Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: International

Froggy Foibles

Alaska Highway’s 8-metre-high lumberjack landmark felled by flames

By Dominika Lirette
CBC News
October 30, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

A landmark statue has burned to the ground around the Mile 62 mark on the Alaska Highway in northern B.C. The enormous fibreglass lumberjack that used to stand just outside of the former Clarke Sawmill, about 25 kilometres north of Fort St. John, went up in flames late Sunday night, said Debbie Lee Clarke, whose father bought the statue in the late 1970s. …No one knows for certain what caused the fire, but Clarke thinks someone may have shot fireworks or a flare gun at the lumberjack. … For those outside of the Clarke household, the statue was a landmark that signalled how far people were from Fort St. John.

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Business & Politics

Mercer International Reports Third Quarter Results and Announces Quarterly Cash Dividend

By Mercer International
Global Newswire
October 31, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

NEW YORK — Mercer International reported third quarter 2019 Operating EBITDA decreased to $50.8 million from $86.7 million in the third quarter of 2018 and from $70.0 million in the second quarter of 2019. In the third quarter of 2019, net income was $1.2 million, or $0.02 per share, compared to $41.2 million, or $0.63 per share, in the third quarter of 2018 and $10.3 million, or $0.16 per share in the second quarter of 2019. …Mr. David M. Gandossi, the Chief Executive Officer, stated: “Our third quarter results reflect continuing weakness in the pulp markets. …However, late in the quarter we saw softwood producer inventories begin to fall and demand began to increase in China. We have announced an NBSK price increase of $10 per tonne for October in China.

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Norbord Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results; Declares Quarterly Dividend

By Norbord Inc.
Cision Newswire
October 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

TORONTO — Norbord reported Adjusted EBITDA of $33 million in the third quarter of 2019 compared to $36 million in the second quarter of 2019 and $211 million in the third quarter of 2018. The quarter-over-quarter decrease was driven by lower panel prices and shipments in Europe, which more than offset improved manufacturing costs in North America, while the year-over-year decrease was primarily due to lower North American OSB prices. North American operations generated Adjusted EBITDA of $24 millioncompared to $18 million in the prior quarter and $190 million in the same quarter last year. European operations delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $11 million, down from $21 million in the prior quarter and $23 million in the year-ago quarter. …”We have started to see improvement this past quarter,” said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord’s President and CEO. 

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Trade war sees double-digit drops in U.S. furniture imports from China; both countries see losses

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
November 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

WASHINGTON – The trade war is having a major effect – causing a $53 billion decline in U.S. imports from China and a $14.5 billion decline in exports to China, according to recently released trade data. Both drops are just looking at the first nine months of the year. The numbers appear to be drastically in the favor of the United States. But because the U.S. exports much less to China than it imports, the smaller drop is actually a bigger percentage drop (15.5 percent from last year) – compared to a 13.5 percent decline for Chinese imports. Chinese furniture exports to the U.S. fell in miscellaneous wood furniture (down 19 percent), wood seats (down 21 percent), and upholstered wood chairs (down 13 percent). China’s fall has led to the rise of other countries, particularly Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia, who all saw huge gains. …There currently isn’t a plan to rollback any tariffs.

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China Free Trade Agreement upgrade will assist processed timber exports

By the New Zealand Forest Owners Association
Scoop Independent News
November 6, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Forest Owners Association says the just announced phased reduction of tariffs for wood and paper exports to China will assist in a long term realigning of New Zealand exports into more further processed timber products. Association Chief Executive David Rhodes says Trade Minister, David Parker, has done a great job of removing much of the remaining obstacles for the processed timber export trade into China. …“Our industry is hugely reliant on China.  Our processed timber exports there are worth $509 million a year, but that value could be a whole lot more, if it were not for those residual tariffs discouraging exporters.  While the tariff removal on current exports is relatively small, it’s the potential for growth without the tariffs which is significant.”

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Queensland Government allows timber industry to keep harvesting native forest, says it will save up to 500 Wide Bay-Burnett jobs

By Josh Bavas
ABC News, Australia
November 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Annastacia Palaszczuk

Thousands of hectares of native forest north of Noosa, which had been due to become national park, will now be open to the timber industry in order to save hundreds of jobs. The Queensland Government made the decision to extend the current harvesting permits in the Wide Bay-Burnett region until 2026 but would not say how much land would be accessed. The current permits were due to expire in 2024, threatening up to 500 workers. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Cabinet decided to back “sustainable” jobs in the region. “These are good, decent jobs,” she said. “Some of those hardwood plantations didn’t work in the areas they were designated to, so where else is there the possibility that they can? …Instead, about 20,000 hectares of state-owned land south of Noosa will now be slated for conservation by 2024.

