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Canterbury University building uses innovative NZ timber tech

GFIS - Tue, 04/09/2018 - 01:05
Innovative, tall timber framing has risen on the University of Canterbury’s Ilam campus, as a new building, honouring alumna ‘Queen of the Cosmos’ Beatrice Tinsley, advances multi-storey timber-framed construction in New Zealand. Source: Voxy Construction of the Science precinct’s impressive new four-storey, timber-framed Beatrice Tinsley building contrasts with the steel framing typically seen in buildings of similar height and size. The patented, tall timber-framing technology was developed at UC by Civil and Natural Engineering professors Alessandro Palermo and Stefano Pampanin with support from Emeritus Professor of Timber Design Andy Buchanan. The structure uses timber-framing technology called Pres-Lam and is a post-tensioned seismic damage resistant system that pushes the boundaries of multi-storey timber-framed construction in New Zealand using laminated veneer lumber, which has incredible strength. It will be the first multi-storey building combining timber moment-frames and cross-braces in New Zealand. A moment frame is a two-dimensional series of interconnected members that uses rigid connections. It can resist lateral and overturning forces, is more flexible than other framing and allows larger movements in earthquakes. “The post-tensioning rods act as rubber bands and re-centre the structure during an earthquake. Additionally, steel angles act as dissipative fuses that will absorb the energy of an earthquake. The angles are external to the timber members and replaceable allowing for reduced disruption following an earthquake,” Professor Palermo said. This UC-designed technology is being taught to UC engineering students and is being used in buildings world-wide. “New Zealand is a world leader in this sector. By teaching our next generation of engineers this technology and similar earthquake design philosophies applied to other materials, we will make our built infrastructure more resilient,” Professor Palermo said. The building will be a central part of UC’s Science precinct, connecting into both the Ernest Rutherford and Biology buildings. Scheduled to be completed in 2019, the Beatrice Tinsley building will house College of Science staff and postgraduate students.

Competence Centre for Stora Enso biocomposites

GFIS - Tue, 04/09/2018 - 00:46
In order to meet increasing customer demand, Stora Enso will broaden its biocomposites raw material base at the Hylte Mill, Sweden to provide more choice in technical properties and selection of fibres. Source: Timberbiz The investment covers a new Biocomposites Competence Centre and the installation of new machinery for the milling of large fibres for Stora Enso’s DuraSense biocomposite material. “As we see an increasing demand for the innovative DuraSense biocomposite, the diversification of the raw material base and the new Biocomposites Competence Centre will provide Stora Enso with faster access to the market for replacing fossil-based plastics with renewable ones,” Jari Suominen, Executive Vice President, Stora Enso’s Wood Products division. “With our fully integrated process and excellent fibre knowledge we can enhance our growth in this market.” “With the new equipment in place, Stora Enso will be able to provide more choice to DuraSense users in the technical properties and selection of fibres for the biocomposites, and also offer an attractive price position compared to traditional plastics. This will make it easier for customers to switch from existing material solutions to those based on biocomposites,” Patricia Oddshammar, Head of Biocomposites in Stora Enso said. Production of large fibres is scheduled to start by the end of 2019. The Biocomposites Competence Centre will be built in one of the existing buildings at Hylte Mill and will house a laboratory and piloting facilities, performance testing capabilities and a showroom. The building project for the competence centre is estimated to start in the 2018 and be completed during 2019. “At the new Biocomposites Competence Centre we will be able to share our knowledge with our customers as well as assist them with test runs and product testing, step by step,” Ms Oddshammar said. The investment of EUR 7 million will strengthen Stora Enso’s position as a renewable materials company. The biocomposite mill in Hylte started up earlier this year. Its annual production capacity is 15 000 tonnes, making it the largest wood fibre-based biocomposite plant in Europe. Although the new investment will not have significant impact on the production capacity, it will diversify the raw material base. Once fully ramped up, the biocomposite business will increase Stora Enso’s Wood Products sales by approximately EUR 25 million and will exceed the division’s profitability target, operational return on operating capital (ROOC) of 20%.

