Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: International

Business & Politics

East Coast forestry companies plead not guilty to slash damage

By Anusha Bradley
Radio New Zealand
March 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

While forestry companies plead not guilty to charges of causing flood-borne debris damage, East Coast residents are still cleaning up the mess eight months after an estimated 1 million tonnes of logs and debris were strewn on properties and roads. Heavy rain washed piles of logs and debris on to Tolaga Bay roads and farmland during two storms in June 2018. Farmers put the cost of the damage in the millions of dollars. It is the first time the companies have appeared in court since being charged by the Gisborne District Council with breaching their resource consent conditions. An estimated one million tonnes of logs and debris was left strewn on properties and roads during two bouts of heavy rainfall in June last year. Tolaga Bay was the worst hit and three companies that operate there – Hikurangi Forest Farms, Ernslaw One and PF Olsen – were among the ten charged.

Read More

The Global Forest Industry in the 4Q/2018

By Haken Ekstrom
Wood Resources International LLC
March 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Global Timber Markets: In early 2018, the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) reached $80.73/m3, its highest level since 2014. Sawlog prices generally increased in local currencies during 2018, but with a stronger US dollar, the dollar-denominated GSPI index fell by about five percent during the year. • Mixed price movements in Europe resulted in fairly small changes in the European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI-€). In the 4Q/18, the index was up 1.8% q-o-q, but was practically unchanged from the 4Q/17.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

New Arup report advocates use of timber to help tackle climate change

By Andy Walker
Infrastructure Intelligence
March 19, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Arup has launched its Rethinking Timber Buildings report aimed at accelerating the construction industry’s response to reducing global emissions and achieving net zero carbon buildings by using sustainable materials.  The report, which highlights the time and efficiency savings that can result from the use of mass timber as a sustainable and safe alternative to more commonly used materials, says that architects, developers, planners and corporate organisations should consider mass timber when designing low and mid-rise buildings.   The move could form a vital step towards tackling some of the challenges that the construction industry faces when designing and building cities amid rapid levels of urbanisation and human population growth. …Andrew Lawrence, timber specialist at Arup, said: “Timber is our only 100% renewable building material. …We know that more can be done to embed sustainable practices into design and construction and our approach can help both our clients and Arup to deliver on this.”

Read More

Is CLT a game changer for construction and forestry?

By Fredrik Reuter
Forestry.com
March 17, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

GRUMS, SWEDEN — Generally speaking, we’ve seen in a trend where the forest industry has made big bucks on paper for the crapper while timber has been step-motherly cut in bulk, with numbers in the red. We have brought this up on numerous occasions – our area (Nordic) is too small to compete in bulk on the world market, and to lower the age for final felling and fertilize could be a motto from the pulp industry that could harm the industry long-term. …Today we were invited by Stora Enso to a press showcase of the new CLT factory in Grums, Sweden, located next to the Gruvön sawmill. …But oh how wrong I was! …The investment in CLT means that Stora Enso as a company will be competing with the concrete industry, primarily in prefabricated houses.

Read More

Bubble trouble: AmorePacific turns to paper packaging to strengthen sustainability standards

By Amanda Lim
Cosmetics Design Asia
March 18, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

South Korean beauty conglomerate AmorePacific has pledged to use paper packaging over bubble wrap, in response to consumer concerns over plastic waste and its environmental damage. The new eco-friendly packaging materials, geami and papillon, are shock-friendly despite being made of paper. It took months of research and testing before the company found the right eco-friendly materials for the job According to AmorePacific, the paper packaging costs two to three times more than traditional bubble wrap and adds more time to the packaging process. The firm said such disadvantages did not matter as long as it benefitted the environment. 

Read More

Tall Buildings Council Dubs New Tallest Timber Building

By Nadine Post
Engineering News-Record
March 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has dubbed the 85.4-meter Mjøstårnet, in Brumunddal, Norway, as the world’s tallest timber building. At the same time, the group amended the official guidelines to measure and rank building height – to recognize timber as a structural material. The update was prompted by the recent uptick of tall timber buildings currently under construction or in planning around the world. …According to the revised criteria, “both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning system must be constructed from timber.” An “all-timber” structure may include the use of localized non-timber connections between timber elements. A hybrid building of timber construction with a floor system of concrete planks, or concrete slab on top of timber beams, is still considered a timber structure.