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NZ strikes deal on China Free Trade Agreement upgrade after years of talks

By Jane Patterson
Radio New Zealand
November 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

After years of negotiations, New Zealand and China have struck a deal on the long-awaited upgrade to their free trade deal. It includes new rules to make exporting to China cheaper and easier, the highest level of commitment to environmental standards China has made in any free trade deal, and giving the vast majority of wood and paper trade to China preferential access over the next 10 years. That will include some processed wood products, for which the forestry sector had been seeking tariff cuts. …The next steps would be legal verification of the draft text, with the signing and release of the text expected in early 2020. …The upgrade will also mean that 99 percent of New Zealand’s $3b wood and paper trade to China will have preferential access, with tariff elimination over a 10 year implementation period on 12 additional wood and paper products worth NZ$36 million in trade to China.

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Foreigners snapping up forest land

By Brent Melville
New Zealand Herald
November 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Eugenie Sage

International buyers continue to snap up New Zealand land for forestry. Over the past year, the Overseas Investment Office has signed off 27 special forestry consents – all under the streamlined consent pathway for investment in New Zealand forests introduced last October. …There were nine forestry-related consents in September, including the acquisition of a combined 1663ha at Hillfort Forest in Wyndham and Wether Hills Forest in Lumsden. The applicant – Matariki Forests – is majority owned by US and British interests. The most expensive deal was from China Forestry Group NZ, which is thought to have paid $27.8million for an interest in 926ha at Highfield, Kai Iwi and Kirikopuni Forests in the North Island. Minister of Land Information Eugenie Sage and the Associate Minister of Finance also approved the first pre-approval under a special forestry test last month – granted to Japanese-controlled Pan Pac Forest Products.

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Calls to ban farm conversions to forestry make no sense

Scoop Independent News
November 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Peter Weir

Calls to ban farm conversions to forestry ‘make no sense and are dangerously jeopardising fight against climate change’. Forest owners are saying the extent of overseas investment in forestry this year is grossly exaggerated. They say the calls on the government to restrict conversions of farms to forestry are dangerously jeopardising the fight against climate change and New Zealand’s hope of achieving its greenhouse gas emission targets. Forest Owners Association President Peter Weir, says there is no doubt that the rate of planting forests on poorer quality farmland is increasing. But he says most of the planting is driven by higher returns from forests than by hill country farming and the planting is being done by New Zealand land owners and not overseas investors.

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Nannup timber mill stripped of contract after on-selling logs from WA native forests

By Frances Bell and Jon Daly
ABC News Australia
October 30, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Western Australia’s second largest timber mill has been stripped of a major native timber supply contract after it was exposed by a whistleblower on-selling more than 100 tonnes of marri logs overseas. Under its contract with the Forest Products Commission (FPC), Nannup Timber Processing is required to process all logs from state-owned native forests in WA. However an FPC investigation triggered by a whistleblower has found that in the first six months of this year, the Nannup mill on-sold at least 165 tonnes of state-sourced marri logs for export. WA Forestry Minister Dave Kelly described it as a serious breach of contract. The contractual requirement to locally process timber from state-owned native forests is aimed at protecting WA timber industry jobs and ensuring logs are processed into value-added products like furniture and flooring. “We’re about protecting the West Australian timber industry and local jobs,” Mr Kelly said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Majority of Canadians are willing to pay more for sustainably packaged food products

By Asia Pulp & Paper
Cision Newswire
November 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, International

TORONTO — Sustainably sourced packaged material is becoming a leading factor in Canadians’ purchasing decisions, with 62% of Canadians willing to pay more for such products. According to Asia Pulp & Paper’s third annual Attitudes Towards Sustainability report, 74% of Canadians consider sustainability an important factor when making purchases. This trend was particularly reflected in food packaging where a majority of Canadian adults (62%) were willing to pay more for products packaged in sustainable materials, with 40% saying they would be open to paying up to 10% more. Millenials are the most likely to say they would be willing to pay more for sustainably packaged food products and are considerably more inclined that their older counterparts to pay over 10% more.

