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China: Rise in log imports in 2017

International Forest Industries - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 11:41

China’s log imports in 2017 totaled 55.43 million cubic metres valued at US$9.927 billion, a year on year increase of 14% in volume and 23% in value. The average price for imported logs was US$179 per cubic metre, a year on year increase of 8%.

Of total log imports, 2017 softwood log imports rose 13% to 38.38 million cubic metres, accounting for 69% of the national total, a 1% decline on 2016 levels. The average price for imported softwood logs in 2017 was US$134 per cubic metre, up 11% on levels in 2016.

New Zealand still the top source of logs – New Zealand was the main log supplier to China in 2017 accounting for 26% of total log imports. Imports from New Zealand totaled 14.36 million cubic metres in 2017, a year on year increase of 19%.

The second ranked supplier of logs was Russia at 11.27 million cubic metres, accounting for about 20% of the national total. In 2017 a year on year increase of just 1% was recorded for log imports from Russia. Average prices for imported logs both from New Zealand and Russia rose 12% and 9% respectively in 2017.

Source: ITTO Tropical Timber Report

The post China: Rise in log imports in 2017 appeared first on International Forest Industries.

PF Olsen replacement CEO announced

International Forest Industries - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 11:14
Forestry services firm PF Olsen Ltd has announced a replacement CEO for Peter Clark when he steps down at the end of September this year.

Te Kapunga Dewes will join PF Olsen Ltd, the Rotorua headquartered company as CEO. Mr Dewes has a strong background in forestry and wood processing and for 7 years was the NZ General Manager for Contract Resources, a substantial firm servicing the energy sector. He has a degree in Forestry from Canterbury University, and an MBA with distinction from Waikato University.

PF Olsen has 200 staff and employs hundreds of contractors servicing forest establishment and harvesting operations across Australia and New Zealand. The company was founded in 1971 by the late Peter Olsen. Peter Clark joined it in 1979 and became CEO in 1999.

Mr Dewes will be just the third CEO in the 47-year history of the firm. He joins at a time when the forest industry is in a growth phase. There is an expanding harvest profile based on extensive plantings during the 1990’s and recognition that planting more trees is a cost effective domestic response needed to meet New Zealand’s international climate change commitments.

The post PF Olsen replacement CEO announced appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Share your drylands restoration success stories on the World Day to Combat Desertification

GFIS - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 00:00

On World Day to Combat Desertification, FAO will begin testing its new, interactive Drylands Restoration Initiatives Platform (DRIP) that aims to capture, evaluate and share knowledge and lessons learned about dryland restoration.


Training course focuses on bioeconomy in mountain areas

GFIS - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 00:00

The bioeconomy of the world’s mountains will be under discussion at the 2018 International Programme on Research and Training on Sustainable Management of Mountain Areas (IPROMO) in Ormea and Pieve Tesino, Italy, from 18 June to 2 July.


The FAO-EU FLEGT Programme launches a call for concept notes in VPA countries

GFIS - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 00:00

2018 Call for concept notes: the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme is now accepting concept notes from government institutions, civil society and private sector organizations in countries engaged in VPAs with the EU.


Diverse Canadian voices call for action on protected areas

GFIS - Fri, 15/06/2018 - 17:30
June 15, 2018, Ottawa, Ont. - The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) welcomes the diverse voices calling for action on protected areas in today’s public release of Canada’s Conservation Vision: A Report of the National Advisory Panel.

Dry riverbeds are contributing to climate change more than previously thought

GFIS - Fri, 15/06/2018 - 15:48
A massive world-wide study of dry riverbeds has found they're contributing more carbon emissions than previously thought, and this could help scientists better understand how to fight climate change.

Director appointed to National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life

International Forest Industries - Fri, 15/06/2018 - 11:28

One of the world’s most renowned figures in timber durability and protection, Professor Jeff Morrell of Oregon State University, has been appointed as Director of the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life for a term of five years.

The Centre, which is based at the University of the Sunshine Coast, is a strategic initiative led by FWPA, and is a partnership between industry, academia and government designed to put Australia at the forefront of international best practice. It aims to use evidence-based data, systems and tools to underpin consumer confidence in the performance of timber products.

In particular, the goal over the next five years is to develop a predictive, evidence-based model to enable architects and building specifiers to more easily choose the right timber for the right task, accurately forecasting structural performance and design life.

Professor Morrell is currently a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Wood Science & Engineering at Oregon State University and is a former President of the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) and the International Research Group on Wood Protection.

