Beijing, China, 25 June 2018 (INBAR) – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) today launched a […]

The post PRESS RELEASE: NEW SINO-AFRICA PROJECT BOOSTS DEVELOPMENT BAMBOO appeared first on INBAR.

The Koreas to talk forestry, rail and roads

GFIS - vor 5 Stunden 19 Minuten
South and North Korea will hold a series of meetings to discuss cooperation on railways, roads and forestry over the next two weeks. Source: KBS World Radio The Unification Ministry said that the two sides would discuss cooperation on railways, then roads and finally forestry. The upcoming meetings are significant as they indicate that the two Koreas are expanding the scope of their bilateral talks to economic cooperation. So far, the two sides had mainly focused discussions on easing military tensions, boosting sports exchanges and tackling humanitarian issues. However, given that it would be difficult to pursue full-fledged economic cooperation projects due to strict sanctions in place for the North, the upcoming meetings are likely to focus on conducting fact finding surveys and joint research.

MEDEX cancelled

GFIS - vor 5 Stunden 19 Minuten
MEDEX in Iran has been cancelled this year. The international trade fair for woodworking and wood processing, materials, accessories, furniture and laminate flooring was scheduled to be held at the Permanent Fair Ground in Tehran, 10 to 13 July 2018. Source: Timberbiz However, in the past couple of weeks, unexpected changes resulting from the current political conditions in Iran have materialized, and the Iran Furniture Manufacturers & Exporters Association (IFA), Deutsche Messe AG and the exhibitors have jointly decided to cancel the fair in 2018. In conversations between organizers and exhibitors it was determined that the predictable conditions the industry needs to advance do not exist at this time of political uncertainty. They decided to postpone the fair until conditions change. Organizers maintain Iran continues to be an important market. The situation will be monitored and re-evaluated for 2019. With a population of approximately 80 million people, Iran is still an interesting market for the furniture industry.

Australia a top 10 importer of Vietnamese wood products

GFIS - vor 5 Stunden 20 Minuten
Vietnamese wood enterprises have plenty of opportunities to export to Australia thanks to a number of factors that play into their favour, trade experts said. Source: Việt Nam News Việt Nam’s favourable geographical location as well as Australian strong import demand and preferences brought by free trade agreements (FTAs) such as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA make exporting wood products to Australia a viable prospect. According to the Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia, domestic consumers tend to favour low-cost furniture. However, local producers fail to compete with foreign exporters in terms of prices due to high labour and input costs. Australian customers, on the other hand, are open to the prospect of buying imported wooden furniture, as they pay attention to the quality, design, and price of the furniture rather than their origin. The office added while there are plenty of untapped opportunities waiting for Vietnamese exporters, they should improve their designs to suit Australian consumers’ taste, and improve their product quality and lower their prices to take full advantage of these opportunities. Australia was one of the top ten importers of Vietnamese wood and timber products in the first five months of this year, according to the General Department of Việt Nam Customs. Australia imported more than US$66.7 million worth of wood and wood products from Việt Nam during the period, up 11.3% year-on-year, the department’s statistics revealed. The nation has nearly 4000 timber processing firms, including 1500 companies specialising in producing wood products for export.

US forestry model canvassed in Australia

GFIS - vor 5 Stunden 21 Minuten
The forestry model of one of the world’s most respected environmental groups, The Conservation Fund based in Washington DC, is being canvassed to Australia’s forest industries. Source: Timberbiz “Senior Vice President of the Conservation Fund, Mr Robin Murphy, is currently visiting Australia to explain the Fund’s methods,” Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association, Mr Ross Hampton said. The Conservation Fund has partnerships with companies such as Apple, which work with the Fund to facilitate the purchase of sustainably managed forest estates to ensure they have a sustainable fibre supply for their product packaging. Since 1985, the Fund has protected three million hectares of land in the United States, combining dual objectives of environmental outcomes and economic viability. “We purchase forests which might otherwise be lost. We improve their sustainability credentials and then we on sell the working forest as an accredited world leading production forest which upholds the highest environmental standards,” Mr Murphy said. “The world population is growing quickly towards 9.5 billion people by 2050, and in an increasingly environmentally aware society, the demand for recyclable and efficient products made from tree fibre will rise. “This tree fibre comes from sustainable forestry operations in places like the USA, Canada and Australia. Therefore, we expect sustainably managed forests to continue to be attractive as sought after investments. “Australia has huge opportunities to enhance sustainable forestry and now is the right time,” Mr Murphy concluded.

