Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: International

Froggy Foibles

Appetite for the bizarre: more trees ‘swallowing’ strange objects

By Tim the Yowie Man
The Sydney Mornng Herald
November 6, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

This column’s recent feature on the poplar tree in Commonwealth Park that over a period of 35 years ‘ate’ a garden rake has prompted readers to submit similar accounts of trees partially devouring objects. “Your article reminded me of a friend’s house in Petersham in Sydney, where, out the back, embedded into a massive camphor laurel tree was a concrete clay tennis court roller,” writes Brenda Croft. According to Croft, “whoever had last used the roller had left it leaning against the tree, and decades later much of it had disappeared inside the body of the trunk.” Other readers have uncovered photographic evidence of trees in various states of devouring objects. Here are my top 5.

Read More

Business & Politics

Strongbuild falls as Frasers Property pulls the pin on a major deal

By Tina Perinotto
The Fifth Estate Australia
November 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Adam Strong

Prefabrication and lightweight timber builder Strongbuild was placed into voluntary administration at 9 am on Thursday morning, after Frasers Australia pulled out of a contract just two weeks from commencement leaving a massive $6 million gap in expected earnings. Strongbuild managing director Adam Strong told The Fifth Estate that a lending facility that had been arranged as working capital was abruptly cancelled. According to Mr Strong, Frasers gave no reason for reneging on the arrangement, other to cite matters of  “convenience”, which triggered the appointment of voluntary administrators Brian Silvia and Andrew Cummins of BRI Ferriers. …It’s understood that already there have been a number of parties showing interest in purchasing the factory, including  “a competitor” and two product manufacturers. Mr Silvia would not say whether Lendlease, which has a prefab timber facility at Eastern Street, was one of the parties.

Read More

China seen as key for reducing illegal logging in Melanesia

Radio New Zealand
November 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

PNG is China’s single largest supplier of timber, large quantities of which come from illegal operations. A policy advisor with the environmental and anti-corruption NGO Global Witness says PNG’s government has largely failed to put the interests of landowners who depend on forests ahead of foreign logging interests. Lela Stanley said China holds the key because it purchases at least 85 percent of PNG’s annual log exports. “It’s a similar situation in PNG’s neighbour Solomon Islands. China just has this outsize purchasing power, this outsize influence in the business. “Any changes that it makes in terms of what kind of requirements it places on how timber is produced, how it’s sourced, how it’s checking to make sure it’s been done legally or not, will have a really profound impact.” PNG civil society groups have written to China’s government urging it to regulate illegal wood imports from the country.

Read More

Regional growth loan of $1.9m ensures Taranaki log processor’s long term security

By Mike Watson
Stuff.co.nz
November 16, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Three years ago Taranaki sawmiller Tom Boon was unsure if his company Taranakipine​ would have a secure log supply over the long term following a change of ownership of Te Wera Forest, in east Taranaki. Boon’s doubts were put to rest this week when China Forestry Group Corporation (CFG), which bought the 3500 hectare Te Wera Crown Forest licence in 2016, signed a seven year agreement to supply 100,000 tonnes of logs to Taranakipine. The agreement was boosted by a $1.9 million loan from the Government’s provincial growth fund. About $1.8m of the loan would be spent on buying a new German-made fully automated processor to manufacture laminated floor and ceiling panels for export at the company’s Bell Block site, north of New Plymouth.

Read More

Merger creates timber business with revenues of close to £250m

Insider Media
November 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Shefield, UK — Arnold Laver & Co and The National Timber Group have merged to create a timber distribution business with combined revenue approaching £250m and 52 sites across the UK. The transaction is being supported by further investment from Cairngorm Capital Partners. The National Timber Group is a collective of timber distribution companies, which include Thornbridge Sawmills, North Yorkshire Timber and Rembrand. Together they serve customers including joiners, regional housebuilders, commercial companies and infrastructure projects. …Arnold Laver imports, distributes and manufactures a wide range of timber, panels, decorative surfaces and joinery products.