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WAN Awards 2019 Future Projects – Education goes to George Brown College Tall Wood Building

By Nav Pal
World Architecture News
October 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, International

TORONTO — The Arbour will be the home to the School of Technology and the Tall Wood Research Institute on George Brown College’s expanding Waterfront Campus. The opportunity to combine a learning institution within a developing urban neighbourhood sets fertile ground for Change, inspiring young minds to shape the future of the city. This 10-storey tall wood, low carbon building will be the first of its kind in Ontario, featuring ecological innovation across its entire life cycle and be a model for 21st century smart, sustainable, green building innovation throughout Canada. The project brings an innovative structural approach that revolutionizes the future of large span tall wood construction by fully taking advantage of the spanning capabilities of cross laminated timber structures.

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Less steel, more wood could help New Zealand hit carbon targets

By Marty Verry, Red Stag Group
Stuff New Zealand
November 8, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

University and Scion research shows how New Zealand can achieve “zero carbon” in our third-biggest area of emissions, buildings. …Buildings cause GHG emissions in two ways; the embodied carbon from the extraction, manufacture and transport of the materials used, and the ongoing emissions from the energy used by the building. Nearly all electricity in New Zealand is from renewable sources so measurement of ongoing energy use, known as “Life Cycle Analysis”, is fairly irrelevant in terms of climate change. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always good to save power for economic reasons, but right now the biggest show in town is climate change. So when it comes to buildings and climate change, it is only the upfront embodied carbon in the materials that is relevant in New Zealand. Hands down the products that cause the most climate change damage are concrete and steel. 

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Housing crisis: Are timber industries the answer?

The Planning, BIM & Construction Today
November 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A report launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries, reveals the importance timber industries could have on the UK’s housebuilding targets, whilst also helping the country achieve its net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The report titled ‘How the timber industries can help solve the housing crisis’, argues that using timber in construction is key to meeting emissions targets, and urges Government to implement the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee (CCC) by increasing the use of timber in construction. A long-term spending pledge, reformation of the right-to-buy scheme and building regulations that encourage innovation in construction are amongst the recommendations to the government. Timber frames are built using offsite construction methods, and are quicker, cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly than traditional construction methods.

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Biobasecamp pavilion aims to demonstrate the potential of timber in architecture

By Augusta Pownall
Dezeen Magazine
November 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

NETHERLANDS — A timber pavilion called Biobasecamp at Dutch Design Week brought together projects that demonstrate the potential of the “concrete of the future” to fight against climate change. Studio Marco Vermeulen built the wooden pavilion as a covered exhibition-space for a series of displays highlighting how timber can be used in bio-based architecture projects. Called Biobasecamp, the pavilion was erected in Ketelhuisplein in the Strijp-S district of Eindhoven for the duration of Dutch Design Week. The roof of the pavilion was the shape of a five-pronged star with squared corners. It was built by timber construction specialists Derix from 200 metres-cubed of lightweight, modular 16 by 3.5 metre cross-laminated timber boards.

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Wood-based fiber captures hormones from wastewater

By Aalto University
Phys.org
November 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Aalto University have developed a wood-based cellulose fiber yarn that is an affordable solution for capturing pharmaceutical substances—especially ethinylestradiol in contraceptive pills—that would otherwise end up in bodies of water. By attaching a cyclic sugar onto the surface of the cellulose fiber yarn, the research scientists were able to create a material that efficiently captures ethinylestradiol (EE2), a hormone used in contraceptive pills. …”Hormone capture would be most effective in wastewater treatment plants and hospitals, since the wastewater in these facilities contains a higher concentration of the compounds. We are developing a wood-based affordable material that could be thrown into a tank in a wastewater treatment plant or used as a filter in a pipe connected to the tank.

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Can Norway Grow Its Own Timber Building Industry?

By Tracey Lindeman
City Lab
November 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Forest-rich Norway is a leader in building with lower-carbon structural wood. But it still lacks factories that can turn trees into building parts. The Norwegian town of Brumunddal… is known for something even more grandiose: The world’s tallest timber structure. …Mjøstårnet is a statement to the world that timber construction has arrived, and Norway is ready to build. There’s just one thing: The country has yet to seize the means of its own timber production. “Norway is a banana republic when it comes to this,” Jørgen Tycho, an architect with the firm Oslotre. …Today, a handful of companies are trying again. Long-standing Norwegian timber-supply company Splitkon, which previously relied on Swedish and Austrian suppliers for its CLT, opened its own domestic production facility in early 2019. …Now newcomers such as Tewo are lining up for a slice of the pie. 