Dangerous Designs

GFIS - vor 5 Stunden 22 Minuten
Australian designers are being challenged to use wood and wood products in attractive and innovative ways as part of the annual Dangerous Designs competition run by FWPA’s WoodSolutions arm. Source: Timberbiz Student Jeff Thornton’s Valium Lamp – a lamp where the shades change shape – was among the first entries for this year’s Dangerous Designs competition. His lamps, along with all the entries, will be judged on originality, use of wood, relevance, design and sustainability, with prizes ranging from $500 to $5000. “Pottering around the workshop one summer’s morning, I noticed a few off-cuts of veneer sitting on the end of a bench. Later in the day I again noticed the veneer pieces, but something had happened to them; they’d changed shape. Hmm? That’s interesting. The cogs started turning…” Mr Thornton said. “Veneer is usually glued flat onto a solid base or shaped around a mould. In both cases the veneer remains rigid. This is where my design is different. I wanted my veneer to go ‘commando’; free to shape itself as the moisture in the air permits.” WoodSolutions is promoting the competition to design specifiers and students, with the goal of increasing the number of entries. Anyone in Australia can enter the competition, which has both a “student” and an “open” section. Entries close on 30 September.

NZ log prices at 25 year high

GFIS - vor 5 Stunden 23 Minuten
New Zealand structural log prices rose to the highest level for 25 years as local mills compete with the export market to secure supply for the domestic construction market amid strong demand from China. Source: Scoop Media The average price for structural S1 logs increased to NZ$135 a tonne this month, from NZ$134 a tonne last month, and marking the highest level since 1993, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. The average price for New Zealand A-grade export logs hit a four-year high of US$145/JAS from US$144/JAS last month, and US$132/JAS a year ago. In New Zealand, sawmills are competing with the export market to source logs for local construction, at a time when demand in China has stepped up after Asia’s largest economy clamped down on the harvesting of its own forests and reduced tariffs on imported logs to meet demand in its local market. “Export markets have remained an enticing avenue for log traders and there’s little to suggest this will change in the coming months,” AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick said in his report. “China’s appetite for NZ logs means it’s still the price-setter for sales into other countries.” Nearly all AgriHQ survey respondents reported steady or marginally firmer pricing across structural S1 logs in the latest market survey. The winter weather had slowed harvesting in some areas but had come at an opportune time as some North Island mills were experiencing softer-than-expected local demand for structural timber due to caution across the New Zealand housing sector. “Whether or not harvesting remains disrupted in the coming weeks is unlikely to make much difference to the medium-term direction of the domestic sales,” Mr Brick said. “The pull of the export market is still pushing forest owners to try and negotiate contracts at or near the export market level. This is a situation that is very unlikely to change in the next few months.” The volume of logs being taken from Chinese ports had slowed as a result of shorter working hours due to hot summer temperatures however, isn’t uncommon at this time of year and coincides with slower harvesting in New Zealand, which should keep the market in balance in coming months, Mr Brick said. Forest products are New Zealand’s third-largest commodity export group behind dairy and meat products.

Kiwibuild calls on prefab industry

GFIS - vor 5 Stunden 25 Minuten
The New Zealand government will be inviting companies to set up or expand offsite manufacturing factories to make KiwiBuild homes, indicating it may rely on prefabricated manufacturing to build its promised 100,000 affordable homes. Source: NZ Adviser Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced that the government will seek interest from both local and overseas companies to provide them with plans, saying that off-site manufacturing could be “a game changer for New Zealand housing.” Since its inception in December 2017, KiwiBuild has seen its fair share of hurdles including high building costs, lack of funding and land and skills shortages. The government is hoping to address several of these with its plans to call in the private sector and rely increasingly on prefabricated homes. “One of the challenges for KiwiBuild is there isn’t the scale and capacity in the construction sector to build the number of houses New Zealand needs,” said Minister Twyford. “Since KiwiBuild launched in November, we’ve been approached by a number of highly capable international and domestic companies who are already using innovative methods such as off-site manufacturing to build quality houses quicker and more efficiently.” According to Twyford, utilising proven manufacturing methods used across Europe and North America would speed up the construction of KiwiBuild homes, and would help address New Zealand’s shortage of skilled construction workers. Products such as cross laminated timber can also “dramatically speed up the time it takes to build houses,” getting them completed an estimated two to four times quicker. “Housing NZ’s use of locally sourced and manufactured cross laminated timber has resulted in their houses being built in four to five months instead of 14-18 months,” Minister Twyford said. “PrefabNZ said earlier this year that off-site factory built houses and apartments could see more than 7000 additional homes built every year from 2020. Ultimately, this could mean we see large-scale factories established in New Zealand, working alongside existing off-site manufacturing companies and creating more jobs, more skills and more houses.”