Read More

Russia can temporarily restrict lumber export to China, natural resources minister warns

TASS Russian News Agency
November 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

MOSCOW — Russia can temporarily restrict lumber exports to China due to the issues of forest reproduction and destruction, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dmitry Kobylkin said during the ‘government hour’ at the Federation Council (upper house of parliament) on Wednesday. “China is the main market of lumber exports (from Russia). I told the (Chinese) minister that if we do not bring matters under control in the near future, particularly from the Chinese side, we will completely suspend lumber exports to China,” he said… answering the question when the problem of illegal logging and export would be solved in Russia. …According to the minister, the construction of seed-production facilities in Russia at China’s expense is one of the ways to solve the problem.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

335 Leading Corporations Remove Misleading ‘Go Green’ Claims

Two Sides
November 13, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, International

LONDON, UK  – At the annual meeting of Two Sides’ Country Managers in London on November 5, 2018, representatives from Australia, Europe, New Zealand, North America, South America and South Africa determined to continue efforts to stop organizations from making misleading, anti-print and paper claims in their customer communications. Since its inception, Two Sides’ anti-greenwash campaign has investigated 921 organizations worldwide. Of these, over two-thirds were found to be using unsubstantiated claims regarding paper’s impact on the environment, usually in breach of local advertising regulations. After being challenged by Two Sides, a total of 335 organizations have now removed or changed their messaging.

Read More

Post-Grenfell blanket cladding ban is ‘unjustified’, says timber expert

By Dave Parker
New Civil Engineer
November 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Proposed changes to the Building Regulations on external walls following the Grenfell Tower tragedy should not have a significant impact on the development of tall timber tower blocks, delegates to a London conference were told. Speaking at the Better Timber Buildings conference organised by the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA), former fire engineer …Rupert Scott said that at worst engineers would have to adopt a different design approach if a total ban on combustible materials in external walls was adopted. …Recently the government announced that it would keep its promise via changes to the Building Regulations to be brought in in late Autumn. Negotiations with the timber industry on the exact wording of the proposed amendments continue. The timber industry’s main concern is the potential impact on the increasingly popular use of structural external walls fabricated from cross laminated timber (CLT) to construct tower blocks.

Read More

The construction industry needs to get past new toys and business as usual

By David Chandler, Western Sydney University
The Fifth Estate Australia
November 19, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

There is a lot of grief in Australia’s construction industry this week following the demise of Strongbuild. It’s time for some frank realities to be outed from the shadows.  The transformation of Australia’s construction industry into a viable alternative to the past must be about pre-competitive engagements across the key players. It is not about new toys to enshrine business as usual …and it’s not about the industry’s customers being modern construction’s guinea pigs. …Firstly, I want to acknowledge the leadership and integrity of the Strongbuild team. They have been bold, innovative, generous and ethical  …It is only when these ends meet [customers and policy makers] that businesses such as Strongbuild will be able to offer an attractive investment platform that powers realising the vision that leaders like this bring to the market. The last week has been a sad indictment on an industry needing urgent change.

Read More

This sweatshirt is made of 100% WOOD – but it’s as soft as cashmere

By Shivall Best
The Mirror
November 19, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

If someone was to offer you a wood jumper, you might picture something stiff and uncomfortable. But this sweatshirt, which is made of 100% wood, will completely change your perception of the material. The Blue Sweater is made of beech wood fiber and is full biodegradable, but is remarkably soft to the touch – and definitely won’t give you splinters! …By ditching cotton in favour of wood, the Blue Sweater saves a staggering 3,300 litres of water. The beech wood finer is sourced from FSC certified forests in Germany and Austria, and is grown without fertilisers, pesticides or artificial irrigation. Even the threads in the sweatshirt are made of wood – a biodegradable Lyocell thread.

Read More

Modified glulam used for London restaurant

Timber Trades Journal
November 19, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Accoya glulam has been used for a new restaurant in London. The modified wood was used in the latest branch of The Ivy Collection in Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf. The new brasserie, designed by architect William Conway of William Matthews Associates, saw firm Wiehag as the timber construction partner. The Ivy in the Park is constructed from glulam and cross-laminated timber: internal members are made from spruce, whilst external beams and columns are glulam Accoya. The specification of Accoya wood further extended to the rainscreen trellis which covers the external walls. A total of 47 Accoya glulam beams and 42 glulam columns and 740m2 of rainscreen trellis were required. Wiehag machined it into the glulam beams and columns – alongside the trellis – and finished in the factory with a Remmers Aqua HSL 35 Grey Stain prior to installing on-site.

Read More

Christchurch apartments showcasing timber construction are priced up to $2.5m

By Marta Steeman
Stuff.co.nz
November 15, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Apartments in a showcase five-storey wooden building at Clearwater in Christchurch will be priced at up to $2.5 million. The apartment building is to be constructed of engineered “mass” timber to demonstrate how these building materials can best be used in mid-rise buildings as part of a government initiative to boost the use of timber in construction. …“The whole project is a show case/case study on best practice and how to build with various timber solutions to achieve cost savings and the speed saving available from construction in timber,” Verry said.