Eco Crops offer investment in Estonian biomass

GFIS - Tue, 04/09/2018 - 00:45
Eco Crops International first European forestry investment is open to private and institutional investors. The investment itself is based just outside the Estonian capital of Tallinn and is run in conjunction with the EU Renewable Energy Directive which is a recent law change within the European Union stating that the EU must fulfil a minimum of 20% of its total energy needs with renewables by the year 2020. Source: Timberbiz One of the major ways that countries are going to meet these targets is by replacing coal with sustainable Biomass Wood Pellets which are an eco-friendly alternative to the aforementioned fossil fuel. Eco Crops International latest project is offering investors the opportunity to invest in pre-existing forestry plantations with the aim of, after a 3-5 year period, harvesting and then converting the investor’s trees into biomass wood pellets to be sold within the European market. The reason they are doing this is because they have identified a substantial gap in the market due to the current production of wood pellets, with most of this occurring in North and South America. This translates to currently 60% of all wood pellets used within Europe being imported from outside of the EU. This means that these wood pellets will be subject to large shipping costs, export and import taxes along with the added cost of heat treatment due to importing of timber based products before entering the EU. As Eco Crops International plantations are strategically based within the EU their investors will benefit from being exempt from any of these added taxes and costs maximizing the return for their investors. Eco Crops International investments start from €8200 euros for private investors allowing all types of investors to profit from going green. This €8,200 euro investment would purchase one acre of established forestry. Unlike many forestry investments however, the investor would also own the land which the trees are on through a 99-year lease giving clients the added security and also revenue stream at the end of the investment. After a 3-5 year period once the trees are harvested and turned to wood pellets and sold the revenue would be returned to the clients (minus a fee) and then the investors would have the option of selling the land or holding onto the land.

PNG gets QUT help for wood in schools

GFIS - Tue, 04/09/2018 - 00:45
Affordable, simply made school furniture for Papua New Guinea classrooms designed and prototyped by QUT Industrial Design students is headed to PNG for production from wood off-cuts. Source: Timberbiz QUT Industrial Design senior lecturer Dr Marianella Chamorro-Koc said 11 teams of third-year students worked on the brief from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). “The students’ prototypes will be sent to PNG to be made into kit-sets that can be manufactured at low cost and sent to rural PNG schools so that families and students can have the experience of putting them together,” Dr Chamorro-Koc said. “The students’ brief was to produce desks and chairs from discarded wood using old-school tools.  We worked with PNG timber company RH Group who sponsored the project and provided the PNG timber for the students’ prototypes. “The design challenge was to create innovation using timber off-cuts, and to develop viable manufacturing strategies that could be adopted in PNG that are ethically respectful of rural communities’ culture and educational needs of primary schools. “The students were given timber off-cuts from 12 species shipped from PNG in three sizes to work with. No power tools or glues could be used. “It was a challenging hands-on exercise for our students who came up with some really great designs. “It is hoped that donors will help fund the roll-out of the furniture kit-sets so that children no longer have to sit on dirt floors in many classrooms.” The winning design team, Lainim which means ‘learn’ in pidgin, received $2000 and prizes went to two other teams. Owen Beard, from the ‘Lainim’ team said they had used ‘lean manufacturing’ techniques. “Our desk and bench seat used only 60 nails for the whole set. We had to work out a way to keep the thin strips of timber together without glue,” Mr Beard said. The team will send the plans for the kit-sets for manufacture in PNG and also an instruction sheet for extremely remote areas so that they can use their own locally milled timber to make them. Dr Chamorro-Koc said the students received support and advice from DAF and ACIAR, and representatives from the PNG education sector, who are PhD researchers at QUT, provided cultural perspectives and values to inform the designs. DAF team leader Forest Product Innovation Dr Henri Bailleres said the exercise supported one of ACIAR’s objectives to develop engineered wood products appropriate to the timber resources and potential markets. “For this particular ACIAR project, DAF worked with six private industry partners in PNG and two partners in Australia to design innovative new furniture for elementary schools in PNG using only the timber off-cuts from the diverse range of species in PNG tropical rainforests,” Dr Bailleres said. “This exciting venture addressed a number of issues in both PNG and Australia. “PNG has huge timber resources but quite low recovery rates mainly due to the diverse range of species in PNG rainforests which aren’t always matched with the main markets’ demand, while Australia has a large range of under utilised resources and undervalued by-products due to low recovery rates and the cost of production. “This project provided an option for both scenarios to capitalise on timber by-products. “DAF congratulates all the students involved in this project for their hard work which resulted in simple yet innovative designs for the furniture.”