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Södra’s Breakthrough Will Enable Large-scale Textile Recycling

By Södra Skogsägarna ekonomisk förening
Cision Newswire
October 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

VÄXJÖ, Sweden — “Only a negligible proportion of the global production of clothing and textiles is recycled today. Virtually everything is sent to landfill or incineration. But Swedish innovation …can now influence the game at a global level,” said Lars Idermark, President and CEO of Södra. One of the major obstacles to textile recycling is that the fabrics are often made from blended materials. Södra’s new technique can separate the cotton and polyester in polycotton blends… The pure cotton fibres are then added to our wood-derived textile pulp, which can then be used to make new textiles. “We are now …offering circular flows of textile fibres. A sweater can now become a sweater again. This will create added value for our customers, and especially the fashion industry. It’s a big day for us and an equally big day for the emerging circular bioeconomy,” said Johannes Bogren, President of Södra Cell Bioproducts. 

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The Car Is Made Of Wood

By Elizabeth Blackstock
Jalopnik
October 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has created an unprecedented supercar made entirely of wood. The entire car is composed of nano cellulose fibers, or plant-derived material (including agricultural waste) that’s one-fifth of the weight of—and five times as strong as—steel, the Ministry of the Environment notes. By using those fibers to compose most of the bodywork and part of the tub, the result is a car about half as light as your traditional one, with a ten percent overall reduction in mass. …There isn’t really any information at all out there about what kind of power source will be implemented, but the rumor is that it’ll be equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell and have a top speed of… 12 mph. So, yes, there’s some room for improvement in the powertrain.

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Olympics: Tokyo unveils 2020 venue inspired by Japanese architecture

Ahram Online
October 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics unveiled a custom-built $188 million gymnastics venue inspired by Japanese architecture that uses wood brought from around the country. The futuristic-looking Ariake Gymnastics Centre uses 2,300 cubic metres of wood and is intended to hark back to traditional building techniques that predated the use of modern materials. The structure features a gently undulating roof, with external walls constructed from lengths of cedar wood. …The building, one of a handful custom-built for the Games, “symbolises Japan’s wood culture and viewers can feel its simple beauty”, the organisers said. “We’re using a lot of wood,” venue general manager Koichi Fukui told reporters. “We can smell wood and feel the warmth of wood,” he said. Built at a cost of 20.5 billion yen, the venue features a domed ceiling constructed from Japanese larch with no steel framework and is among the largest of its kind in the world.

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Forestry

Odds are strong your hardwood floor was harvested illegally

By Rachel Koning Beals
Market Watch
November 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, International

…Updated forensic testing of wood brought into the U.S. suggests mislabeling of illegally logged timber remains a problem across industries turning out furniture, flooring, musical instruments and sporting goods. In a recent study, the World Wildlife Fund, World Resources Institute and U.S. Forest Service found that as much as 62% of U.S. wood products — mostly imports — were mislabeled. Researchers used forensics, checking wood samples against the Forest Service’s reference specimens, to uncover evidence of mislabeling, which could mean wood was logged illegally, research lead Alex Wiedenhoeft, a botanist with the U.S. Forest Service, explained. The advocacy groups worked with the government lab to examine 73 commercial wood products sold by major U.S. retailers, which were not identified in the report. Wiedenhoeft and team found that 40 of the 73 products tested were labeled as the wrong tree species; 20 weren’t even solid wood, despite being labeled as such.

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LIDAR technology leads Brazilian team to 30 story tall Amazon tree

By Jenny Gonzales
Mongabay.com
November 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A combination of scientific curiosity and chance has led a research team that was creating a detailed forest biomass map of the Brazilian Amazon to a unique discovery: a tall tree for the record books. An individual red angelim (Dinizia excelsa Ducke), discovered in a remote area on the border of Pará and Amapá states, is 88.5 meters (more than 290 feet) tall — the equivalent of a 30 story building. It is the tallest canopy tree ever found in the region, which averages tree heights of 45 meters (147 feet). The discovery, news of which was first published this August in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, occurred while INPE (the National Institute for Space Research) was working on the map — meant to improve Amazon biomass estimation methods, and to enhance carbon emission estimation models due to land use change.