Read More

Tokyo Olympics 2020 organisers deny accusations of illegally sourced wood usage

By Walter Sim
The Straight Times
November 12, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

TOKYO – The organisers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have vehemently denied an accusation by an environmental group that several of the new Games venues are being built by wood that has been purportedly obtained through illegal logging. The US-based Rainforest Action Network (RAN) said on Monday that the use of wood from Malaysia and Indonesia to build new Games venues “flies in the face” of Tokyo’s commitment to realise the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. … This is due to the “illegal logging, human rights abuses, and high deforestation rates that have been widely documented in both the Malaysian and Indonesian forestry sectors and given what is known of Tokyo 2020’s plywood suppliers”. But Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya told The Straits Times: “It is a matter of fact that all timber currently used in construction for the Tokyo 2020 Games has complied with its sustainable sourcing code for timber.”

Read More

Wooden sponges can separate water and oil

By Christine Middleton
Physics Today
November 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Once fuel oils, industrial solvents, and other organic liquids enter a body of water, they are difficult to remove. The materials commonly used … are not always mechanically robust or environmentally friendly. Now Xiaoqing Wang and colleagues at the Research Institute of Wood Industry in Beijing have developed a relatively simple treatment process that turns balsa wood into a mechanically robust sponge that can selectively remove organics from water. Natural wood lacks the compressibility and absorbency usually associated with sponges. To give the balsa wood those properties, the researchers removed two of its primary cell-wall components, lignin and hemicellulose, by using aqueous chemical treatments. That changed the wood’s cell structure from a rigid honeycomb to a compressible, lamellar morphology. Even after 100 compressions, the sponge sprang back to its initial size, which indicated that it kept its mechanical robustness despite the removed material.

Read More

Timber Trades Journal stages its first panels conference

Timber Trades Journal
November 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Timber Trade Federation’s inaugural UK Wood Panels Conference took place November 7. The conference, which the TTF hopes to build on next year, was intended to bring the federation’s National Panel Products Division more in line with its National Softwood Division and National Hardwood Division, which already have their own events. In addition, said TTF managing director Dave Hopkins, the panels sector is “the fastest growing and most innovative sector” within the timber industry. “We want to ensure we run and lead that agenda,” he said. …Architect Peter Wilson, director of Timber Design Initiatives, rounded off the conference by highlighting construction projects past and present where panel products had been the predominant material used. He said that many architects already wanted to work with timber and panel products and that the industry should engage more with the engineers and quantity surveyors, whose timber knowledge was lacking.

Read More

Architectus’ award-winning Macquarie University Incubator project features Iron Ash

By Australian Sustainable Hardwoods
Architecture and Design
November 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Macquarie University Incubator project designed by Architectus and constructed by Lipman features timber by Australian Sustainable Hardwoods Australia. Iron Ash by Australian Sustainable Hardwoods was specified for the award-winning prefabricated timber structure built to embody the vibrant ethos of Macquarie University. …A key objective of the prefabricated structure was to enable future dismantling, relocation and reassembly. Though it wasn’t an easy project, the building was erected in just 37 days and the entire project completed within six months. The structure was built using prefabricated timber floor cassettes, supported on screw piles. Iron Ash treated Masslam V-columns support 22 roof glulam and CLT (cross-laminated timber) cassettes, exposing the timber both internally and externally. The building also contains 44 prefabricated facade panels incorporating 118 timber windows.

Read More

Forestry

Victoria’s forestry fight: how the election is raising the environmental stakes

By Calla Wahlquist
The Guardian
November 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Major parties want ‘sustainable logging’ in native forests, but experts warn of ‘endgame’ for endangered species and drinking water. To understand the campaign to save Victoria’s old growth forests, ecologist David Lindenmayer says, you just need to turn on a tap in Melbourne. Forget about the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum… Forget, too, about the carbon value of the mountain ash forests of the Victorian central highlands, which are among the most carbon-dense forests in the world. “…if you’re interested in drinking water, then you actually need to have intact forests, intact catchments to produce that water,” Lindenmayer says. These forests are at the heart of one of the key environmental issues that voters in Victoria will have to decide when they head to the polls on Saturday.

