Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 21, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

How will you celebrate International Day of Forests?

Tree Frog Forestry News
March 21, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

With a focus on ‘Forest and Energy’, today’s International Day of Forests celebrates the benefits of forests and wood products to society. Phil Riebel of Two Sides references the Paris Accord and a 2016 FAO report that suggests “a virtuous cycle can be enacted” since forest growth “increases removals of carbon from the atmosphere while augmenting the supply of wood products that can replace more carbon-intense products.”


Focusing on the rare but important opportunity to “
align economic development with the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions” the UK Nature Conservancy comments on the trend towards engineered wood use, stating that we must “take advantage of this opportunity by pursuing a construction transformation based on restoring trees, the world’s most effective carbon-capture tool.” 

Doubling down on how “wood is really better for building”, Australia’s version of the Fifth Estate released a report today on how nature-connected design makes “offices less stressful, hospital stays shorter and children better learners,” while at the same time attracting “higher rents and building values.”

Finally, in a ‘man-bites-dog’ scenario, logging trucks and hundreds of “placard-holding” Australian forestry workers are protesting the expected closure of the Heyfield sawmill by marching to Parliament House in Melbourne.

–Tree Frog Editors

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Special Feature

International Day of Forests: Plug In to nature’s powerhouse

By The Sustainable Forestry Initiative
TreeHugger
March 21, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: United States

Did you know that the International Day of Forests is celebrated every year on March 21? Instituted by the United Nations General Assembly, the day recognizes the importance of forests and raises awareness of the role they play in environmental sustainability. To mark the day: Visit a forest near you and share photos on social media, # IntlForestDay, Participate in a local tree planting event—or organize one yourself, Watch an International Forests Day Video and share it online to spread the word. The theme of this year’s International Day of Forests is forests and energy. Wood provides more energy than solar, wind, and hydroelectric sources combined. It makes up about 40 percent of the world’s energy supply.

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Well managed forests are key to a low carbon future

By Phil Riebel
Two Sides
March 21, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: United States

In countries such as Canada and the U.S., continually improving sustainable forest management practices will play a key role in mitigating climate change and ensuring a long-term wood supply. March 21st is International Day of Forests and this year’s theme is Forests and Energy. Climate change, caused by increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere is a key challenge due to changes in global temperatures and precipitation patterns that affect regions and countries around the world. There is growing awareness of the potential for a wider use of the forest industry to store carbon and lower GHG emissions. This is due to the recent 2015 Paris Agreement that recognizes the mitigation potential of forests to meet the challenges of climate change. 

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International Day of Forests 2017

By Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
You Tube
March 21, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

Forests and trees absorb the sun’s energy and store it by turning it into wood—the world’s most used source of renewable energy. While we have been using this energy source to cook and heat our homes since the discovery of fire, today’s scientific advances are opening up even more uses, like turning wood waste into liquid biofuels that fuel cars and airplanes. Using wood harvested from sustainably managed forests keeps a balance for future generations and ensures that wood remains a fuel of the future. Join us in celebrating the International Day of Forests on 21 March 2017.

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Business & Politics

B.C.’s Asian junkets haven’t moved trade needle: researcher

By Patrick Blennerhassett
Business in Vancouver
March 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Since being elected, Premier Christy Clark has made multiple trips to Asian countries, including China, Japan, South Korea and India, hoping to increase B.C.’s trade across the Pacific Rim “by another 50% over the next five years.” But between 2013 and 2016, B.C. trade with Asian countries fell as a proportion of total exports from the province. …Keith Head, a professor in the strategy and business economics division at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, said trade data shows the only substantial change for B.C. exports since the last provincial election has been the increase in goods going to the U.S. …“Doing your own little ad hoc trade missions – that might serve your political interests in B.C. but it won’t have strong economic effects,” said Head, who has been studying the effects of trade missions for decades.

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MP Doherty in Washington, D.C. meeting about softwood lumber

Williams Lake Tribune
March 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty is travelling to Washington, D.C. this week to talk about softwood lumber, NAFTA, the environment and defence spending. As co-chair of the Conservative Softwood Lumber Taskforce and the region’s MP, Doherty said he plans to meet with more than 30 U.S. lawmakers during the next three days. “This week’s trip to Washington presents an opportunity to talk about the issues that matter the most to Canadians, including softwood lumber, NAFTA, the environment and defence spending,” Doherty said. “I know that the hardworking forestry families in my riding of Cariboo – Prince George are looking for answers on how the lumber industry will remain competitive with US tariffs expected as early as the spring.” The meetings are an important step in building relationships with American counterparts, he added.