19th Australian Timber Design Awards

GFIS - vor 5 Stunden 27 Minuten
There is still time to enter your creations, but hurry 19th Australian Timber Design Awards entries close 6 July 2018. Source: Timberbiz The Awards are organised under three timber design categories Timber Design, Merits, and Timber Products. Your entry may also be nominated for any Merit or Timber Products’ award category for which you feel it is suitable, this is in addition to nomination for one of the Timber Design award categories. The Australian Timber Design Awards competition is open to build environment professionals and students who want to showcase their built design and/or building projects in residential and/or public or commercial buildings that feature timber structures or finishes. Timber Design 1) Residential Class 1 – New Building 2) Residential Class 1 – Alteration or Addition 3) Multi-Residential 4) Public or Commerical Building 5) Interior Fit-out – Residential 6) Interior Fit-out – Commercial 7) Landscape 8) Stand-Alone Structures 9) Furniture or Joinery Merit Categories 1) Sustainability 2) Rising Star 3) Small Budget Projects 4) Innovative Structural Design Timber Products 1) Australian Certified Timber 2) Engineered Timber Products 3) Recycled Timber 4) Sliced Timber Veneers and Pre-finished Timber Veneers 5) Timber Cladding 6) Timber Flooring 7) Timber Panels Entries can be submitted at the awards website – timberdesignawards.com.au  

Diversity in speakers at Canberra Forest Conference

GFIS - vor 5 Stunden 28 Minuten
Landscape architecture, marketing, carbon and plantations are just some of the topics that will be canvassed in the 2018 IFA/AFG Conference – Forests for healthy cities, farms and people being held in Canberra from 2-5 September. Source: Timberbiz The variety of speakers and views will appeal not only to professional foresters, but to anyone involved in understanding the links between healthy tree-scapes and healthy people. Conference chair Professor Peter Kanowski said: “There is a growing understanding across the world of how important urban forests are to our growing cities in a changing climate. “The diversity of speakers at the conference means that land managers, urban planners, farm foresters and policymakers will all find something of interest at this conference.” A full list of speakers, with biographies, is available from the IFA website at https://forestry.org.au/ifa/conference-speakers-2018 In addition to speakers already announced such as Fiona Simson, President of the National Farmers Federation, and Kenneth Er, CEO National Parks Board of Singapore, other confirmed speakers include: Senator Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources James Bulinski, Managing Director of CO2 Australia Lyndall Bull, Principal of Lynea Advisory Gordon Davis, President of Greening Australia Gary Dunning, Executive Director of the Forests Dialogue, Yale University Adrian Gray, Victorian President of Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Greg McCormack, President of the Australian Forest Products Association “The Conference has very broad appeal and the breadth of professionals already registered will add significant depth to the panel discussions,” said Peter. Registration information at: https://forestry.org.au/ifa/register-now Earlybird registration has been extended

Draft minutes from the 2018 ICP Forests Task Force meeting available online

GFIS - vor 8 Stunden 44 Minuten

The draft minutes from the ICP Forests Task Force meeting in Riga, 24-25 May 2018, are now available on the ICP Forests website. Their final version will be adopted at the next Task Force meeting in 2019.

Call for contributions: Exploring inclusive palm oil production - ETFRN News 59

GFIS - vor 9 Stunden 44 Minuten
This edition of ETFRN News will pour intellectual oil on troubled waters, calming the waves of debate by presenting examples of innovative and inclusive palm oil production systems. It will assess what has not worked, but importantly, it will analyse what positive practices and policies have worked for more inclusive palm oil production and why, as we strive towards more collective and sustainable solutions to this apparently intractable problem.

The Fairytale Lane enchants the Belgian photo contest jury

GFIS - vor 9 Stunden 54 Minuten
'Fairytale Lane' is the magical name of the winning image of PEFC Belgium’s 'Experience Forests, Experience PEFC' photo contest. “This picture reminds me of my childhood and the many fairy tales about magic and wisdom that can be found in nature,” said Andrea Otte, the winning...