Read More

‘Vandalism’: environment groups slam move to increase native forestry

By Peter Hannam
Sydney Morning Herald
November 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Environmental groups have slammed the decision by the Berejiklian government to open up more areas of the state’s coastal forests to logging, a move they say will ravage wildlife habitat including precious koala colonies. The government has announced new logging areas on public lands as part of its overhaul of Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals, saying it would provide job security for the state’s $2.4 billion forestry sector while delivering “improved protections for environmental sustainability, biodiversity and key threatened species”. …A remapping of high-conservation old-growth forests would also allow cutting trees to within five metres of headwater streams, instead of 10, while loggers would no longer have to identify and exclude high-use areas for koalas, they say.

Read More

‘A disaster’: Forest deals reignite tension between loggers and conservationists

By Nicole Hasham
Sydney Morning Herald
November 17, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Dejan Stojanovic was aghast. The biologist had pulled to the side of a remote dirt road in southern Tasmania, expecting to find the stately blue gum forest he’d frequented for years. He had come in search of the rare swift parrot, known to nest in the nooks of old local trees. But the bulldozers had got there first. Only disfigured brown earth remained. “I was enraged,” Stojanovic says, recalling the day in November last year. “This giant patch was taken out of the landscape. It was flattened. There were just stacks of logs and mounds of woody residue with heavy machinery parked in the middle of it. It was pretty shocking.” Scientists had been monitoring the site for a decade, gathering valuable data on the critically endangered swift parrot. Just 2000 remain in the wild.

Read More

Italy’s olive crisis intensifies as deadly tree disease spreads

By Alison Abbott
Nature
November 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A vicious bacterium that is devastating southern Italy’s valuable olive groves is still spreading years after it was identified, because of opposition to measures meant to contain the pathogen. After months of inaction, authorities in the Puglia region have now resumed efforts to track the spread of the bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, which causes a disease called olive quick decline syndrome (OQDS) that cannot be cured or eradicated. But scientists say that the delays in implementing disease-containment measures have added to the growing risk that the infection will spread out of the Puglian peninsula, the region contained within the heel of Italy’s ‘boot’, and towards olive groves in Italy’s main landmass.

Read More

Logging must stop in Melbourne’s biggest water supply catchment

By David lindenmayer and Chris Taylor
The Conversation Canada
November 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Continued logging in Melbourne’s water catchments could reduce the city’s water supply by the equivalent of 600,000 people’s annual water use every year by 2050, according to our analysis. We calculated water lost due to logging in the Thomson Catchment, which is the city’s largest and most important water supply catchment. Around 60% of Melbourne’s water is stored here. Since the 1940s, 45% of the catchment’s ash forests (including mountain and alpine ash forest) have been logged. There are plans to log up to a further 17% of these forests under the VicForest’s existing logging plan. …The Thomson Catchment is the only one of Melbourne’s large water supply catchments open to logging. Given the critical importance of the Thomson Catchment, our work clearly indicates the Victorian government needs to cease logging and prioritise the supply of water to the people of Melbourne.
 

Read More

Australian version of world’s strongest forestry standard launched

Architecture and Design Australia
November 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Australia’s Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has launched an Australian certification standard for responsible forestry, achieving a ground-breaking first in the protection and management of the nation’s forest wealth. FSC Australia CEO, Sara Gipton described the Forest Stewardship Council label as the global gold standard, recognised by consumers worldwide as guaranteeing that timber and paper products are produced sustainably, in a way that protects forests and supports workers and communities. Gipton says, “The new FSC National Forest Stewardship Standard gives consumers confidence the Australian wood products they buy are from forests managed to the world’s highest standard.” …Welcoming the new Australian Standard, New Forests CEO, David Brand said they will support the Australian forest sector in demonstrating responsible forest management.

Read More

Tree seedlings worth $160,000 ‘mulched’ after forestry land found to be choked with scrub

By David Fisher
The New Zealand Herald
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The amount of taxpayer money “mulched” in an abortive pine planting project can now be revealed – a staggering $160,000 worth of seedlings were destroyed. The figure reveals the cost of pine seedlings ordered for the One Billion Trees scheme this year but not used. The NZ Herald revealed the Government’s joint venture plan with the Ngati Hine Forestry Trust hit a glitch after ordering pine seedlings to plant 1100 hectares this year. When the land was found to be choked with scrub, the number of hectares plunged and just 191,000 pine seedlings were planted out of the 1.2 million ordered. Forestry minister Shane Jones’ office confirmed the cost to taxpayers. “Of the seedlings left, half were distributed to other joint ventures and half were mulched,” a spokeswoman said. “The estimated cost of the unused seedlings is about $160,000.” For that money, the government could have funded 40 cataract operations or eight full hip replacement surgeries.