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Tax phase-in requested for new West Fraser lignin plant

By John Hopkins-Hill
Hinton Parklander
March 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Staff presented a proposal from Hinton Pulp, a division of West Fraser Mills, for a tax phase-in on the new lignin plant in Hinton. The lignin plant, completed in September 2016, is the first of its kind in Canada and uses a proprietary process to extract lignin, a naturally-occurring polymer in wood, for use in industrial and commercial applications. The tax phase-in calls for 20 per cent to be paid in 2017, 40 per cent in 2018, 60 per cent in 2019, 80 per cent in 2020 and 100 per cent in 2021 and onward. Denise Parent ,director of corporate services, explained that this is a proposal with both pros and cons for council to consider. “One [con] would be that it is a loss of future revenue. One can argue that the pro to that would be it’s a new industry anyway, so you’re not losing necessarily revenue,” said Parent.

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Judge rules pulp mill pollution near Jesup within rules

By Mary Landers
Savannah Morning News
March 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States


A Georgia superior court has ruled that a pulp mill’s visible and pungent pollution of the Altamaha River near Jesup can continue. The ruling issued Friday by Judge Stephen Kelley reversed a previous decision in state administrative court that required the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to issue a more stringent pollution permit for Rayonier Advanced Materials. Kelley instead found that aesthetic concerns of fisherman or recreational paddlers about the odor or color of the Rayonier discharge don’t amount to a reason to prohibit the pollution. “The stated purpose of the Water Quality Control Act clearly contemplates that the different uses of the State’s water resources may, at times and in certain waterbodies, conflict with one another,” Kelley wrote in his order.

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Heyfield timber mill can be saved, vows union leader

By Nino Bucci, Emily Woods & Darren Gray
The Age
March 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Union leader John Setka has declared that the Heyfield timber mill dispute in Gippsland is “fixable”, and warned that if the mill closed it would be “a catastrophe”. “There are not insurmountable things to fixing it,” he said. Speaking to The Age before hundreds of timber workers marched from Trades Hall to Parliament House in Melbourne, the CFMEU leader urged the government to make more forest available for the industry. “I’d like the state government to free up some more forest and there’s no reason they can’t do that, there’s no adverse effect to anyone,” he said. “If they release some more of this forest, there’s no reason that this mill can’t operate for another 20 years.”

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Heyfield timber mill sale prompts call for talks as locals demonstrate at State Parliament

ABC News Australia
March 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has called on the owners of the Heyfield timber mill to engage in “productive talks” with those interested in buying the mill. Australian Sustainable Hardwood (ASH) said on Friday they would close the mill in 18 months after they were refused a timber supply into the future which would keep the operation sustainable. More than 30 log trucks parked outside the Victorian Parliament in a show of support for workers from the state’s timber industry. About 1,000 Heyfield residents were bused to Melbourne to take part in a protest walk from Trades Hall to State Parliament. Mr Andrews said his message to the workers was that their “jobs are worth fighting for” and he wanted to make sure that the workers’ families’ had a “strong future”.

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Harvest time for NZ forestry

By Con Williams, Rural Economist, ANZ NZ
BlueNotes
March 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand’s forestry sector is experiencing a period of strong returns fuelled by a combination of steady Chinese demand, restrictions in export markets on native-forest harvesting, low shipping costs, a local building boom and a supportive NZ dollar. Many of these trends look like they could extend for a number of years, supporting demand for forestry products and returns. In addition, there is a range of new applications emerging in the likes of housing fitouts, wood remanufacturing, furniture end-uses and cellulose fibre which could open up new opportunities in the sector. Despite this positive outlook the overall plantation area has declined 5 per cent over the last 10 years. Such levels of deforestation are leading many industry participants to worry about the long-term supply of wood beyond 2030.