He has extensive standards development experience through his involvement in AWPA and currently chairs the Committee on Treatment Standards for Utility Poles, which has seen him work with a variety of treaters on quality control, particularly with difficult-to-treat species.

Although based in his home country of the USA for most of his career, Professor Morrell has spent a number of years working in Australia on sabbatical, where his important work around wood durability and protection has seen him become a well-known and respected figure within both the local and international industries, and the local research community.

Professor Morrell said: “I am looking forward to working with the recently-appointed industry steering committee and with students, who will become future leaders in Australian Forestry. My goal is to ensure that Australian industry has access to the world’s leading research and best practice, and to build links between industry, academia and customers.”

Managing Director of FWPA, Ric Sinclair, said he was delighted to welcome an expert of Professor Morrell’s calibre.

“Jeff has a long held interest in Australia’s forest and wood industry, and it is exciting to hear his enthusiasm for maximising the many opportunities that exist here. We believe he is the perfect fit for the role, having spent extended periods of time working within and familiarising himself with the Australian industry, while also bringing a fresh perspective thanks to his vast international experience and impressive body of work,” he said.

“With our industry steering committee now established and this appointment, the Centre is in the strongest position to deliver the best possible outcomes for our industry both domestically and on the world stage.”

The Centre was launched in 2016 under the leadership of Founding Fellow Professor Phil Evans and, although based in Queensland, it has been set up to take a national and international approach.

Other partners investing in the Centre include the University of Queensland (UQ) and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

To find out more about the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life, contact Chris Lafferty at Forest and Wood Products Australia on chris.lafferty@fwpa.com.au

Media contact:
Victoria Button [p] +61 3 9036 6900 [m] + 61 415 201 361 [e] victoria.button@peselandcarr.com.au

 

The post Director appointed to National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life appeared first on International Forest Industries.

CPAWS Applauds US and Canadian Mayors’ Announcement to Protect Natural Spaces

GFIS - Thu, 14/06/2018 - 22:11
June 14, 2018, OTTAWA – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) celebrates today’s announcement by Canadian and U.S. mayors of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Region of the creation of the Mayors’ Council on Nature and Communities, a new venture aimed at protecting natural spaces in urbanized areas.

The Value of Gender, Diversity and Inclusion in ICRAF

GFIS - Thu, 14/06/2018 - 20:51

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) recognizes that the quality and diversity of its workforce are key to the achievement of its mission and mandate. In 2016, the Centre developed and commenced implementation of its Gender, Diversity and Inclusion (GDI)...

The post The Value of Gender, Diversity and Inclusion in ICRAF appeared first on Agroforestry World.

Asia’s Environmental ‘Eden’ in Crisis

GFIS - Thu, 14/06/2018 - 11:19

Bulldozers running amuck in Eden?

That, essentially, is one of the key conclusions of a new landmark study (which you can download here) of the Leuser Ecosystem northern Sumatra, Indonesia — the last place on Earth where orangutans, tigers, elephants, and rhinos still survive together.

The research, from an international team that includes several prominent ALERT scientists, raises just about every red flag imaginable.

Among the key findings:

·      The Leuser Ecosystem, which spans 2.6 million hectares, is much more severely fragmented and vulnerable than previously understood. 

·      Road building is by far the biggest threat to Leuser — opening a Pandora’s Box of threats, including illegal deforestation, logging, palm oil plantations, wildlife poaching, and haze-creating fires.

·      Much road-building in the Leuser Ecosystem is ‘unofficial’ — a polite way of saying ‘illegal in most cases’.  Remarkably, there are twice as many illegal than legal roads, collectively totaling about 10,400 kilometers in length.

·      Although parts of the Leuser Ecosystem are still intact and undisturbed, these blocks of intact forest rely crucially on “forest links” — vulnerable areas that must be urgently protected to limit further forest fragmentation.

Forest links, shown in red, provide vital connections between major forest blocks of the Leuser Ecosystem.  Areas numbered 1-4 are hot-spots of destructive road building.

Political Battle

Officially, Indonesia’s federal government has designated Leuser as a “National Strategic Area” for environmental services.

But it the protection of the Leuser Ecosystem has been undermined — especially by the former government of Aceh Province, which contains most of Leuser Ecosystem.

The former Aceh government planned to crisscross the Leuser Ecosystem with major new highways and energy projects. 

These schemes — detailed in its notorious “Aceh Spatial Plan” — would be disastrous.

One project — which ALERT has labeled the “Highway of Death” — would slice the Leuser Ecosystem completely in half.