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Victorian Government forestry announcement a “kick in guts for timber workers and timber

By the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union
Mirage News
November 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Victorian Government’s plan to end native forestry has been slammed as a kick in the guts to Victorian timber workers and the communities which rely on the industry. The Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union said that while no one denied the industry faced challenges, the Government’s response was deeply flawed, completely inadequate, and far from being a viable or fair transition plan. “This is not the way to respond to an industry facing challenges,” Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union National Secretary Michael O’Connor said. “This announcement isn’t a viable plan for the future, it’s an embarrassing, motley, half-baked, rag-tagged, mishmash of talking points.  “It is a stupid, heartless decision that is out of character for a Government that had built a reputation of supporting blue-collar jobs and regional communities.

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‘It’s my whole life’: Logger reacts to Victorian native forest logging ban

By Neil Mitchell
3AW 693 News Talk
November 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Premier Daniel Andrews today announced a statewide ban on the logging of native trees. …Industry sources say the ban could cost taxpayers as much as $500 million, due to the need for compensation and the loss of jobs. Brad Meyer from Meyer Log Cartage, a business which logs native timber, said he’s gutted by the news. “It’s my whole life. …so where to from here, I’m not sure,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell. “My whole business revolves around native forest timber harvesting, so without that I don’t have a business at all.” Mr Meyer said he wasn’t consulted at all prior to today’s announcement, and only found out about it this morning. …The native logger said he’ll fight back against the new legislation, which he says will have a “massive” impact on lives. “They haven’t won. I won’t be giving in that easy,” he said.

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Immediate end to old growth logging a big win for people and wildlife

Australian Conservation Foundation
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The immediate end to old growth logging will protect some of Victoria’s most spectacular and intact native forests. In response to the announcement that the Victorian Government will immediately end old growth logging and phase out all native forest logging over the next decade, Jess Abrahams, Nature Campaigner at the Australian Conservation Foundation and a former member of the Forest Industry Taskforce, said: “Victorians love our native forests and wildlife, so this is a major announcement by the Andrews Government, albeit one that is long overdue. An immediate end to old growth logging will protect some of Victoria’s most spectacular and intact native forests. The protection of a further 96,000 hectares of habitat for the vulnerable Greater glider is very good news. The transition from logging native forests to plantations can’t come soon enough – ten years is just too slow for the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum, which is on the brink of extinction.”

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Immediate end to old-growth logging, as thousands of jobs set to go

By Noel Towell and Rob Harris
The Sydney Morning Herald
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Premier Daniel Andrews says thousands of workers in the timber industry face a “tough transition” as the state government moved on Thursday to end logging of Victoria’s native forests. …Mr Andrews said the government had no choice but to act, with the industry facing a dwindling supply of native timber, down 50 per cent in the past decade, and that a large bush fire might deal the sector a knock-out blow. …“We have taken the time to make sure that this is a transition that is managed, it is not a matter of flicking a switch, that would be the wrong outcome in terms of preserving jobs. …Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said Victoria’s decision to end native timber harvesting was “casting aside an entire industry and workforce”. …”The lack of support and commitment to this sustainable industry is strongly condemned.” She said native forestry was a “sustainable industry”.

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Timber workers worried for jobs and towns as Victorian Government announces plan to end native logging

By Sarah Maunder, Kristian Silva and Mikaela Ortolan
ABC News, Australia
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Victorian timber workers say their communities will become ghost towns after the Victorian Government announced it will phase out the logging of native trees over the next decade. The Victorian Government will reduce the current level of native timber available for logging from 2024–25. With dwindling supply already restricting the industry, all native timber logging will cease by 2030 under the policy. The Government also announced an immediate ban on logging in old-growth forest. …Brett Robin, a fifth-generation logger from Gippsland, said the State Government’s plan would result in “tens of thousands” of jobs lost. Mr Robin told ABC Radio Melbourne only four trees in every 10,000 were being harvested and regenerated, which meant the rest were left alone. “I’ve harvested areas my grandfather and great-grandfather have harvested, and they’ve all been regenerated.