Redwood forest to be planted in New Zealand

GFIS - Tue, 04/09/2018 - 00:44
A large-scale land purchase by an American forestry company west of Taupō will see 1148ha of farmland converted into a redwood forest. Source: Stuff NZ The NZ$7 million purchase north of Taumarunui, near Matiere, by The New Zealand Redwood Company was approved by the Overseas Investment Office in July. The venture was likely to create six full-time jobs and increase New Zealand’s export returns because the bulk of the timber will be exported to the United States in a processed form, the OIO consent said. NZRC specialises in redwoods, which are the world’s tallest trees and are found naturally in a coastal strip in Oregon and California. It has so far planted 3000ha of redwood and intends to keep establishing forests in New Zealand. In the US, these trees can grow to 110 metres and have an average lifespan of 600 years. However, they can survive for over 2000 years. NZRC chief executive Simon Rapley said the company plans to plant redwoods on 650ha, retain the 270ha of native forest and leave the balance in pasture on the sheep-beef farm. “We will plant over 400,000 trees on the property,” Mr Rapley said. The trees will be harvested between 35 and 40 years of age and will almost certainly be processed locally. It will take 100 workers for the log harvest and wood processing. “The processed wood will most likely end up in California, which is the only existing market until other markets can be developed.” Some of the wood will also be available for the domestic market. “New Zealanders will have access to decorative, durable and dimensionally stable wood that is sustainably grown and has had 40 years of absorbing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere,” he said. Redwood is an “appearance wood” and is used for interior panelling, cladding, decks and fences. The planting would also advance the Government’s plan to plant a billion trees over the next 10 years and create a walking access route across the land. As of 27 August, 60.055 million trees had been planted since the policy was announced and a further 67.475m seedlings had been sold for planting this year, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries. Rapley said NZRC plans to create esplanades to provide public access along the Ōhura River, even though it’s unlikely people would want to fish on the river due to its high sediment load.

Jarrah salvage begins in WA state forest

GFIS - Tue, 04/09/2018 - 00:43
The Forest Products Commission WA (FPC) has begun salvage operations in coupes damaged by the 2016 Yarloop fire. Source: Timberbiz Forester Jane Charles said that the fire burnt through over 50,000 hectares of state forest, including several recently harvested native forest coupes. “We’ve started a salvage operation at Nanga 0311, four years after our last operation, to remove the dead and badly damaged trees,” Ms Charles said. The harvested fire damaged logs are not suitable for sawlogs and are being sold as firewood and as char logs for Simcoa. The harvesting crew, Total Harvesting, is new to native forest operations and is normally engaged in harvesting our pine plantations. “They found the native forest work challenging to start with, as the trees are not growing in straight lines, although adapted quickly to the native forest,” Ms Charles said. The FPC has been working with the Parks and Wildlife Service to preserve the trees which are showing signs of life, and those which will hopefully provide habitat in the future. Following the operation, the Silviculture team lead by Manager Silviculture and Operations Services North, Todd Brittain will re-assess the site for natural regeneration of the trees from lignotubers and coppice as well as seedlings. This assessment will then determine if the forest would benefit from additional seeding in the future.