Read More

Bush turns its back on support for logging native forests

By Peter Hannam
Sydney Morning Herald
November 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Harvesting of native forests is opposed by Australians, including in rural and regional communities, with support on a par with extractive industries such as coal seam gas, according to a report commissioned by a timber industry group. The study, compiled by three University of Canberra academics for Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA), surveyed perceptions of the forest, wood and paper sector, according to a draft copy leaked to the Herald.  “[T]he findings suggest that native forest logging is equated by many Australians with depletion or ‘mining’ of resources, as it is clustered with coal-seam gas extraction and open-cut mining in terms of acceptability,” authors led by Dr Jacki Shirmer said, summarising that there is a “very low” social licence for such logging. The research was based on data collected in 2016 for a Regional Wellbeing Survey, including more than 11,500 rural and regional respondents.

Read More

EU states call for tough action on deforestation to meet 2020 UN goal

By Arthur Neslen
The Guardian
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The UK, France and Germany have called on the European commission to launch tough new action to halt deforestation by the end of the year. A long-delayed EU action plan should be brought forward “as soon as possible”, says a letter to the commission sent by the Amsterdam Declarationgroup of countries, which also includes Italy, the Netherlands and Norway. …Actions should be taken to align “economic opportunities” with “responsible management of global supply chains”, says the letter signed by Denmark’s environment minister, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen. Up to 80% of global forest loss is driven by agribusiness, even though research shows that better forest stewardship and natural climate solutions could provide more than a third of the climate mitigation needed by 2030.

Read More

It’s not trails that disturb forest birds, but the people on them

By Frontiers
EurekAlert
November 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The first study to disentangle the effect of forest trails from the presence of humans shows the number of birds, as well as bird species, is lower when trails are used on a more regular basis. This is also the case when trails have been used for many years, suggesting that forest birds do not get used to this recreational activity. Published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, the finding suggests the physical presence of trails has less of an impact on forest birds than how frequently these recreational paths are used by people. To minimize the impact on these forest creatures, people should avoid roaming from designated pathways. “We show that forest birds are quite distinctly affected by people and that this avoidance behavior did not disappear even after years of use by humans. This suggests not all birds habituate to humans and that a long-lasting effect remains,” says Dr Yves Bötsch.

Read More

The thermal rescue drone that finds woodland wanderers

By Video journalist: Chris Fox. Reporter: Matthew Wall
BBC News
November 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A rescue drone that can find people who are lost in the forest is being developed in Latvia. Researchers have equipped a drone with a thermal camera that can pick out the body heat of people among the trees. Artificial intelligence is used to spot humans and alert the drone operator. Superfast 5G mobile connectivity will help the drones communicate more effectively with operators on the ground. Watch the video for more on this story.

Read More

The World’s Wilderness Is Nearly Gone

By Michelle Chen
The Nation
November 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Nearly every day’s news cycle seems to bring another harbinger of environmental doom… Now scientists have zoomed out to examine the world’s endangered landscapes on a macro scale, revealing that human society is not only exterminating flora and fauna—it’s literally ripping up the ground beneath them. Just a small fraction of the world’s wilderness lands can be considered relatively free of human interference. And without dramatic policy measures, the remaining wild places will soon be paved, farmed, mined, and polluted into oblivion. Using geospatial mapping data, a research team based at the University of Queensland has depicted the massive hemorrhaging of wilderness over time. Their new study, published ahead of a United Nations biodiversity summit, shows that the remaining vestiges of marine and land habitats relatively untouched by human intervention are facing extinction.

Read More

Violinist Pekka Kuusisto performs in a forest that’s been destroyed for Greenpeace’s latest campaign

By Elizabeth Davis
Classic FM
November 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Great Northern Forest stretches from Alaska and Canada to Scandinavia and Siberia. But large swathes of the forest have been destroyed by deforestation and forest fires. To highlight the issue Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto appears in Greenpeace’s new video and performs Thomas Tallis’ haunting piece ‘Third Tune for Archbishop Parker’s Psalter’ in an area of the Great Northern Forest that has been destroyed. The video, which has the title ‘The Elegy of the Forest’, was filmed in Orivesi in Finland, in an area of forest that was recently cleared. …Greenpeace Nordic’s forest campaigner Ethan Gilbert said: “The boreal forests around the world play a vital role in the global fight against the dangers of climate change. We need to act now if we are to save these forests from deforestation and our planet from becoming even more unstable and unsafe in the future.”