Read More

Lendlease puts CLT plans on hold amid regulation uncertainty

By Jordan Marshall
Building UK
March 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

UK – Lendlease’s design and technical boss has said the firm is avoiding the use of cross-laminated timber due to uncertainty in the building regulations. Lucy Homer, Lendlease’s general manager for design and technical, said the firm – which built 2016 Stirling prize-shortlisted Trafalgar Place at Elephant and Castle from CLT, told Building: “We are not currently pursuing CLT projects. Technically it should still be feasible to use but from a risk perspective we have taken that decision.” Homer said the company is waiting for the Building Regulations to be clarified regarding the use of CLT in the wake of last year’s combustible materials ban. …The use of CLT in the construction of external walls of buildings over 18m was in effect outlawed when the government revealed details of its combustible materials ban last November.

Read More

Ennead Designs New Nature Reserve and Public Aquarium in China

By Eric Baldwin
Arch Daily
March 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

CHINA — Ennead Architects has won the international design competition to design the new Shanghai Yangtze River Estuary Nature Preserve in China. Located on an island at the mouth of the Yangtze River, the design was made to raise public awareness around the impact of pollution and construction. The nature reserve aims to rescue critically endangered species and restore biodiversity while allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a natural setting outside the dense urban core of Shanghai. …The project features undulating and fluid forms that take cues from the rippling surface of the river and the iconic landscape of the Upper Yangtze. Curving wooden structural ribs radiate around a central spine that joins the three wings of the building into a singular unified expression.

Read More

Peter Pichler designs Tree House hotel rooms for forest in the Italian Dolomites

By Lizzie Crook
Dezeen
March 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Sharply pointed roofs and blackened wood cladding characterise these treehouses that Peter Pichler Architecture has designed for a mountain forest in the Dolomites of northern Italy. The Milan-based studio, led by architects Peter Pichler and Silvana Ordinas, designed the Tree House structures to serve as hotel rooms, offering tourists the opportunity to connect with nature. “The project is conceived as a ‘slow down’ form of tourism, where nature and the integration of architecture within it plays the primary role,” said the studio. …The structures will be built almost entirely from locally sourced larch and fir wood, while the cladding will be stained black to blend with the surroundings.

Read More

Glulam to be Made from Icelandic Lumber

By Gunnar Jonsson
Iceland Review
March 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Over the last few weeks the Icelandic Forest Service, Límtré/Vírnet and Innovation Center Iceland have been conducting research into the possibility of using Icelandic lumber to produce glue laminated structural beams, sometimes called glulam, RÚV reports. Imported wood has hitherto been used for the application. Glulam is a type of engineered wood, made from lumber that is bonded together with structural adhesives. It is commonly used as structural beams in all types of man-made structures, such as sports halls, glasshouses, gazebos and even bridges. “We’re very excited about this. It’s great that we’re embarking on this journey,” says forester Trausti Jóhannsson. “Finally we’re creating real lumber from our trees, people are saying. Not just cutting them down, putting them in the wood chipper and then burning them. We’re now thinking towards the future.”

Read More

Sweden’s tallest timber building is open for business

By David Malone
Building Design + Construction
March 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Made of solid timber and situated about an hour from Stockholm in the Kajstaden district of Västerås, a recently completed multifamily development has become the tallest timber building Sweden. The walls, beams, balconies, elevators, and stairwells are all made from cross-laminated timber. Rising 8.5 stories and spanning 7,500 sm, the Kajstaden project features four apartments on each level. Each floor took three craftsmen an average of three days to build. The project uses mechanical joints and screws, which means, if necessary, the building can be taken apart at a later date and the materials reused. It is estimated that a building made of solid wood instead of concrete will have a total carbon dioxide savings of 550 tons of CO2 over the building’s life

Read More

C.F. Møller Architects Completes Sweden’s Tallest Timber Building

By Niall Patrick Walsh
Arch Daily
March 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

C.F. Møller Architects have completed Sweden’s tallest timber building, which is now accepting its first tenants. Situated in Västerås, one hour from Stockholm, the building is constructed from solid timber in order to radically reduce CO2 emissions, positively affect the indoor climate, and enhance the interior quality of life. The 8.5-story-high tower features an elevated ground floor and double-height top floor, with all walls, beams, balconies, lifts, and stairwells made from cross-laminated timber. The use of CNC-milled solid timber and glulam allows for an airtight, energy-efficient structure without the need for additional cladding. Each floor of the scheme has four flats, with each floor taking three craftsmen an average of three days to construct. The use of mechanical joints and screws allows for the future dismantling of the building, so as to allow for materials to be reused.