Road upgrades for Southern NSW welcomed

GFIS - Tue, 04/09/2018 - 00:41
The push by the Softwood Working Group (SWG), as well as the Snowy Valleys, Greater Hume and Cootamundra-Gundagai Councils, for road upgrades in the key forestry hub that is the South-West Slopes region will ensure appropriate future transport links for forest industries. Source: Timberbiz The SWG recently received approval to proceed to Stage 2 of its application under the NSW Growing Local Economies program to apply for $20 million in funding to upgrade local roads prioritised by the SWG 2015 Road Haulage Study. “The roads identified in the Road Haulage Study are critical to the timber industry in the region,” Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) CEO Ross Hampton said. The roads include: Bombowlee Creek Road and the Taradale/Broadleaf Park Complex within Snowy Valleys Council. Coppabella Road within Greater Hume Shire. Northern Road complex (Nanangroe, Adjungbilly, and Redhill Roads) within Cootamundra- Gundagai Regional Council. “The SWG has identified that these roads provide for the cartage of 50% of all the logs produced in the region. It’s also important to recognise that wood supply is tight in the region and the continuity of wood flow is crucial,” Mr Hampton said. “The 2017 Industry Impact Study, completed on behalf of SWG and Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA), demonstrated the importance of the softwood plantation-based industry for the continued social and economic wellbeing of the South-West Slopes region. The industry supports the employment of more than 50% of the workforce in the Snowy Valleys Council and contributes more than $2 billion to the gross value of regional output. “It’s essential that infrastructure upgrades like key forest roads are a focus of governments. AFPA supports the SWG and Councils in the South-West Slopes region in their pursuit of road upgrades, particularly given the importance of the region as a forestry hub,” Mr Hampton said.

Forestry finally looking up in Tasmania report reveals

GFIS - Tue, 04/09/2018 - 00:40
The Tasmanian forest industry is on an even keel after several challenging years, with a new report showing employment and spending have stabilised after a period of decline, and are growing in some parts of the industry. Source: Timberbiz According to the report ‘Socio-economic impacts of the forest industry – Tasmania’ funded by Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) and the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, a total of 5727 jobs were generated by the industry as of 2017-18, including 3076 direct jobs and 2651 in other industries due to flow-on effects. The forest industry directly contributed more than $700 million to the value of Tasmanian output during the last financial year, increasing to $1277 million once flow-on effects to other industries were included. The research was conducted by the University of Canberra, in conjunction with consultancy EconSearch, a division of BDO Advisory. Lead researcher Associate Professor Jacki Schirmer explained the key findings. “Rapid decline in employment from 2008 has stopped, with job numbers stabilising post-2013,” she said. “The overall stabilisation is due to two different trends, namely the decline in native forest dependent jobs during this period being offset by growth in jobs in harvesting and woodchipping of hardwood plantations. “The forest industry remains important to many Tasmanian communities and it’s positive to see it recovering. However, growth will only continue for the longer term if there is investment in more downstream processing.” The new report also reveals 41% of jobs depend on native forest, 33% on softwood plantations and 26% on the growing hardwood plantation sector. Jobs are located around the state, with 38.6% located in the Southern region, 37.4% in the Northern region and 24.0% in the Cradle Coast. Across Tasmania, the areas with the highest reliance on the forest industry for employment were Dorset with 9.3% of workers directly employed in the forest industry, Circular Head with 6.6%, Derwent Valley with 6.5%, George Town with 6% and the Central Highlands with 5.4%. The Tasmanian forest industry generates more full-time jobs than other parts of the Tasmanian economy, with 82% of those employed in the industry working full-time in 2016, compared with 60% of the broader workforce in Tasmania. While challenges were also reported in parts of the industry, including difficulty recruiting some types of workers, Ms Schirmer said businesses were reasonably optimistic about future demand for forest products. “Just over half of forest industry businesses (55%) felt demand for their goods or services would grow in the next 12 months, and the remainder (45%) felt it would remain about the same. No businesses felt demand would reduce.” The full Socio-economic impacts of the forest industry – Tasmania report is available on the FWPA website.