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Agroforestry systems for producing nutritious food for smallholders in Odisha, India

GFIS - vor 11 Stunden 30 Minuten

A new project in India promises better diets for farmers The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) South Asia Regional Programme recently launched a three-year project: Enabling Smallholders in Odisha to Produce and Consume More Nutritious Food through Agroforestry Systems....

The post Agroforestry systems for producing nutritious food for smallholders in Odisha, India appeared first on Agroforestry World.

New report highlights global trade in wild plant ingredients

GFIS - vor 19 Stunden 3 Minuten
Cambridge, UK, 25th June 2018—a new TRAFFIC study has drawn attention to the wild plant ingredients used in everyday products and the need for their traceable, sustainable and ethical sourcing and trade.

Obituary

GFIS - So, 24/06/2018 - 17:00
It is with deepest regret that ITTO announces the sudden demise of Mr Satoshi Akahori, Assistant Director of Forest Management, in his home country of Japan, on 24 June 2018 at age 55. Satoshi, as he preferred to be called, joined ITTO on 1 April 2018, after a long and successful career in Japan’s Forestry Agency, where he held a number of posts, including Director General of the Forest Training Institute; Director of the Forest Utilization and Conservation Division; and Director of International Forestry Cooperation. He also worked on international forestry issues prior to joining ITTO, including a secondment to UN FAO in 1990?1992. Despite serving at ITTO only for a few months, Satoshi contributed valuable expertise to the Secretariat in various aspects of sustainable forest management, forest governance, timber legality and international cooperation, amongst others. However, he will be best remembered by all who knew him for his bright personality, good sense of humor and willingness to help anyone who crossed his path. He will be sorely missed by his family, his colleagues at the ITTO Secretariat, Japan’s Forestry Agency, and many others who met him over his short but wonderful life. Rest in peace, Satoshi, as we toast your life and success. Anyone wishing to forward a message of condolence to the Akahori family can send it to itto@itto.int with the subject “Akahori” and the Secretariat will ensure it is conveyed. Details of the wake and funeral will be posted here when available.

Obituary

GFIS - So, 24/06/2018 - 17:00
It is with deepest regret that ITTO announces the sudden demise of Mr Satoshi Akahori, Assistant Director of Forest Management, in his home country of Japan, on 24 June 2018 at age 55. Satoshi, as he preferred to be called, joined ITTO on 1 April 2018, after a long and successful career in Japan’s Forestry Agency, where he held a number of posts, including Director General of the Forest Training Institute; Director of the Forest Utilization and Conservation Division; and Director of International Forestry Cooperation. He also worked on international forestry issues prior to joining ITTO, including a secondment to UN FAO in 1990?1992. Despite serving at ITTO only for a few months, Satoshi contributed valuable expertise to the Secretariat in various aspects of sustainable forest management, forest governance, timber legality and international cooperation, amongst others. However, he will be best remembered by all who knew him for his bright personality, good sense of humor and willingness to help anyone who crossed his path. He will be sorely missed by his family, his colleagues at the ITTO Secretariat, Japan’s Forestry Agency, and many others who met him over his short but wonderful life.

Should We Fear the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank?

GFIS - So, 24/06/2018 - 10:38

Ready.  Fire.  Aim.

That seems to be the emerging strategy of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the China-led mega-bank that wants to supercharge development across half the planet.

ALERT scientists have just analyzed the AIIB’s draft "Transport Sector Strategy" — which describes how the Bank will jump-start new roads, railways, sea ports, airports, development corridors, and other transport infrastructure.

We’re doing this because the final date for commenting on the AIIB’s draft strategy is July 4 — just ten days away.

We’ll be sending the AIIB our comments.  And we need you to send your comments — and ask your friends and organizations too.  It’s as easy as sending an email, as we explain below.

IN A NUTSHELL

Our scientific assessment of the draft AIIB Transport Strategy?

We’re flat-out scared by what we saw — and just as scared by what we didn’t see.

And if we’re scared, you should be scared too — because ALERT includes some of the world’s top environmental researchers, including leading experts on infrastructure and its consequences (for example, see this website).

THREE THINGS

Before telling you why we’re so worried, remember three things about the AIIB:

1.  It’s a multi-lateral lender, like the World Bank

In theory, that means it’s supposed to place as much weight on goals such as poverty alleviation, human rights, and the environment as it does on making money.

It’s also supposed to be working for the broader good — not as a de-facto instrument for advancing Chinese geopolitical and economic interests.