The spate of destructive highway and energy schemes that would devastate the Leuser Ecosystem.

Equally alarming are a spate of new energy projects — mostly hydroelectric dams and geothermal projects that are often located deep in the forest.

Besides flooding or destroying forests, the energy projects would require networks of new roads for construction and maintenance — roads that would slice deep into the heart of the Leuser Ecosystem, opening it up to a range of human pressures.

New Governor, New Hope

A bright new hope for the Leuser Ecosystem was the election last year of Irwandi Yusuf as Governor of Aceh Province.

Governor Irwandi has been far more sympathetic to the plight of Leuser Ecosystem than his predecessor.

Thanks to Governor Irwandi, most of the large highway and energy schemes ready to devastate the Leuser Ecosystem are on hold.  But Irwandi needs support to keep these projects and their powerful foreign and domestic proponents at bay.

And government authorities and conservationists struggling alongside him to protect the Leuser Ecosystem are stretched desperately thin.  Illegal activities are rampant. 

Most of all, far too little attention is being paid to the devastating one-two punch of new roads and fragmentation.  Eden can’t survive if it is sliced and diced into small pieces.

The only way to save Leuser is to silence the roaring bulldozers.

CEPI's statement on REDII agreement

GFIS - Thu, 14/06/2018 - 11:12

“The European paper industry stands firmly committed to sustainably sourcing and efficiently using bioenergy in Europe and is encouraged that negotiators have equally recognised this in the informal REDII agreement" says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of CEPI. "What is lacking however is that there are no robust safeguards against subsidies that encourage the burning of wood and thereby distort the raw material markets that feed Europe’s bioeconomy. We now urge Member States not to backtrack on their bioecomomy ambitions when designing their bioenergy policies for the next decade”.

New report: bamboo for land restoration

GFIS - Thu, 14/06/2018 - 04:00

A new report by INBAR, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development looks at bamboo’s use to restore degraded lands in eight places across the world: China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania and Thailand. Land degradation occurs in many countries across the world, and has […]

The post New report: bamboo for land restoration appeared first on INBAR.

Growth of global wooden furniture market

GFIS - Thu, 14/06/2018 - 01:01
Technavio analysts forecast the global wooden furniture market to grow at a CAGR of almost 5% during the period 2018-2022, according to their latest market research report. Source: Business Wire The increasing adoption of eco-friendly furniture is one of the major trends being witnessed in the global wooden furniture market. Increasing concerns regarding global warming have led to the adoption of ecofriendly furniture. Though eco-friendly furniture is associated with premium prices, the demand for such furniture is increasing. Technavio analysts highlight the growth of the real estate and construction industry as a key factor contributing to the growth of the global wooden furniture market. The global increase in the number of single-person and two-person households has contributed to the increased number of home constructions. There exists a specifically high demand for portable and compact furniture. According to a senior analyst at Technavio for research on furniture and home furnishing, According to the report, increased investments in the global real estate market during the past decade have driven the global wooden furniture market significantly. During the forecast period, the real estate industry is anticipated to witness substantial growth. Developing economies are also witnessing expanding real estate sectors. The hardwood furniture segment leads the market. Hardwood furniture is characterized by smooth finishing properties and is highly durable, it is darker in color when compared with softwood. Hardwood furniture contributes to the majority sales of the global wooden furniture market. APAC was the leading region for the global wooden furniture market in 2017. It accounted for a market share of approximately 40%. APAC is expected to post the fastest growth during the forecast period.

Japan’s wood exports increased in 2017

GFIS - Thu, 14/06/2018 - 01:00
Japan’s value of wood products export in 2017 was 32,647 million yen, 37% more than 2016. Source: Lesprom The main factor is increased export of logs to China and rapid expansion of cedar lumber export to the US market, as ITTO reported. Log exports to China were 776,004 cubic metres, 61.8% more than 2016 with the value of 10,299 million yen, 83.5% more. China eyed the US market for export of cedar lumber then Japan also started exporting rough cedar lumber for the US market mainly for fencing. The US market prefers dark colored sap wood and black core, which the Japan market does not like. Also, cedar has strong water resistance and durability for exterior use. Cedar lumber exports to the US market in 2017 were 15,000 cubic metres, four times more than 2016. Korea prefers Japanese cypress to cedar. Cypress prices are higher than cedar so that export value for Korea is higher than China. For Taiwan, log export volumes are declining but lumber exports continue expanding. The majority of shipping ports are in Kyushu, which is closer to China and Korea geographically.