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NZ log prices hit new record highs on buoyant demand

By Tina Morrison
Scoop Independent News
March 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Buoyant New Zealand activity has pushed up local log prices to new record highs. The average price for roundwood logs used in the horticulture sector rose to $92 a tonne in March, up $2 from February’s average price and at the highest level since AgriHQ began collecting the data in early 2002, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. Structural log prices also increased, with S3 logs hitting $114 a tonne, the highest since AgriHQ began collecting the data in early 1995, while S1 logs rose to $122 a tonne, the highest since mid-1994. Record high net migration and low interest rates are putting pressure on the nation’s housing market, driving up prices and stoking construction activity. A booming horticulture industry is also spurring investment activity in that sector, helping drive demand for roundwood.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Prairie Wood Solutions Fair showcases wood’s potential

By Kathleen Renne
Journal of Commerce
March 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Prairie Wood Solutions Fair – an educational and inspirational event all about wood products and wood construction – is coming to Calgary’s Hyatt Regency hotel on March 23. Rory Koska, the program director for Wood WORKS! Alberta, a program of the Canadian Wood Council and the organization hosting the Fair, says the event is relevant for members across the design community from architects and engineers to builders and developers “to increase their education on building large structures with wood.” “Designers are starting to look at using this material again. For one thing, it’s a material we create here in Canada and don’t have to bring in from overseas,” Koska says, listing the benefits of building with wood including those related to the environment, cost, aesthetics and strength-to-weight ratio.

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It’s no whim: why wood really is better for building

By Willow Aliento
The Fifth Estate
March 21, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Australia — Nature-connected design is the key to making offices less stressful, hospital stays shorter and children better learners, according to a new report released today by Planet Ark. It points out the benefits of using timbers and biophilic design to attract higher rents and building values due to improvements in indoor environmental quality, and bottom-line business benefits due to the mitigation of stress and the resultant impact on employee productivity… Research has established benefits including improving levels of interaction for elderly people in aged care homes, managing humidity levels and improving comfort levels in homes and offices, and faster healing times for hospital patients due to reduced stress levels. One of the studies, from New Zealand, also showed timber in the interior of an office generates more positive feelings about the workplace, and makes it more attractive to potential employees. In combination with nature-inspired design, also known as biophilic design, Mr Rowlinson said wood was a way to ameliorate the fact that most Australians spend around 90 per cent of their time indoors.

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Forestry

‘Made in Canada’ wasps next step in battle against ash borer

CBC News
March 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

This week the first batch of ‘Made in Canada’ parasitic wasps will emerge in the fight against the emerald ash borer. Researchers at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre in Sault Ste. Marie have reared 12,000 of the tiny wasps, which go by the name Tetrastichus. These wasps will join other parasitic wasps — both American and Chinese — released in 2016 to combat the borer. Dr. Krista Ryall of Natural Resources Canada hopes the presence of these new wasps can help stem the spread of the borer, which so far has killed millions of ash trees in Canada and the United States. “What we’re hoping is that, over the long term … it could be decades … that as you have new ash regenerating, hopefully you’ll have these wasps present and keep the emerald ash borer at a lower level,” Ryall said.

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Forest land tax freeze continues while homeowners protest tax bills

By Robert Jones
CBC News
March 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A tree-covered property in Hanwell outside Fredericton that Service New Brunswick assessed to be worth $8,200 earlier this month — even though records show it sold for $242,500 last June — is highlighting the different ways landowners are being treated by the province’s property tax system again this year. …But that’s not the case for owners of more than 70,000 forest properties whose assessments have been set well below market value for several years and have been frozen by the province again in 2017. …There are about three million hectares of privately owned forest property in New Brunswick including very large landowners like J.D. Irving Ltd. [725,000 hectares] and Acadian Timber [308,000] and thousands of small woodlot owners and all benefit from undervalued assessments.

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Idaho logging salvage project could be national model for wildfire job programs

By David Leroy, former Idaho attorney general and lieutenant governor
Idaho Statesman
March 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In the last 30 years, the amount of federal timber available for sale in most of America’s national forests has been reduced between 70 and 99 percent. A University of Idaho study suggests that forest and wood product production jobs in this state have diminished from nearly 20,000 in 1991 to 12,479 in 2016. An unreliable and constricted supply of logs has been the largest factor forcing mill closures in Idaho towns like Kamiah, Orofino, Coeur d’Alene and Elk City. Over that quarter of a century, some 7,500 Idaho forest-dependent families have lost the employment, homes and lifestyle they once lived and loved. …The U.S. Forest Service personnel of the Boise National Forest have accepted the challenge of proposing the swift salvage of a readily accessible 83 million board feet of merchantable hazard, dead or dying trees from within the 528 square miles blackened by last year’s Pioneer Fire.