Read More

Forestry

Online game to boost forest advocacy

By Catherine Teves
Republic of the Philippines News Agency
March 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MANILA — An online game offering a PHP100,000 prize aims to help promote knowledge and activities that will benefit forests nationwide. Local app-based trivia game show, “Paydro Live”, will feature this Thursday (March 21) questions on the country’s forests so people can learn more about these ecosystems, noted forest management specialist Hubert Riña from the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) which is sponsoring the contest. “We’re encouraging those who’ll join the game show to prepare by learning as much as they can about our forests,” he said. He also urged the game’s prospective players to learn about the annual International Day of Forests (IDF) which countries worldwide observe on March 21. Anyone, anywhere can join the game, Riña said. FMB continues its advocacy to help prevent further loss of the forest ecosystem. Among the forests’ benefits are providing food, water and raw materials, FMB said.

Read More

International Day of Forests 2019

UN Food and Agriculture Organization
March 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The theme for 2019 is Forests and Education. How will you mark the day?

Read More

Who Will Save the Rain Forest?

By Carol Giacomo
The New York Times
March 19, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The indigenous peoples of the Amazon rain forest are the shock troops in the struggle against climate change. “We are the first ones to be affected,” says Sônia Guajajara, one of Brazil’s best known indigenous leaders. “We’re seeing floods that last longer, we’re seeing droughts that are longe… It also affects our culture.” …Although long imperiled, the forest is at greater threat now under the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro. …Mr. Bolsonaro moved quickly to undermine protections for the environment, indigenous land rights, nongovernmental organizations. …Lands that are formally recognized as “collective lands” are owned by the government but guaranteed under the Constitution for the exclusive use of indigenous groups. Mr. Bolsonaro says he wants those lands made “more productive.” …The Bolsonaro election also calls into question the fate of a proposal… to create a rain forest sanctuary the size of Mexico.

Read More

‘This is load-of-crap forestry, miles upon miles of it. Everything is dead in there’

By Susan McKay
The Irish Times
March 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

When the musician and dancer Edwina Guckian was a child in the 1980s and heard there was to be a forest planted behind her family’s farmhouse in Co Leitrim, she thought it was going to be like a fairy story and Disney combined. …“By the time I was 13 I’d copped on,” she says. “This is load-of-crap forestry, miles upon miles of it. It was never even thinned out. Sometimes our cattle go in and get lost. You can spend weeks searching for them. …In 1900, Ireland had the lowest forest cover in Europe at just 1 per cent. That has risen to 11 per cent now and the Government has set a target of 18 per cent by 2050. However, just 2 per cent of our trees are native species, and half of the country’s forests are made up of Sitka spruce which originates in the US.

Read More

Can smarter forest buffer strips along streams help to mitigate climate change?

By Marcus Klaus, Umea University
Phys.org
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SWEDEN — Forests are important components of the global climate system, taking up large amounts of carbon. Yet, part of this carbon is lost to inland waters and emitted back to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases. Recent research indicates the importance of forest management along streams for such emissions. Supported by new research funding, Marcus Klaus is now seeking to understand how forestry related greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by new ways to design forest buffer strips along streams. …The two studies… lead to exciting new questions: If not inland waters, is it the riparian buffer zones that emit the greenhouse gases accumulated in groundwater after forest clear-cutting? Can these emissions be reduced by smarter riparian buffer zone designs?

Read More

Origin and species: fighting illegal logging with science

By Robin Millard
Phys.org
March 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A timeworn laboratory in Britain’s Royal Botanic Gardens may not seem like the obvious epicentre of efforts to halt international illegal logging. …But scientists at the Wood Anatomy Laboratory, part of the research centre at the gardens in Kew, southwest London, are working on a new global project to help precisely identify the origin and species of timber. Illegal logging is estimated to account for 15 to 30 percent of all timber traded worldwide, according to Interpol, with an estimated annual value of $51 billion to $152 billion (45 billion to 134 billion euros) in 2017. Much of the import and export business relies on paper trails for verification. However experts hope that their new project can, in future, provide enforcement agencies with some hard science that can quickly identify through checks whether a wood species is as claimed, and exactly where it was grown.