Record prices for Australian hardwood chip exports

GFIS - Tue, 04/09/2018 - 00:39
June 2018 will be remembered, in the Australian wood resources trade at least, as the month that the average price reached a new record and topped AUDFob200/bdmt for the first time since it crept there for one month only, in March 2010. Source: IndustryEdge for Timberbiz The new record average price – AUDFob201.98/bdmt – was achieved with the average price for shipments to China reaching AUDFob208.21/bdmt, and the average price in to Japan also resting above AUDFob200/bdmt. Although not all Chinese ports have participated in the price frenzy, most have done so, and all have experienced price increases as the chart below shows. We know that some will demur, but the data tells one simple story: China is the leader on hardwood chip pricing, as well as volume. Hardwood Chip Export Prices to China by Port of Delivery: Jul ‘17 – Jun ’18 (AUDFob/bdmt) Source: ABS Export prices for hardwood chips destined for Japan have been more patchy, across the ports of delivery as can be seen below. Hardwood Chip Export Prices to Japan by Port of Delivery: Jul ‘17 – Jun ’18 (AUDFob/bdmt) Source: ABS The table shows Australia’s hardwood chip export prices to the major ports for both China and Japan, over the last three months. Australian Hardwood Chip Export Prices to Major Chinese and Japanese Ports: Apr ’18 – Jun ’18 (AUDFob/bdmt) Source: ABS The next chart shows the recent price experience on a species basis. It is not immediately clear in the chart, but the trend line for hardwood chips is more stable than that for softwood chips. Woodchip Export Prices by Species: Jul ’12 – Jun ‘18* (AUDFob/bdmt Source: ABS * from March 2016 to May 2017, Softwood chip price data was unavailable Analysis suggests that this continued and consistent pattern of hardwood chip price growth arises from the larger volumes exported, but also from the role that a clearly dominant buyer plays in the market. Chinese demand essentially ensures a bench sits under the price of hardwood chips. If nothing else, China’s leadership role in this resources trade is now confirmed. 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

Timberlink $100m investment in regional manufacturing Jobs

GFIS - Tue, 04/09/2018 - 00:35
Timberlink has approved a $100 million upgrade program to its Australian sawmills. This generational investment will see the total processing capacity of the Australasian sawmilling company increase by more than 15%. Source: Timberbiz The investment will secure more than 1350 direct and indirect jobs in regional Australia for years to come while supporting the residential housing sector with increased timber supply. Timberlink’s chairman and CEO of investment management firm New Forests, David Brand, expressed his support for the mill upgrade program. “This is a substantial re-investment in the Timberlink mill facilities and continues to demonstrate the strong recovery of the Australian forestry sector under institutional investor ownership,” he said. “Timberlink has become a leading wood products business, and I expect it will continue to innovate and grow, creating new manufacturing jobs in regional areas, while increasing the supply of timber in Australia.” A total of 290 additional jobs are anticipated during the construction phase of the $100 million program. In Tarpeena, South Australia, the investment will lead to the installation of a completely new saw line, stacker and edger, all with the latest leading-edge technology, coupled with additional contraflow and batch kilns for drying timber. Major site infrastructure changes including upgrades to roads and storage facilities will also be undertaken. At Timberlink’s Bell Bay site in Tasmania, new planer mill equipment will be installed along with a state-of-the-art contraflow kiln. Site infrastructure will be improved, including a new internal road system designed to improve safety outcomes and support the increase in site activity. The $100 million investment program will take place in stages over the next three years and will build on previous capex investments that have taken place in both mills over the past five years. Timberlink will continue discussions with the Tasmanian, South Australian, and Federal Governments, seeking their funding support for further enhancements related to these business expansion programs. “This is a great day for Australian manufacturing,” Timberlink CEO, Ian Tyson said. “We are ensuring that all aspects of the business are internationally competitive to secure our long- term future, and this significant investment will secure Timberlink’s position as one of Australasia’s leading softwood sawmillers. “Our integrated business model allows us to optimise and guarantee our supply from the forest all the way to our customer’s door, and at its core, this program is about increasing and securing that supply of timber.” The new capital also enables the ongoing investment in training and upskilling of Timberlink’s employees. With 87% of their workforce living in regional areas, these investments build stronger local economies that can support regional communities. Due to careful planning, the sawmills will be able to continue to operate normally during the building process. This will ensure that the supply of timber to customers will continue as usual.

Unprecedented demand leads to calls for more GiB licensed wood

GFIS - Mon, 03/09/2018 - 13:21

There is currently unprecedented demand for home grown timber, driven by rising import prices, greater use of timber and a desire from public and private businesses to use more assured homegrown timber products. The heat of the summer is reflected in the ‘heat’ in the timber markets from woodfuel (very hot !) though to sawn […]

The post Unprecedented demand leads to calls for more GiB licensed wood appeared first on Grown In Britain.