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Modern forestry and the environment

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
March 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Though both claim to want what’s best for the environment, conservation groups and timber companies often find themselves at odds over the impacts of modern forestry practices in Oregon. John Talberth, founder of the Center for Sustainable Economy, referred to the methods of large timber companies as “Wall Street forestry,” that leads to deforestation. …Casey Roscoe, senior vice president of public relations for Seneca Jones Timber Company, however, said modern forestry practices account for environmental and public concerns. She said Seneca Jones has been family-owned for three generations and has a long-term view of its management. “It is definitely not looking at making decisions based on quarterly earnings, it’s purposely making decisions based on having pristine forests, wildlife, air and water for generations to come,” Roscoe said.

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Opposition to Wild Olympics runs deep

By Harold B. Brunstad, involved in the wood products industry for many years
Peninsula Daily News
March 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Derek Kilmer with their re-introduction of the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers legislation continue on their mission on behalf of the environmental industry to put the long-term economic and recreational viability of the Olympic National Forest at risk for Grays Harbor and other Olympic Peninsula communities and visitors to the area. … The remaining National Forest, 600,000+ acres, were to remain under multiple use management for both recreation and economic endeavors, primarily based on its timber resource. The timber management activities that have occurred over the past seven-plus decades have opened up access for family recreation that is vehicle accessible throughout the forest.

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More roads, thinning sought in proposed fuel reduction project near Sula

By Perry Backus
Ravalli Republic
March 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Bitterroot National Forest has received objection letters from the county commission and a state senator on a proposal to thin about 3,200 acres of national forest land surrounding two communities in the southern reaches of Ravalli County. Neither was opposed to the fuel reduction aspect of the proposed Meadow Vapor project. The commission urged the Forest Service to reconsider decommissioning unused roads in the project area. The board was especially concerned about the impacts of re-contouring and obliteration of the old roads. Sen. Pat Connell of Hamilton asked the agency to consider adding additional acreage to the fuel reduction project.

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Big Pine dies

By Mark Freeman
Mail Tribune
March 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MERLIN — What used to be the tallest known Ponderosa pine on the planet has died, and now its namesake campground is set to join it. A beetle infestation has done in the 259-foot Ponderosa pine that was tallest of its ilk known for more than three decades before it was supplanted in 2011 by another tree in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest by about 9 feet. It once was one of 61 “Living Witness Trees” tapped in 1987 as being around when the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Now its moniker is “hazard tree,” one of several dead but still-standing trees whose widow-maker capabilities have closed Big Pine Campground, the 12-space area near Galice where the tree resides, according to the Forest Service. “It’s a hazard tree, so how do you reconcile that?” forest spokeswoman Chamise Kramer says. “It’s incredibly difficult to cut a tree that big, and some people might be upset by that.”

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Vanderbilt Created The Cradle Of Forestry

By Robert Beanblossom
The Transylvania Times
March 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Nestled in a mountainous valley known as the Pink Beds is the Cradle of Forestry in America, a national historic site. This spot in the heart of the Pisgah National Forest is aptly named for it is the birthplace of scientific forestry in the United States. .. Vanderbilt’s widow, Edith, sold the 87,500-acre Pink Beds tract to the U.S. Forest Service in 1914; it ultimately became part of the Pisgah National Forest. While all of those lands played a role in the origin of forestry, The Cradle of Forestry in America has special significance. Congress carved out and designated 6,500 acres as a national historic site in 1968. Here four firsts can be identified: the first trained American forester; the first managed forest; the first school of forestry in America and the first national forest created under the Weeks Act of 1911.

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Georgia drought conditions causing Ips beetle outbreaks

By Madison Cavalchire
13WMAZ
March 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Members of the Georgia Forestry Commission are calling this year’s Ips beetle outbreak the worst they’ve seen. Madison Cavalchire went to a tree farm in Macon to find out how the tiny bug is having a big impact on Georgia’s timber. For these Chris Barnes and Lynn Hooven, trees and bugs aren’t new. “I’ve been working with the Forestry Commission for about 18 years, and it’s by far the worst Ips beetle outbreak that I’ve seen,” said Georgia Forestry Health Specialist, Chris Barnes. Barnes says this year’s drought conditions lead to tiny beetles that are causing big problems. “Once the trees become stressed, they put out a chemical agent, and that attracts the beetles to come into the pine stands and attack the trees,” Barnes said.