Read More

First monarch butterflies arrive at Mexico wintering area

The Associated Press in the Vancouver Sun
November 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MEXICO CITY — The first monarch butterflies have arrived at their wintering grounds in the mountains of central Mexico almost a week later than usual, Mexico’s Environment Department said Wednesday. Millions of monarchs make the 3,400-mile migration from the United States and Canada each year. …It said the butterflies were delayed because they waited out rainy weather around the U.S.-Mexico border. The monarchs spend the winter clumped together in fir and pine trees. …There have been several rebound years, but each has generally been less than the preceding upswing. Increased use of herbicides in the United States have hurt the prevalence of milkweed, which monarch caterpillars feed on, risking their survival. Loss of tree cover in Mexico due to drought, storms and logging has also affected the butterflies’ population.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe.

By Abrahm Lustgarten
The New York Times
November 20, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A decade ago, the U.S. mandated the use of vegetable oil in biofuels, leading to industrial-scale deforestation — and a huge spike in carbon emissions. …The tropical rain forests of Indonesia, and in particular the peatland regions of Borneo, have large amounts of carbon trapped within their trees and soil. Slashing and burning the existing forests to make way for oil-palm cultivation had a perverse effect: It released more carbon. A lot more carbon. NASA researchers say the accelerated destruction of Borneo’s forests contributed to the largest single-year global increase in carbon emissions in two millenniums, an explosion that transformed Indonesia into the world’s fourth-largest source of such emissions. Instead of creating a clever technocratic fix to reduce American’s carbon footprint, lawmakers had lit the fuse on a powerful carbon bomb that, as the forests were cleared and burned, produced more carbon than the entire continent of Europe.

 

Read More

Why burning trees to make electricity may not be a good choice for the environment

By Wiriya Sati
ABC News, Australia
November 19, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

While the Federal Government is under pressure to reduce carbon emissions to tackle climate change, NSW industry groups have been invited to further consider burning forest timber for electricity, also known as biomass. Biomass has been declared a carbon-neutral renewable energy by the Environmental Protection Authority, but scientists and conservationists disagree on its worth. There is a groundswell of opposition internationally to biomass, with opponents arguing it is a falsehood based on flawed accounting. …National Parks Australia senior ecologist Oisin Sweeney is concerned that biomass could become the driver of the logging industry. “Biomass becomes the tail that wags the dog,” he said. …”The best way for forests to help us deal with climate change is to leave them to get older. The older they get the more carbon they store.”

Read More

Tree planting in UK ‘must double to tackle climate change’

By Damian Carrington
The Guardian
November 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Tree planting must double by 2020 as part of radical changes to land use in the UK, according to the government’s advisers on climate change. New forests would lock up carbon but also help to limit the more frequent floods expected with global warming. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said land currently used to produce food would need to be converted to woodland, growing crops to produce energy and for new homes to accommodate the growing population. Up to 17% of cropland and 30% of grassland could be converted, the report says. Protecting and restoring peatland, a huge store of carbon, is also vital, as is ensuring no food waste went to landfill by 2025, but is instead used to generate energy, it adds.

Read More

Scientists Highlight Forests’ Critical Role in Climate Mitigation

By Catherine Benson Wahlen
The International Institute for Sustainable Development
November 13, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Climate and Land Use Alliance released a statement from 40 scientists that argues that the preservation, restoration and sustainable management of forests is critical for limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. In response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC (SR15), the scientists highlight five reasons. …First, the scientists emphasize that the world’s forests “contain more carbon than exploitable oil, gas and coal deposits” and that “avoiding forest carbon emissions is just as urgent as halting fossil fuel use.” Second, the scientists highlight the role of forests in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. …Third, the scientists explain that achieving the world’s 1.5°C goal will require “massive” forest restoration to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Read More

Can this carbon capture technology save us from climate change?

