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Tree species distributions in Amazonia modeled

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 16:04
Researchers have succeeded in producing distribution maps for a selection of important tropical tree species in Peruvian lowland Amazonia. This was achieved by using machine learning methods that combine satellite imagery and field data. The study shows that it is possible to model tree species distributions at a spatial resolution that is fine enough to facilitate the practical management of forest resources.

Weather forecasts for all: Improving access to weather information for women and ethnic minorities

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 15:06

by Kathlee Freeman (CCAFS) The post Weather forecasts for all: Improving access to weather information for women and ethnic minorities appeared first on the website of CCAFS. A project in My Loi climate-smart village helps women and ethnic...

The post Weather forecasts for all: Improving access to weather information for women and ethnic minorities appeared first on Agroforestry World.

Russian Timber Journal 08-2018: WhatWood interview with Sales Director for Russia, CIS and Baltic countries of UPM Plywood Oy, Alexander Totsky; export quotas on birch veneer logs from Russia starting from January 1, 2019

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 13:34
Alexander Totsky: “The key to the success of the enterprise on the market is the production of a wide range of demanded types of plywood of consistent high quality”. Russia is a major supplier of birch plywood for export. However, usually most manufacturers for both domestic and foreign markets offer general-purpose products with low added […]

US tariffs on Canadian newsprint cancelled

International Forest Industries - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 10:43

The United States Commission on International Trade on Wednesday cancelled tariffs on Canadian newsprint.

The five Commissioners unanimously held that imports from Canada of uncoated sawn paper used for newspapers, commercial printing and book publishing were not prejudicial to the US industry.

The US Department of Commerce imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties at various levels earlier this year on Canadian producers, including Resolute Forest Products, Catalyst Paper, Kruger and White Birch Paper.

The vote of the US Trade Commission (USITC) overrides Commerce’s findings.

The post US tariffs on Canadian newsprint cancelled appeared first on International Forest Industries.

WhatWood interview with Sales Director for Russia, CIS and Baltic countries of UPM Plywood Oy, Alexander Totsky

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 07:27
Alexander Totsky: “The key to the success of the enterprise on the market is the production of a wide range of demanded types of plywood of consistent high quality”. Russia is a major supplier of birch plywood for export. However, usually most manufacturers for both domestic and foreign markets offer general-purpose products with low added […]


GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 04:10

The President of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina visited INBAR’s Headquarters in Beijing and believes there is immense potential for bamboo and rattan to help his country’s growth. On Wednesday 5 September INBAR welcomed the President of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, to their Headquarters in Beijing. Madagascar joined INBAR in 2004 and is the 28th state member of […]


EcoLog Harvester 550 T-PRO

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 01:53
The new Eco Log 550 T-PRO complements the EcoLog range with its size and strength. With its six wheels, the 550 T-Pro can easily travel over the toughest of terrains. Source: Timberbiz The machine’s sturdy mid-section in combination with pendulum arms means that you can easily move the machine with an extended crane without having to retract it. This can lead to valuable time saving and increased productivity. With the power of a Volvo Penta D8 of 160 kW / 218 hp, the harvester can quickly respond to an increased load. The engines have been optimized for reliable and fuel-efficient forestry. The well-known combination of swivel cab and pendulum arms makes the harvester very flexible and well suited to thinning work. The available harvester heads for this model are Log Max 3000T and 4000T.

New Thai airport with indoor forest and wooden facade

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 01:52
Duangrit Bunnag Architect Limited (DBALP) has unveiled an eye-catching design for a new airport terminal in Bangkok that features intricate wooden detailing and an indoor forest. Sources: Timberbiz, DBALP The new building is reportedly expected to be operational in 2025. Details are still rather thin on the ground at this early stage, but assuming all goes well, the Suvarnabhumi International Passenger Terminal II will provide an additional 348,000 sq m (3.7 million sq ft) of floorspace to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. Its most interesting indoor feature is a large 16,132 sq m (173,643 sq ft) tropical forest, which is meant to reflect Thailand’s lush landscape and will include a waterfall. The tropical forest area will be accessible to both staff and passengers, and should make for a pleasant spot to escape the bustle of the busy airport. The new terminal building will be fronted by a facade with large wooden columns and an upside-down pyramid motif that’s continued inside. The design brings to mind Kengo Kuma’s work – specifically his Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum in Japan. DBALP head Duangrit Bunnag recently rejected claims of plagiarism, reports the Bangkok Post. The newspaper also says that construction on the project is due to begin next year, with an estimated budget of 35 billion baht (roughly US$1 billion), and that the airport is expected to be up and running by 2025. The Suvarnabhumi International Passenger Terminal II proposal was commissioned following an architecture competition.