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Wildfire rages in Linville Gorge wilderness as firefighters battle steep terrain

By Bruce Henderson
Charlotte Oberserver
March 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A wildfire in the Linville Gorge wilderness area, first reported last Thursday, has spread to 585 acres and is only 10 percent contained, the U.S. Forest Service said Monday. The White Creek fire is burning near iconic Shortoff Mountain at the southern end of the gorge in Pisgah National Forest. The 140 firefighters at the scene are improving fire lines on the south end of the burned area to protect private property and are trying to establish lines on the north end, the Forest Service said. They may be able to ignite a low-intensity back burn Monday to reduce the amount of fuel that would feed the wildfire. The fire expanded Friday in dry conditions before a half-inch of rain fell that night.

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“Trees should have the same rights as buildings” says charity

BBC News
March 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Woodland Trust have said that some trees should have the same rights as old buildings. The charity is campaigning to help protect ancient or old trees, that have grown in the UK for hundreds of years. They say that having more trees is good for our health as well as the environment. Currently around 2% of the UK is listed as ancient woodland. The Government has said it wants that figure to reach 12% by 2060. The UK has seen around 45 rare species of trees disappear in the last 100 years.  Some people are calling for lots more homes to be built in the UK and the Woodland Trust say they are worried that building new houses would mean that old trees would be chopped down to clear space.

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Forestry’s contribution to economy underestimated, says new report

By David Porter
Bay of Plenty Times
March 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

New Zealand — The forestry and logging sector is worth $1.4 billion to GDP, making a substantially larger contribution than either the sheepmeat or beef sectors, says a new report released in Rotorua today. The report was commissioned by the New Zealand Forest Owners Association and Farm Forestry Association from NZIER. Forest Owners Association chairman Peter Clark said the public had underestimated the forest sector’s role and importance. “Our sector is growing faster than horticulture,” he said. “For the first time since 1882 … the value of our forest product exports is now exceeding the total value of red meat exports.”… However, NZIER noted the fact that the significant environmental contribution of forestry was not usually factored into its economic value, and the lack of a ministry or department dedicated to forestry, were both constraints on the industry.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Gene researchers seek to shield B.C. fish, forests

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
March 21, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Scientists at the University of British Columbia (UBC) will be using genetic research to give natural selection a push in raising fish and growing forests that are more resistant to the ravages of climate change. Two UBC-based science projects, one for forestry and one for fish, are receiving more than $10 million in funding from the non-profit research organization Genome BC. …A similar approach is being used by UBC’s forest and conservation sciences department, but for B.C. woodlands. UBC Prof. Sally Aitken is leading a $5.8 million research project that will use genomics to identify natural hardiness in some of B.C.’s more “economically important” tree species – Douglas fir, western larch, and lodgepole and jack pine. The mountain pine beetle isn’t the only natural threat to B.C. forests.

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Why using timber is good for the environment

By Justin Adams, Global Managing Director for Lands at the Nature Conservancy
Economic Journal Insight
March 21, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Humankind has always had a tricky relationship with forests. We depend on them to regulate the climate and rainfall, clean our air and water, sustain myriad species of plants and animals and support the livelihoods of over a billion people. Yet, we continue to destroy them, to the point that only half the world’s original forest cover remains. The price of deforestation can hardly be overstated. Trees consume large amounts of carbon dioxide as they grow, making them vital tools for absorbing the greenhouse-gas emissions – from cars, factories, power stations, and livestock – that result in climate change. If we continue to lose forest cover, the Paris climate agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius (above pre-industrial levels) by 2050 will be impossible to achieve. 

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Forests and energy: using wood to fuel a sustainable, green economy

By Eva Muller, director of the forestry policy and resources division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Thomson Reuters Foundation
March 21, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Next time a sleek sports car streaks past you on the highway or a jet aircraft roars overhead, think about this: a world where these are fuelled by wood. Wood and energy are a natural match and as we mark International Day of Forests on March 21, even the sky holds no limits when we imagine a future powered by woodfuel. In fact, late last year, one North American airline laid claim to launching the world’s first commercial flight using jet fuel made from tree stumps and branches left over after wood-processing – one example of how forestry by-products and residue are being recycled into different forms of wood energy. Yet, as exciting as this future looks, we must not forget the critical role trees play right now in so many facets of daily life. One in three households, or about 2.4 billion people, rely on wood for heating homes, boiling safe drinking water and cooking nutritious meals – which tells us how crucial wood is to food security and well-being.

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