By Mark Tutton
CNN London
November 9, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

LONDON — It’s a stark prognosis: To save the world from the worst effects of climate change… we need to start scrubbing carbon pollution from the atmosphere, too. …The problem is, the jury is still out on whether that’s even possible. …But one method that’s got a lot of attention from IPCC scientists is known as Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, or BECCS. Essentially, it means growing bioenergy crops and then burning them at power stations to create energy, while capturing the CO2 that’s emitted. …Of course, it’s not quite that simple. Growing, collecting, transporting and processing the crops will have a carbon footprint, but advocates believe that if the process is well managed, BECCS can be an important tool in removing atmospheric CO2. Along with tree planting, BECCS is the CO2 removal method most used by the IPCC in its scenarios for limiting global warming.

Read More

Long-lived wood products are significant carbon capturers

By Pranjal Mehar
The Tech Explorist
November 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A new study by the University of Eastern Finland has suggested that the way we use wood mitigate climate change. …Up until this point, numerous examinations have concentrated on carbon put away in Forest, yet fewer investigations have concentrated on the job of wood items. …The examination followed the streams of wood in Lithuania and the Czech Republic beginning from the forest through the wood handling industry until the point when the end products, with an accentuation on carbon conventional and atmosphere moderation impacts. The outcomes demonstrate that traditional carbon bookkeeping strategies for reap wood items may prompt a huge underestimation of the carbon put away in wood items. The examination discovered that in a few nations, the yearly carbon spending plan in wood items is 40% higher when ascertained with a more definite technique.

Read More

Amazon forests failing to keep up with climate change

By the University of Leeds
Phys.org
November 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A team of more than 100 scientists has assessed the impact of global warming on thousands of tree species across the Amazon to discover the winners and losers from 30 years of climate change. Their analysis found the effects of climate change are altering the rainforest’s composition of tree species but not quickly enough to keep up with the changing environment. The team… used long-term records from more than a hundred plots as part of the Amazon Forest Inventory Network to track the lives of individual trees across the Amazon region. Their results found that since the 1980s, the effects of global environmental change—stronger droughts, increased temperatures and higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—has slowly impacted specific tree species’ growth and mortality. 

Read More

‘Negativity around forestry needs to stop if we want to reach climate targets’- Department

By Claire Fox
Farm Ireland
November 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Negative commentary on forestry needs to come to an end if we want to reach climate targets, Secretary General at the Department of Agriculture Brendan Gleeson has said. Mr Gleeson told members of the Oireachtais Committee on Climate Action today that planting of forests will play a significant part in reducing emissions and reaching 2030 climate targets. He said that the negative debate around forestry has to come to an end in order to promote the planting of trees and encourage carbon sequestration. “Forestry is a critical part of this discussion. We need to be planting trees now to provide mitigation for the 2030 onward period. I’m concerned around about the negative narrative around forestry that it might make it more difficult to reach targets, it’s important to encourage planting of trees,” he said.

Read More

Health & Safety

The silent killer in our homes: Wood-burning stoves emit six times as much pollution as a diesel truck… and they’re ruining your health even if you don’t own one

Dr Gary Fuller, Leading Pollution Scientist
Daily Mail
November 17, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Wood-burning stove may be doing the British atmosphere more harm than good. The smoke they produce is almost invisible, particularly when compared with smogs. Scientists measuring air have proven that wood-burning is not a thing of the past. …wood fires are choking the British atmosphere, adding to the smoke particles from traffic, industry and farming that cause thousands of preventable deaths. Although barely discussed, the evidence is shocking: just one of the latest ‘eco-friendly’ wood-burning stoves – those meeting all European tests – can produce about six times more particle pollution than a modern diesel lorry, or 18 times more than a modern diesel car. Worse, still, they release their fumes into residential areas and at times when people are likely to be at home. …As we suspected, a great deal of wood was being burned and it was making up ten per cent of the particle pollution that Londoners were breathing during winter.

Read More

Person dead at sawmill, near Masterton, circumstances unclear

Stuff.co.nz
November 9, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

A person is dead after an incident at a Wairarapa sawmill on Friday morning.  Kiwi Lumber confirmed the incident happened at its mill near Masterton on Norman Ave, Waingawa in the Carterton district.  Spokeswoman Liz Read said “the staff and the site manager are extremely traumatised”.  The person died at 8.35am Friday, police said. … The circumstances which led to the worker’s death have not yet been publicly released.  … According to Kiwi Lumber’s website, the sawmill is “a structural mill focussed on producing framing timber primarily for domestic construction”.  …WorkSafe said it was notified of the fatality and was investigating.

 

Read More