Vietnam’s rising significance as a wood processing hub 

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 01:50
Vietnam’s role as a wood processing hub continued to rise during 2017. Vietnam is increasingly recognised as the primary location in South East Asia for supply of mid-range interior furniture and has become a major competitor to China in this sector. Sources: Timberbiz, FLEGT Vietnam’s imports of wood products are rising to supply the export-oriented furniture manufacturing sector as well as rising domestic demand. Vietnam is a significant importer of wood products from other countries involved in the FLEGT process. According to Vietnam government statistics, in 2017, the value of Vietnam’s wood product imports increased 17% to US$214 million from Cambodia, 13% to US$103 million from Thailand, and 0.4% to US$94 million from Malaysia. These gains offset a 47% decline in imports from Laos, to US$42 million and a 16% decline in imports from Indonesia, to US$18 million. UN COMTRADE data indicates that the value of Vietnam imports of timber products from Cameroon increased 24% from US$143 million in 2015 to US$177 million in 2016, making Vietnam Cameroon’s second largest export market after China. While Vietnam’s tropical wood imports are large, a significant proportion of wood products exported from Vietnam are manufactured using imported temperate wood. Between 2016 and 2017 Vietnam’s log imports from the EU increased from 266,000m to 442,000m and imports of EU sawn timber increased from 212,000m to 257,000m. In the same period, Vietnam’s imports of logs from the US increased from 114,000m to 170,000m and imports of US sawn timber increased from 395,000 m to 467,000m. Vietnam’s wood product exports have risen consistently in the last decade. UN COMTRADE data shows the value of exports from the country increased more than three-fold from around US$2 billion to nearly US$7 billion in the 10 years to 2016. Vietnam government statistics indicate that exports increased a further 10% in 2018 and were on target to reach nearly US$9 billion in 2018. This compares with Vietnam’s domestic wood products consumption that is valued at around US$2.8 billion per year, equivalent to only US$30 per capita and much lower than the global average of US$72. Domestic consumption is expected to increase, spurred on by rapid urbanisation and recent recovery in Vietnam’s real estate market, but at present the wood industry is still heavily export-oriented. Vietnam exports to the EU have risen more slowly than to other regions and accounted for only around 11% of total export value in 2016. Much of the recent growth in Vietnam exports has been to North America (mainly US accounting 37% of total exports in 2016), Northeast Asia (mainly Japan accounting for 24% of exports in 2016), and China (15% of exports in 2016). Vietnam wood product exports are dominated by furniture, accounting for 59% of total value in 2016, although exports of fuelwood have been rising and accounted for 18% of total export value in 2016. Furniture exports are oriented particularly towards North America and Europe whereas most fuelwood exports are destined mainly for Japan and South Korea. On the EU import side, trade with Vietnam has remained remarkably stable in recent years. EU imports from Vietnam remained flat at 270,000 tonnes per year during the period 2015 to 2017. However, Vietnam’s trade with the EU picked up pace in the first quarter of 2018 when imports were 10% more than the same period the previous year. EU imports from Vietnam are dominated by wood furniture which accounted for 82% of tonnage and 88% of import value in 2017. At least 53% of the total value of EU furniture imports from Vietnam comprised products for internal use identified in EU trade statistics as products for dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, upholstered seating, and other interior applications. Of the remainder, 18% comprises non-upholstered seating (for both interior and exterior use) and 28% is all other “not elsewhere stated” wooden furniture (Chart 3). A large part of the last group is likely to comprise tables and similar items for exterior use. Much of the interior furniture is likely to comprise temperate hardwoods, with tropical woods dominating the products for exterior use. Other than wood furniture, EU wood imports from Vietnam consist mainly of other secondary and tertiary processed products. As for wood furniture, a significant proportion are products “not elsewhere stated” in trade statistics and include a diversity of mainly finished consumer goods destined for retailers in the EU. The small range of paper products imported by the EU from Vietnam are also mainly finished consumer items such as exercise books, cups and cartons.