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Pine needle blight pathogen gets weaker in New Zealand

By Bio Protection Research Centre
Scoop Independent News
November 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…But for the first time, a New Zealand study has revealed that one introduced plant pathogen appears to have become weaker since it arrived here 50 years ago – possibly to make sure it doesn’t kill off its host. The Dothistroma septosporum fungus, which infects pine trees, first appeared in New Zealand in the 1960s. It causes Dothistroma needle blight, one of the worst foliar diseases of pine trees worldwide. Infected trees lose their needles, grow more slowly, and can even die. In other parts of the world D. septosporum can reproduce sexually, with two individuals mating to produce genetically different offspring. However, only one mating type exists in New Zealand – like having just males or just females – so the fungus reproduces asexually, effectively cloning itself. …The implications for practical resistance breeding are that, in some situations, even low levels of resistance or tolerance might be sufficient to improve the long-term health of trees.

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Victorian Government set to announce multi-million-dollar plan to end native logging by 2030

By Richard Willingham
ABC News Australia
November 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Logging of native trees will be phased out in Victoria over the next decade under a transition plan that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The Andrews Government is set to announce, as early as Thursday, a policy that includes reducing the current level of native timber available for logging from 2024-25. With dwindling supply already restricting the industry, all native timber logging will cease by 2030 under the policy. Reduced supply will put a strain on thousands of jobs and put pressure on already struggling mills, and there will money available as part of the transition away from a centuries-old industry. The ABC understands the financial assistance for the industry will be substantial and reach well into the hundreds of millions of dollars. The Victorian Association of Forestry Industries estimates more than 21,000 people work in forestry and the wood products sector and other studies have shown the native timber sector employs around 2,000 people.

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Romanians Rally Against Illegal Logging, Attacks On Forestry Officials

Radio Free Europe
November 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Thousands of Romanians across the country have marched in protest of pervasive illegal logging after several forestry officials, including two in the past two months, have died in what are believed to have been attacks by timber thieves. An estimated 4,000 protesters assembled in the capital city of Bucharest on November 3, marching toward the Forestry Ministry while chanting “Our forest is not your commodity,” and “Thieves.” …The local branch of Greenpeace and civil society and environmental groups Agent Green and Declic organized the peaceful protest they called The March for the Forests. They demanded criminal investigations into the deaths and attacks against forestry agency officials, improvements to the country’s automated logging tracking system, and stricter legislation.

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New Rotorua Forestry Hub for Te Uru Rākau

By New Zealand Government, Ministry of Forests
Scoop Independent News
November 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Shane Jones

The Government has committed to a strong regional presence for Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand), with the construction of a new Forestry Hub in Rotorua announced by Forestry Minister Shane Jones today. Speaking at a blessing ceremony at the site of the new building, Scion’s Rotorua campus, Minister Jones said the Forestry Hub, which will be shared with the Department of Conservation, will ultimately house some 50 Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) staff, with 25 of those from Te Uru Rākau. …“The purpose-built facility will be constructed with sustainable construction techniques, including using New Zealand grown timber for both the structural and visible parts of the building. A new build provides an opportunity to demonstrate the value of wood for building and will show case the opportunity to use timber grown and manufactured in New Zealand more extensively.

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European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers call for total certified wood sourcing

Packaging News UK
November 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers (FEFPEB) president Rob van Hoesel has challenged European wooden pallet and packaging manufacturers to ensure all the timber they use is certified as sustainably produced. Speaking to delegates at the FEFPEB congress, Van Hoesel said that, against a background of increasing worldwide attention on the environmental credentials of businesses, pallet and packaging companies should seek to guarantee that 100% of the wood they use originates from sustainably managed forests, by purchasing only from certified sources. …Van Hoesel said he would like all members of FEFPEB’s national associations to aim for 100% sustainability within a limited period of years, advising that they should start dialogues with customers and other partners, such as PEFC, in the supply chain to help it reach this goal.

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2 timber executives, 3 loggers charged with 2014 killings of anti-logging activists in Peru

The Associated Press in CBC News
October 31, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Five men who worked in the timber industry in Peru have been charged with the 2014 killings of four Indigenous activists who had battled illegal logging in the Amazon jungle. Two timber executives and three loggers have been charged with the shooting deaths of the activists, prosecutor Otoniel Jara told The Associated Press Wednesday. Environmentalists say the case is unprecedented in Peru, where years of illegal logging and, on occasion, suspected attacks by those carrying it out have often been met with an ineffectual response from authorities. …Tom Bewick, of Rainforest Foundation US, a group that funded efforts to bring the alleged killers to justice …said he hoped the case will “set an example for other Indigenous environmental defenders across the world.