Read More

Tropical Forests Naturally Regrow Quickly, But Without Species Variety

By Robin Chazdon
University of Connecticut
March 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tropical forests are threatened by high levels of deforestation, mostly driven by agricultural expansion. But, once agricultural fields are abandoned, they tend to naturally regrow, leading researchers to ask whether that process reverses species loss and brings native species back. An international team of ecologists inventoried trees in 1,800 tropical forest plots located in 56 sites across 10 countries in Latin America, and found that forests recover growth in a few decades, but that it may take centuries before the abundance of the species present returns to the what is found in old-growth forests. …Tree species found in regrowing forests are usually different from those in neighboring old-growth forest. After 20 years of regrowth, only 34 percent of the original species composition recovered.

Read More

Iranians Mark National Tree Planting Week

Tasnim News Agency
March 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The tree planting event is marked every year just ahead of the advent of the Persian New Year, which starts on March 21. The nationwide tree plantation campaign is aimed at protecting the environment and fighting air pollution especially in major cities. …Trees are considered sacred in the Iranian culture, which is why Iranians celebrate the National Arbor Day and spend an entire week in tree planting events just a week before the Persian New Year and the beginning of the spring.

Read More

Origin and species: fighting illegal logging with science

By Robin Millard
The Associated Free Press in the Yahoo News
March 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

London – A timeworn laboratory in Britain’s Royal Botanic Gardens may not seem like the obvious epicentre of efforts to halt international illegal logging. Beakers bubble away on a hotplate, while suspect guitars that have been sent by customs officials for testing sit on top of shelves lined with tattered old journals and reference books in a multitude of languages. But scientists at the Wood Anatomy Laboratory, part of the research centre at the gardens in Kew, southwest London, are working on a new global project to help precisely identify the origin and species of timber. …Much of the import and export business relies on paper trails for verification. However experts hope that their new project can, in future, provide enforcement agencies with some hard science that can quickly identify through checks whether a wood species is as claimed, and exactly where it was grown.

Read More

CNI Forestry establishes all-female logging team in Rotorua

By Zizi Sparks
The New Zealand Herald
March 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A group of women have found employment together in an unlikely industry as new figures show job advertisements in the Bay of Plenty are soaring. CNI Logging has been working with 18 women as part of a process to choose an 11-strong, all-female team to work in silviculture. Health and safety recruitment officer Joe Taute said he believed the team would be the first all-female team in the forestry industry. “There’s a shortage of female employees in forestry everywhere so we’re trying to be a bit different and try something new.” Taute said crew members would start out “getting bush fit”. “We’re trying to get them used to the idea of waking up at 5.30am and getting home at 5pm. We’ve set up an introduction to forestry to get them bush fit to start with then move into planting and pruning.”

Read More

Forestry student numbers grow

Sun Live
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology’s woodsman course has attracted a record number of students following a shortage of qualified forestry workers. Forestry operations programme manager Richard Stringfellow is pleased with the number of students participating in the course at an institute such as Toi Ohomai which prepares students for forestry work. “The course is only offered at our Mokoia Campus and we had 10 students sign up to do it before Christmas. On the first day, all 10 students turned up and even though 70 per cent of them had been living outside of Rotorua, they chose to move here to study. “The course is highly rated by the industry and students because there is a focus on machine operating and quality control, which are skills that are highly valued.”

Read More

Why Victoria’s bushfires generated their own lightning

By Liam Mannix
The Sydney Mornng Herald
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — There are few sights more terrifying for a firefighter: a vast, dark storm cloud brewing above a bushfire, shooting out lightning. On Sunday, the Licola bushfire east of Melbourne… generated a huge thundercloud that blasted more than 1200 lightning strikes at nearby forests, igniting several small fires. …As a bushfire burns, it generates hot, smoke-filled air. … The smoke plume is filled with moisture which is released by burning trees. The higher you go in the atmosphere, the cooler it gets, so the top parts of the plume get chilled. …As the plume rises rapidly into the sky, cool air is sucked in to replace it. This causes extreme winds near the firefront. …As the cloud races up into the sky, it enters the freezing upper reaches of the atmosphere. …You end up with a cloud full of ash, ice, and powerful winds. The winds bash the ice chunks together in the cloud, building up static electricity. That electricity wants to get to ground. And it does.