NZ productivity report means massive land for forestry

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 01:50
Forest owners say New Zealand’s Productivity Commission’s call for up to 2.8 million hectares of land to be turned into forests as a carbon sink would require implementing the most ambitious land-use change project a New Zealand government has ever set itself. Source: Timberbiz Forest Owners Association President Peter Weir says the scope of afforestation proposed to get New Zealand to carbon neutrality by 2050 would need a new-planting rate, of 100,000 hectares a year, which has been achieved only once in New Zealand in recent times – in 1994. “The government would then have to maintain this planting rate for three decades to achieve the goal,” Mr Weir said. Mr Weir says it’s vital that the government works closely with all landowning groups to ensure an efficient and equitable transition to an envisaged ‘decarbonised economy’. “A carbon price, with a transparent and realistic system of price setting, needs to be high enough to encourage change from current activities and land use, to forestry. The Productivity Commission escalated price projections are realistic in that respect,” he said. Farm Foresters Association President Neil Cullen believes the only sufficient land area to achieve the Commission’s goal is to be found on farms. “Farmers will need to have access to the best advice on how to go about planting woodlots, and so avoid the mistakes too prevalent in the past, such as poor planning for road access at harvest time,” he said. “That’s not just a government job, but I believe farm organisations have a central role in helping the transformation of farm properties into an integrated land use operation with a substantial investment in forestry.” Mr Weir says that he has a concern that there might be two ‘pools’ of methane accounting arising from the report. “It is likely to lead to a grand-parented tradeable emission right for dairy farmers which is denied to sheep and beef farmers,” he said. Mr Cullen says widespread planting for carbon fixing needs to focus on the species of trees which are best at doing that in the required time scale. “In the distant future our new indigenous forests will be locking up a lot of carbon. But if you are to achieve efficient carbon capture in the relatively short term, that’s to 2050, there is no doubt that exotic trees, such as conifers and eucalypts, are the best candidates for the job,” he said. Mr Weir says the vast afforestation envisaged by the Productivity Commission will need to incorporate whole catchments to reach the target. “For a scheme of such as scale, we cannot afford to get either the environmental or the economic side wrong,” he said.

New toolbox for building professionals on the benefits of timber

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 01:49
Building professionals and procurement managers attending an engineered timber seminar in Brisbane received a toolbox of factsheets to help explain to clients and stakeholders the benefits of using timber over other construction materials. Source: Timberbiz Timber Queensland Chief Executive Mick Stephens said the 11 fact sheets address environmental, sustainability, construction and maintenance topics as well as the workplace and health benefits of timber. “Responding to a knowledge gap between building professionals and those who are commissioning and signing off on projects, Queensland’s timber industry developed this ‘timber toolbox’ of quick facts and more detailed references for further reading,” Mr Stephens said. “The fact sheets include contemporary case studies demonstrating the innovative uses of timber and its cost-effectiveness as a renewable resource. “They provide information on the environmental and low carbon benefits of timber, and associated interest and uptake in using engineered timber products in mid-rise and taller commercial construction. “The sheets are available for download from Timber Queensland’s website and will be useful to include in tenders, presentation material and sales and support documentation.” Mr Stephens said assistance from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries was fundamental in producing the fact sheets and he hopes this will translate to more business for Queensland timber suppliers. “Timber Queensland is appreciative for Queensland Government support in instigating and completing the project,” he said. “We hope as more decision-makers understand the benefits of using timber there is an increasing use of beautiful Queensland timber species in major building and infrastructure projects including the Queens Wharf development in Brisbane.” The fact sheets are available for download from Timber Queensland’s website.

The Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry winner

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 01:47
The Institute of Foresters of Australia has announced the winner of The Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry for 2018 is Erin Hodgson. Source: Timberbiz Vice-President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia Mr Rob de Fégely said: “His Royal Highness has a well-known passion for forests and natural production systems, a passion he shares with this year’s winner, Erin Hodgson.” Ms Hodgson completed a Bachelor of Horticulture at the University of Melbourne in 2009 and later completed a Masters of Forest Ecosystem Science degree also at the University of Melbourne. As part of her studies, she travelled to Europe for a 6-month exchange to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences where she learned about European silvicultural systems and management. Since completing her Master’s degree, Erin has been working as a projects forester and is chair of the IFA’s Future Foresters Initiative and a director on the board of the Institute of Foresters of Australia. “Erin has already made outstanding contributions to forest professionalism most particularly through her leadership and participation in the Future Foresters’ Initiative which provides support to students and early career professionals through mentoring, training, networking and other social and professional development activities,” Mr de Fégely said. “His Royal Highness wants to encourage greater awareness of the importance of sustainably managing the world’s forests and training and creating a network of young foresters who will manage them professionally. “It is critically important that we continue to train professional forest managers who have the broad range of skills that early foresters were trained for to manage our forests for production or conservation purposes. To rely on people with only specialist skills such as ecologists or botanists would be like trying to manage our health system without General Practitioners.”

Vic Government may ban native forest logging

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 01:45
The Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA) holds grave concerns for the future of Victorian forestry contracting businesses and their employees following suggestions the Victorian Government plans to ban their operations in Victorian native forests over the coming decade. Source: Timberbiz Recently the Herald Sun reported that state cabinet was considering a plan to phase out logging in native forests by 2019. “Forestry contracting businesses have already faced uncertainty with the lack of Government decision around harvesting plans for the season already upon us. Now, it appears things are set to get far worse for these hard-working regional businesses; their livelihoods now at stake,” Ms Stacey Gardiner, General Manager of AFCA said. The uncertainty for this harvest season has already had a negative impact from Government’s inaction with employees having to be put off, resulting in the loss of highly skilled staff and financial challenges for businesses. “If a ban on native harvesting is forced onto forestry contracting businesses they have no-where else to go, will be faced with serious financial burdens after years of investment and their employees will be out of work,” Ms Gardiner said. “This will have far reaching and devastating impacts on regional communities.” In 2017, as part of a Ministerial Forestry Statement, the Victorian Minister for Agriculture, The Hon Jaala Pulford, made a commitment to ‘support the sustainable management of Australia’s native forests, and through this, providing timber resources for industry while protecting high value native forests’. “This commitment was welcomed however, it appears now that Government wasn’t serious about this and has turned its back on hard working regional businesses” Ms Gardiner said. “Government must work with us to strike a balance between future resource supply and protecting environment values, not close an industry down that supports regional communities and jobs.” Not only are forest contracting jobs at stake but businesses such as Australian Paper’s Maryvale paper mill face disruption if not closure. According to the Latrobe Valley Express the plan would mean that 30% of the workforce at Australian Paper would be made redundant and that a $500 million industry transition package is being considered for the area. The mill is the area’s largest employer. AFCA is calling for long term certainty, for Government to work with industry on a holistic long term plan with a clear resource outlook for both native and plantation. This will allow business to make long term investments, continue our proven history of innovation and ensure we retain a skilled workforce supporting regional Victoria.

Top 5: Market Points from IndustryEdge

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 01:44
Every month, IndustryEdge publishes Wood Market Edge, Australia’s only forestry and wood products market and trade analysis, and supplies its customers with hundreds of unique data products, advisory and consulting services. Find out more at www.industryedge.com.au AUDFob216.19/bdmt – average price of Australian hardwood chips exported to the Japanese port of Iwakuni in June 2018 – the highest individual price since at least early 2010 -37.7% – approvals of 1 and 2 Storey Flats in Australia plunged to record lows over the last year, totalling just 1,527 flats 86,418 m3 – Structural Plywood imports for the year-ended June were up a whopping 35.9% on the prior year 12.9% – average increase in the cost of Bunker Fuel (used in shipping) from the start of 2018 to mid-August. Fuel is the single largest variable cost of freight shipping 85,813 m3 – imports of Sawn Softwood to Australia in June 2018