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Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers

By New Zealand Government
Scoop Independent News
October 30, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 year olds to enter careers in forestry. “Forestry is currently enjoying a renewed lease on life thanks to the One Billion Trees programme and the Government’s emphasis on the sector for both regional development and environmental outcomes,” Shane Jones said. The funding will see these young people trained, upskilled and supported into local full time employment.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Government launches new scheme to boost tree-planting

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Forestry Commission
The Government of UK
November 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

UK — The government launched a £50 million scheme to help boost tree-planting rates in the fight against climate change. The new Woodland Carbon Guarantee will encourage farmers and landowners to plant more trees and create new woodland in return for payments as those trees grow. It gives land managers in England the long-term financial income they need to invest in carbon sequestration – the process by which trees lock up and store carbon from the atmosphere. Successful participants will be offered the option to sell Woodland Carbon Units to the government over 35 years at a guaranteed price set by auction, providing new income for land managers who help businesses compensate for their carbon emissions.

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Wood fibre to unlock our low emissions future

By New Zealand Government
Scoop Independent News
November 1, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Trees can play a lead role in New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions economy, and this is reflected in a new request for research into innovative ways to use wood fibre, announced by Forestry Minister Shane Jones at the blessing of the new government forestry hub site in Rotorua today. Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand), the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Forestry Ministerial Advisory Group have today issued a ‘request for proposal’ – worth $250,000 to $300,000 – seeking a commercially-oriented report on viable opportunities for investment in biobased products and biorefinery processing technology. These investments must use wood and wood fibre and be internationally competitive.

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Climate emissions from tropical forest damage ‘underestimated by a factor of six’

By Graham Readfearn
The Guardian
October 31, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Greenhouse gas emissions caused by damage to tropical rainforests around the world are being underestimated by a factor of six, according to a new study. Research led by the University of Queensland finds the climate impact of selective logging, outright clearing and fire in tropical rainforests between 2000 and 2013 was underestimated by 6.53bn tonnes of CO2. The numbers are likely conservative, and also did not include emissions from other woodlands or the massive boreal forests in the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Study co-author professor James Watson said: “We have been treating forests as pretty one-dimensional, but we know degradation impacts carbon. The bottom line is that we knew the numbers would be big, but we were shocked at just how big.”

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Finland fights to keep control of forests away from EU

By Elana Sanchez Nicolas
The EU Observer
October 30, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Finland, which currently holds the EU’s presidency until the end of the year, is lobbying to keep forestry a national competency – undermining a key part of the EU’s climate efforts to reduce emissions. The EU considers land use and forestry two of the most important sectors for the bloc’s climate policy – as they include the use of soils, trees, plants, biomass, and timber. Bearing in mind the climate targets for 2030 and 2050, the European Union designed a regulation for land use and forestry, adopted in 2018, to ensure that the accounted total emissions in the sector do not exceed the ‘accounted sinks’ – also known as “no-debit” rule. However, the Finnish committees of agriculture and forestry, economy and environment, in agreement with the government in Helsinki, rejected this updated framework last week.

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Forest Fires

Australian state declares emergency due to wildfires

By rod McGuirk
The Associated Press in CTV News
November 11, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s most populous state declared a state of emergency on Monday due to unprecedented wildfire danger as calls grew for Australia to take more action to counter climate change. New South Wales state Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said residents were facing what “could be the most dangerous bushfire week this nation has ever seen.” Fires in the state’s northeast have claimed three lives, destroyed more than 150 homes and razed more than 1 million hectares (3,800 square miles) of forest and farmland since Friday. Doctors and paramedics have treated more than 100 people for fire-related injuries, including 20 firefighters, Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan said. …The annual Australian fire season, which peaks during the Southern Hemisphere summer, has started early after an unusually warm and dry winter. 

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More countries than ever hit by forest fires in 2018

By CORDIS
Phys.org
November 5, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

The Joint Research Centre published the 2018 edition of its Annual Report on Forest Fires in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. According to the report, wildfires destroyed nearly 178,000 hectares (ha) of forests and land in the EU last year. While this is less than one sixth of the area burnt in 2017, and less than the long-term average, more countries than ever before suffered from large fires. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre, added: “Changing weather conditions associated with climate change increase the risk for forest fires globally. We need to respond and step up our efforts to make our forests more resilient to a warmer and drier climate. Evidence provided by the Joint Research Centre allows us to focus on the most effective ways to prevent wildfires, helping us protect our forests, which is key to preserve biodiversity and citizens’ quality of life.”

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