Read More

Europe’s forests threatened by biodiversity collapse, warn campaigners

By Arthur Neslen
The Guardian
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A logging operation at Poland’s spectacular 55-mile-long Vistula lagoon is casting a “dark omen” of deforestation and biodiversity collapse across Europe’s forests, campaigners say. Tree felling around the Natura 2000 site is aimed at clearing a path to the Baltic Sea for use by Poland’s navy, to the alarm of Russia. But they are just one front in what some academics describe as a war on nature. Campaigners blame the EU’s own use of biomass to meet most of its renewable energy goals for encouraging logging in Europe’s virgin forests. The EU expects to lose about 125m tonnes of carbon sequestration potential from forests between 2010 and 2030, with countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Austria transforming from carbon sinks to carbon sources.

Read More

Twenty Northland men start forestry training under Billion Trees scheme

New Zealand Herald
March 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Pita Tipene

The Government’s One Billion Trees scheme is starting to pay dividends in Northland, with 20 young men from Kaikohe and Moerewa starting on the new Ngā Māhuri o Ngāti Hine Mānuka Plantation Training Programme where they will earn while they learn. They will start their journey as forestry industry trainees on Monday, in the first part of a two-year programme funded by the Billion Tree fund through Te Uru Rākau and supported by the Ministry for Primary Industries Economic Development Unit. Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust is partnering with Johnson Contractors to deliver a “learn while you earn” approach to L2 Forestry Training. …”The programme will see our 2019 trainees plant about 200ha of mānuka seedlings on Ngāti Hine lands. In 2020, a course will run with another 20 trainees to plant additional Ngāti Hine lands up to a total of 400-plus ha.”

Read More

Mike Kelly flags a new future for local forestry – jobs and environment

By Ian Campbell
About Regional
February 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

In the wake of potential job losses at Eden’s Blue Ridge Hardwoods and ongoing concern with native forestry, the Member for Eden-Monaro is suggesting a shake-up of the timber industry. “Our native forests could very well potentially hold more value as carbon sinks and in ecotourism, perhaps alongside some selective sustainable logging activity,” Mike Kelly says. Speaking with Region Media, Dr Kelly made the comments in connection with questions about the current harvesting operation underway near the historic Corn Trail in the Monga National Park near Buckenbowra State Forest. “Labor is keen to pursue the establishment of a Timber Hub for the region which would include funding to establish a timber co-op that engages local farmers to assign portions of their property to plantation development, this would help them diversify their income,” Dr Kelly says.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Feedstock Sourcing for Project Success: US South Advantages

By Stan Parton
Biomass Magazine
March 7, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

Just how large is the global wood bioenergy market as we close in on 2020? …In 10 years, U.S. wood pellet exports have increased from less than 200,000 tons in 2008 to over 5 million tons in 2017. U.S. pellet exports have played a significant role in facilitating large-scale coal-to-biomass conversions and cofiring projects in the U.K., but growth in the European industrial pellet market… will likely plateau within the next five years. The near-term opportunity for further development in industrial wood pellet exports lies within Asia. …With over 100 wood fiber pulping and pelletizing mills and 200-plus solid wood manufacturing facilities, southern forests are the most utilized, yet the most sustainable forests in the world. …As such, the U.S. South offers global bioenergy producers ample resources and minimal feedstock volatility.

Read More

Sustainable Biomass: What’s Ahead for New Markets

By Seth Ginther
Biomass Magazine
March 1, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

It’s a time of optimism in the wood biomass industry. Not only is there growing recognition that sustainable biomass is a viable climate solution, governments are increasingly incorporating it into policies that will help them achieve their low-carbon and renewable energy goals for the next decade and beyond. Chief among these policies is the European Union’s revised Renewable Energy Directive for 2012-’30 (or RED II), which has been a major focus for us at the U.S. Industrial Pellet Association. The RED II effort to harmonize bioenergy sustainability across EU Member States… positive influence it can have on the trade of wood pellets. The final RED II supports bioenergy as a pathway to lowering carbon emissions, and allows Member States to use sustainable imported biomass to achieve the low-carbon and renewable energy goals recommended in the Paris Agreement.