Draft paper to lock up 79,000 hectares of Victorian state forest

GFIS - Thu, 06/09/2018 - 01:43
Despite rhetoric on the importance of Victoria’s forestry industries the Victorian Labor Government proposes locking up 79,000 hectares of state forest. Source: Timberbiz Forests around the Pyrenees, Welsford forest and Wombat forest in the Macedon region would be affected with timber workers as well as others such as firewood collectors being shut out of 90% of the state forests in that area. Only 10,000 hectares of state forest would be available for timber harvesting and other uses which is bad news for the timber industry in general but particularly for those who have set up their livelihoods around those areas – mill owners, timber workers, contractors and others. According to the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC), in March 2017 the Victorian government asked the VEAC to carry out an investigation into public land in the central west of Victoria, including the Wellsford, Mount Cole and Pyrenees Range forests. It has been more than 30 years since most of this public land was last assessed by VEAC’s predecessors. Under the terms of reference, VEAC was to identify and evaluate the values and current uses of public land in the investigation area and make recommendations for the balanced use and appropriate management arrangements to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural values. The draft public land recommendations include introducing three new national parks, two new regional parks, 30 new or expanded nature/bushland reserves and retaining around 80% of state forests in the Mount Cole, Mount Lonarch, Beaufort and Glenmona areas for timber harvesting and other recreational activities. Mount Cole, Mount Lonarch, Musical Gully-Camp Hill and Trawalla-Andrews state forests near Beaufort will be retained for harvesting of commercial sawlog. The report says that this “is expected to provide close to sufficient supply of sawlogs for the Chute mill”. However, whether ‘close to’ is close enough is yet to be seen. Under the draft recommendations for parks and reserves in the Pyrenees and Wellford forests, sawlog harvesting would cease. There would be no resumption of sawlog harvesting in the Wombat forest, where it ceased in 2006. Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the Government would consider the final report once it was lodged with government in March, the year after November’s state election. Submissions on the draft proposals close on 31 October 2018. More information is available at www.veac.vic.gov.au or you can phone 1800 134 803.

Event: African Forest Policies and Politics (AFORPOLIS 1)

GFIS - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 19:22

Organized in cooperation with the University of Göttingen, Germany, and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), with support from the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and partners, the African Forest Policies and Politics (AFORPOLIS) conference series will seek to advance cutting-edge knowledge on the emergence and evolution of African forest governance.

AFORPOLIS 1 will feature 15 sessions on: 1) political economy of deforestation and forest plantations; 2) forestlands and agricultural commodities; 3) biodiversity and market-based instruments; 4) nature conservation policies; 5) forest and climate change; 6) forest concessions; 7) transnational and decentralized forest governance; 8) development, social equity and sustainability; 9) community forestry and local development; 10) forestland and political instability; 11) forestland use and informality; 12) territorial development; 13) livelihoods and non-timber forest products; 14) institutions and forest regulation; and 15) international forest governance initiatives.

AFORPOLIS 1 will also include three side events on: improving forest sustainability by agroforestry; forest policy and participatory development: lessons from Mozambique; and forest certification in Africa.

Event: Forest-smart Mining to Advance the New York Declaration on Forests and SDGs

GFIS - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 19:21

This side event at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 73) will seek to raise awareness about the relationship between mining and deforestation, present new research findings on forest-smart mining and provide an overview of the New York Declaration on Forests and its Global Platform. It will highlight examples of forest-smart policies, practices and partnerships, aiming to build a shared understanding of what changes, innovations and initiatives could accelerate action.

The organizing partners are the UN Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, New York Declaration on Forests, PROFOR, Levin Sources, Swedish Geological AB, Fauna and Flora International and CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project).

Beyond selfies: African youth vow to restore the continent’s landscapes

GFIS - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 17:22

Exuding awesomeness but also vulnerability, youth are primed to spark restoration of Africa’s degrading landscapes On 27-28 August, over 60 youth from a dozen African countries gathered at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Aged 18-35, they ranged from...

The post Beyond selfies: African youth vow to restore the continent’s landscapes appeared first on Agroforestry World.

Artte Telai: PEFC-certified table tennis rackets made in Italy

GFIS - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 17:20
What do a Stradivarius violin and a PEFC-certified table-tennis racket have in common? Both are made of resonating wood, which gives the player an incomparable feeling.  The story of the racket begins in the PEFC-certified forest of Paneveggio in Trentino, Italy. Famous for wood with...

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Are Indonesia’s peatland fires worse than burning coal?

GFIS - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 16:07
Harold Tjiptadjaja is Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Indonesia Infrastructure Finance, an institution created by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance. IIF funds oil and gas projects, airports, toll roads, seaports, and power generation, among other things. This week Eco-Business reported Tjiptadjaja as saying that “Deforestation poses […]


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