These are big issues.  Although more than 80 nations have joined the AIIB as partners, China clearly holds the lion’s share of power.  And China tends to do what benefits China.

2.  The AIIB is not just targeting Asia

For example, one of the AIIB’s biggest goals is supporting China’s Belt & Road Initiative — some 7,000 individual projects that will stretch across the South Pacific to Southeast Asia, Indochina, East Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and much of Africa.

3.  The AIIB wants to be a game-changer

It wants to supercharge infrastructure by drawing in many other public and private investors, bulldozing impediments, and promoting ‘transformative’ projects that will initiate cyclones of further development.

WHY FEAR THE AIIB’S STRATEGY?

We could write a hundred pages here, but we’ll focus on three key issues:

Scary Point 1: The AIIB strategy is astoundingly incomplete.  Its only real allusions to ‘greening infrastructure’ involve reducing carbon emissions — by reducing traffic jams and vaguely attempting to slim down massive emissions from project construction.

This is ridiculous.  In the many remote and wild areas where AIIB-supported projects will be constructed, far and away the biggest impacts of infrastructure expansion are to open lands to a Pandora’s box of new environmental pressures — such as deforestation, habitat fragmentation, fires, wildlife poaching, illegal mining, and land-grabbing.

This Pandora’s-box issue is so central to infrastructure that failing even to mention it — or identify strategies for managing and reducing it — should set alarm bells ringing everywhere.

Scary Point 2: While unleashing an infrastructure cyclone, the AIIB scheme doesn’t even mention the desperate need for Strategic Land-Use Planning and Strategic Environmental Assessments.

That’s like trying to do major surgery while wearing a blindfold.

Our natural world is a complex mosaic of biodiversity hotspots, critical migration corridors for wildlife, remnant habitats for endangered species, and rare ecosystems.  

According to WWF, the Belt & Road will impact hundreds of threatened species including Tigers, Giant Pandas, and Saiga Antelope, and around 1,800 Important Bird Areas, Key Biodiversity Areas, Global Biodiversity Hotspots, and Global 200 Ecoregions.

Hence, the AIIB wants to slice and dice the Earth with thousands of transportation, energy, water, and other infrastructure projects – unguided by the biggest thing we need to avoid disastrous outcomes: strategic planning.

Scary Point 3: Perhaps the biggest defining feature of the AIIB is its desire to move fast — blasting ahead at warp speed.

But speed makes it hard to have good governance — to detect and ferret out corruption.

Speed makes it hard to see environmental and social dangers, many of which are not simple or obvious.

And speed increases risks to investors — elevating the chances that projects will fail — wasting public money, stranding assets, and incurring big foreign debts for host nations.

When it comes to infrastructure, speed can be deadly

WHAT CAN I DO?

Write to the AIIB and tell them you have great concerns about their draft Transport Sector Strategy (Email: ts.consultation@aiib.org).  Please emphasize the following, in your own words:

1.     AIIB-supported projects should not begin without first completing strategic land-use, environmental, and social planning for each geographic region.

2.     The AIIB’s view of the environment is far too narrow — protecting biodiversity, critical habitats, key wildlife corridors, and rare ecosystems needs much more emphasis.

3.     The AIIB must limit the Pandora's Box of illegal or unplanned activities that typically follows big infrastructure projects — especially by avoiding projects in wild or rare ecosystems.

4.     The AIIB’s intent to move ‘efficiently and rapidly’ creates serious dangers that major environmental, social, and economic dangers will be missed prior to project approval.

5.     The AIIB’s “Environmental and Social Framework" is vague, toothless, and poorly regarded by scientific experts.

6.     The AIIB will face major reputational risks and strong global resistance if it proceeds without fundamentally revising its draft Transport Sector Strategy.

New research on avian response to wildfires

GFIS - Sa, 23/06/2018 - 01:08
New research explores the effects fire has on ecosystems and the wildlife species that inhabit them. Scientists examined the impacts of fires of different severity levels on birds and how that changes as the time since fire increases. Scientists looked across 10 fires after they burned through forests in the Sierra Nevada. A key finding was that wildfire had strong, but varied, effects on the density of many of the bird species that were studied.

A Young Logger With Deep Roots in the California Timberlands

NYT Logging Industry - Fr, 22/06/2018 - 18:45
A newly graduated forestry technician enjoys the sense of continuity that comes from playing his part in the business his family started 70 years ago.

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by Dr. Radut