Read More

Dutch biomass consumption to reach 2.3 million tons by 2020

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
March 13, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Biomass consumption in the Netherlands is expected to grow from approximately 1.8 million metric tons in 2018 to about 2.3 million tons in 2020, according to a report filed by the Dutch government with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network. …The government also said an increasing volume of biomass is expected to be imported, either in the form of wood chips or pellets. The report notes that the Dutch industrial market for biomass can be divided into two main segments: power plants that cofire biomass with coal, and biomass plants that generate heat and/or power. …The main constraint with the purchase of U.S. pellets or chips for these facilities is their relatively high price when compared to locally sourced biomass.

Read More

Climate change puts additional pressure on vulnerable frogs

By Graham Readfearn
The Guardian
March 5, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Australia’s frog species, already threatened by habitat destruction and disease, are being put under extra pressure by shifting rainfall and rising temperatures from climate change. Some of Australia’s leading frog experts are worried that serious impacts could be unfolding out of sight, with one saying climate change could push certain species to extinction before they are documented by science. Many of Australia’s frogs are found nowhere else in the world, but the continent is also at the coalface of climate impacts with extreme heat, droughts and rising temperatures. Frogs are known to be at a high risk from climate change because they are ectotherms, animals with a body temperature regulated by their environment.

Read More

‘Whole thing is unravelling’: climate change reshaping Australia’s forests

By Graham Readfearn
The Guardian
March 6, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Australia’s forests are being reshaped by climate change as droughts, heatwaves, rising temperatures and bushfires drive ecosystems towards collapse, ecologists have told Guardian Australia. Trees are dying, canopies are getting thinner and the rate that plants produce seeds is falling. Ecologists have long predicted that climate change would have major consequences for Australia’s forests. Now they believe those impacts are unfolding. “The whole thing is unravelling,” says Prof David Bowman, who studies the impacts of climate change and fire on trees at the University of Tasmania. “Most people have no idea that it’s even happening. The system is trying to tell you that if you don’t pay attention then the whole thing will implode. We have to get a grip on climate change.”

Read More

EU sued to stop burning trees for energy; it’s not carbon neutral: plaintiffs

By Justin Catanoso
Mongabay
March 6, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Plaintiffs in five European nations and the United States filed an unprecedented suit Monday, 4 March, in the European General Court in Luxembourg against the European Union. They charge that the EU’s 2018 Renewable Energy Directive, known as RED II – which obligates member nations to generate at least 32 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2030 – will produce a surge in demand for wood pellets and wood chips because a current United Nations policy considers the burning of biomass for energy carbon neutral. As a result, emissions from burning wood are not counted against a country’s total carbon emissions. The Kyoto Protocol originally defined the carbon neutrality of so-called bioenergy more than 20 years ago, but many scientific studies since have shown this finding to be wrong. This new conclusion identified as the “bioenergy carbon accounting loophole” is at the heart of the lawsuit.

Read More

Bord na Móna cited in landmark EU case on use of forest biomass

By Kevin O’Sullivan
Irish Times
March 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Classifying forest biomass as a renewable fuel “fatally undermines the goals of the new European Renewable Energy Directive”, according to plaintiffs from six countries including Ireland in an action filed on Monday at the European General Court. Each claims to have suffered, in diverse and particular ways, from the consequences of the directive’s biomass energy policy. One of the plaintiffs, Tony Lowes of Ireland’s environmental NGO Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE), has cited the co-firing with biomass of Ireland’s peat-powered electricity generating plants in the midlands. The lawsuit seeks to remove forest biomass from the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive recently approved by the EU, The directive, known as RED II, raises the overall EU target for renewable energy sources consumption by 2030 from 20 per cent to 32 per cent.