Debt-driven deforestation

GFIS - Thu, 14/06/2018 - 00:59
The Cambodian rosewood had stood for hundreds of years, but its value finally proved too hard to resist and the giant tree came crashing down — inside a protected forest. Sources: Reuters, VOANews It’s unclear exactly who was behind the felling — nobody has been charged — but it set off a series of events, which culminated in hundreds of villagers rejecting their community forest in favor of cutting more trees. The incident underscores the challenge of protecting the country’s forests, which researchers say have been rapidly disappearing due to logging and agricultural land concessions granted to companies. Cambodia has among the highest deforestation rates in the world, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances in 2017. The Southeast Asian nation lost 1.6 million hectares between 2001 and 2014, including 38% of its “intact forest landscape”, which the study defined as “a seamless mosaic of forest and naturally treeless ecosystems.” Conservationists have fought for years to convince the government and people in remote areas to check deforestation, and the community forest model has been a key strategy. Local residents agree to preserve a community forest, although they are allowed to continue to farm areas already under cultivation, as well as harvest timber needed for construction — if they receive permission. That model is broken, according to Ben Davis, who has worked in conservation in Cambodia since 1992 and set up the community forest near Ta Bos village in the province of Preah Vihear. Davis has helped non-governmental organizations (NGOs) establish other community forests, which he said had ended up being logged as soon as no one was around to enforce protection. “Unless there’s an NGO that is living there in the forest,” he said. “The minute they’re gone…” Davis, an American, and his Australian wife, Sharyn, live with their two children in the community forest where they have set up an ecotourism lodge, and he often accompanies Ministry of Environment forest rangers on patrol. A year ago, rangers startled some men who had just cut down the ancient rosewood, which Davis said was the biggest in the forest. Authorities decided to confiscate the tree, but the rainy season delayed them and it lay in the jungle until this past April, said Davis and Pov Samuth, the local commune chief. After the rangers hauled the rosewood to the village common area, residents protested, demanding that it be turned over to them, Davis and Pov Samuth said. Davis said villagers recently sold one section of the tree — 1.7 meters long and more than a meter in diameter — for $10,000. “It’s no wonder this thing set off a firestorm,” he said. “You can see why the villagers are hell bent on taking the forest over.” About 400 residents demonstrated outside Davis’ house in April, and hundreds have applied their thumbprints to a petition demanding his eviction. “We are not satisfied, because they said the area should be protected for the next generation, but villagers can’t go into the forest to do our work,” said Rorn Chhang, who added her thumbprint to the petition. Her sister, Sorum Chhang, said she owned 20 hectares in the forest, which she began clearing in 2001. “A few years ago, they came and said it belongs to the protected area, so they don’t allow me to do anything on my land,” said Sorum Chhang, who has no ownership documents. As the controversy continued, government offcials in the capital, Phnom Penh, decided to meet with the villagers to explain the regulations around community forests. About 300 people crowded into a wooden pagoda in the center of the village to speak to Lay Piden, deputy chief of law enforcement and governance at the Ministry of Agriculture. “Nowadays, there are restrictions even to walk into the forest,” one man said to nods and murmurs of agreement. After a heated discussion, Lay Piden said the villagers seemed most interested in figuring out how to keep felling trees, as they had before the community forest was established. “Now, the offcials from the Ministry of Environment prohibit them,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “That’s why they come here and get mad.” Meas Nhem, director of the Phnom Tnout Wildlife Sanctuary, where the community forest lies, denied that residents are prevented from entering the protected area. “We are not strict with the villagers,” he said by phone. “We allow them to take yields from the forest, but what we ban is deforesting for farming land and selling to dealers.” Davis said almost the every family in the village has taken out loans, putting up their land as collateral, and they struggle to service the debt. Pov Samuth, the commune chief, concurred. “Nearly all villagers take money from the banks,” he said. “Some need to cut the trees to construct houses, and some also sell for paying the bank.” Debt-driven deforestation in the Phnom Tnout Wildlife Sanctuary has raised fears among conservation groups. In April, eight organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund, released a statement warning of “the rapid rate of destruction” and urged authorities to “enforce the rule of law.”  Already this month, three villagers have been arrested for cutting down a massive padauk tree, an endangered, luxury hardwood that is carved into furniture and musical instruments. Davis said the rosewood incident had emboldened residents, as some had gained from the illegal felling. “They hope to get away with it again,” he said.

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by Dr. Radut