Read More

Burning wood for power breaches EU treaty, new lawsuit claims

By Megan Darby
Climate Change News
March 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Campaigners are seeking to stop the EU counting wood as a renewable energy source, in a lawsuit filed at the Court of Justice on Monday. Plaintiffs from six European countries and the US argue that burning biomass for heat and power is a false solution to climate change. The EU Renewable Energy Directive promotes logging of ancient forests, according to the brief, contravening the bloc’s higher principles and individuals’ rights. …Nearly two thirds of EU renewables come from various forms of bioenergy, with more projects in planning. … A spokesperson for the European Commission climate change division would not comment on the legal merits of the case. The commission’s policy framework aimed to guarantee “sustainable development of bioenergy, while at the same time enhancing the role of land and forests as carbon sinks,” she said.

Read More

Toshiba to build biomass power plant in Fukuoka

By Sousuke Kudou
Japan Today
March 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

TOKYO — Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corp, based in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, will build a thermal power plant using imported biomass as fuel in Omuta City, Fukuoka Prefecture. Toshiba Energy Systems will build new facilities in an area adjacent to the Mikawa power plant, a biomass power plant owned by Sigma Power Ariake Co Ltd, which is affiliated with Toshiba Energy Systems. The new biomass power plant is expected to combust only biomass (imported palm shells) as fuel. …The plant is scheduled to start operation in the spring of 2022. [END]

Read More

Greenhouse gases, explained

By Christina Nunez
National Geographic
March 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

By trapping heat from the sun, greenhouse gases have kept Earth’s climate habitable for humans and millions of other species. But the same gases that were once beneficial now are out of balance and threaten to change drastically which living things can survive on this planet—and where. Atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are now higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years. …Major greenhouse gases and sources: Carbon dioxide (CO2)… Methane (CH4)… Nitrous Oxide (N2O)… Industrial gases… Other greenhouse gases include water vapor and ozone (O3). …The technologies for ramping down greenhouse gas emissions already exist, for the most part. They include swapping fossil fuels for renewable sources, boosting energy efficiency, and discouraging carbon emissions. (Read more about such solutions here.)

Read More

France ‘must close coal plants rather than convert to biomass’

By Jonny Bairstow
Energy Live News
March 1, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Environmental groups from around the world have joined forces to call for France’s coal plants to be shut down, rather than being converted to biomass. In an open letter, 46 green groups from 19 countries have urged French Environment Minister François de Rugy to deny permission to convert the Cordemais coal-fired power station or any other similar facility to biomass. EDF currently hopes to switch the facility to burning mostly wood pellets alongside a small proportion of coal – the campaigner groups warn that the proposals are not compatible with the French government’s commitment to meet the goals of the international Paris Agreement. …They suggest burning forest biomass is still a carbon-intensive and polluting form of energy generation and believe governments should instead push for more renewable infrastructure to be built instead.

Read More

Forestry and wood playing vital role in meeting climate change target

By Stuart Goodall, Confor
The Scotsman
March 1, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Stuart Goodall

SCOTLAND — Reducing emissions is no longer enough to mitigate damaging climate change. That is the simple message from Lord Deben, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change. …Speaking at Confor’s All-Party Forestry Group at Westminster, Lord Deben laid down the plain facts; we have already seized the low-hanging fruit on emissions reduction and it is now also about removing carbon from the atmosphere. Lord Deben was addressing… how governments can deliver increased tree planting and greater use of home-grown wood, particularly in construction. Successive reports have highlighted the growing significance of forestry and wood in meeting climate change targets, describing tree planting and timber use as a “simple, low-cost option” to make a real impact. The good news is that in Scotland, we are doing well. …In England and Wales, the picture is not so bright.

Read More

Health & Safety

Share the Road programme teaches Whanganui’s Carlton School students about logging trucks and road safety

New Zealand Herald
March 11, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Carlton School students now know what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat of a logging truck and what they can do to help with road safety. McCarthy Transport, FOMS and the Southern North Island Wood Council, led by McCarthy’s Wanganui Transport Hub manager Greg Wood, spent Friday, March 8 talking to Carlton School pupils about the Share The Road programme. Developed by the Log Transport Safety Council (LTSC), Share The Road is a programme to educate students in schools that are located on or near routes that logging trucks travel. Carlton School is on Carlton Ave, which is part of State Highway 3. “It was a great opportunity to present to the 280 students,” McCarthy Transport’s HSQE manager Cheryl van der Heyden said.

Read More