Photo contest winners depict movement and relaxation in Finland’s forests

GFIS - Mon, 03/09/2018 - 13:19
Recreation and leisure time were the focus of PEFC Finland’s photo contest ‘Vastuullisesti metsästä’ (Responsibly from the forests). The winning images, chosen out of 1200 photos that entered into the contest, highlight the recreational opportunities that forests...

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A NEW INBAR REGIONAL OFFICE FOR CENTRAL AFRICA

GFIS - Mon, 03/09/2018 - 12:45

A new INBAR Regional Office will strengthen bamboo and rattan development in Central Africa. Sunday 2 September, Beijing – On 2 September, INBAR and Cameroon formally agreed to establish a new INBAR Regional Office in Central Africa, in a signing ceremony held at the Embassy of Cameroon in Beijing, China. Cameroon has been a member […]

The post A NEW INBAR REGIONAL OFFICE FOR CENTRAL AFRICA appeared first on INBAR.

Join us in celebrating great British wood during this year’s GiB Week

GFIS - Mon, 03/09/2018 - 12:41

Grown in Britain Week 8-14th October 2018 Whether you’re involved in an architectural practice or a community forest, or working for a major construction contractor, a retailer, a charity or wildlife organisation, wherever you are you can help us celebrate Great British Wood during Grown in Britain Week.  We have special promotional packs available for our […]

The post Join us in celebrating great British wood during this year’s GiB Week appeared first on Grown In Britain.

Indonesia looking to protect biodiversity through trees on farms

GFIS - Mon, 03/09/2018 - 08:23

Representatives from government and non-governmental organizations are working together to ensure that growing more trees on agricultural land will increase protection of biodiversity as well as farmers’ livelihoods   In the province of West Kalimantan in Indonesia, an...

The post Indonesia looking to protect biodiversity through trees on farms appeared first on Agroforestry World.

Right-Wingers Humiliate Australia & Hammer the Earth

GFIS - Sun, 02/09/2018 - 09:01

An unsigned editorial by a frustrated ALERT member:

Only in an upside-down country like Australia would the term “Liberal” actually mean far-right conservative.

Australia’s "Liberal Party" showed its true colors last week by toppling the country's conservative but mainstream Prime Minister — in an effort to install their own right-wing hero.  A hero that nobody liked.

Thankfully, the attempt failed, miserably.

And in advancing this ill-fated coup, Australia’s hard-core conservatives haven't just failed themselves.

They’ve failed and embarrassed all Australians.  And the Earth as well.

Heat-stressed sheep en route from Australia

Emulating America?

For right-wingers in Australia, there seems to be only One True God: The god of mining and fossil-fuels — especially coal, the dirtiest of all energy sources, which Australia burns and exports massively.

The god of mining generously feeds and rewards Australia’s right-wingers – with a steady diet of millions of dollars each year. 

In turn, the right-wingers fall all over themselves telling Australians that coal is good — and how efforts to slow global warming and promote renewable energy are ill-considered and economically bad.

But no matter what else might happen, the far-right conservatives have been looking to help themselves.

The latest political disaster — resulting in Australia’s seventh Prime Minister in just the past decade — shows just how bad things Down Under have become. 

And Australia can thank its far-right extremists.

For this resounding humiliation. 

For the growing comparisons of Australia to unstable, tin-pot dictatorships.

For the election of Australia to the annals of environmental shame.

It almost sounds like Trump’s America.

Donald Trump and Australia's loudest disciple of Big Coal, Tony Abbott

Naughty, Naughty

Australians have never hesitated to wag their fingers at the environmental sinners of the world.  Don’t destroy Indonesia’s rainforests.  Stop the illegal logging of New Guinea. 

Stop global warming before it kills off our Great Barrier Reef.

But those arguments are ringing hollow now. 

Just a decade ago, things seemed different.  In 2007, Australia named global-warming Icon Tim Flannery as Australian of the Year

It seemed to herald a view that Australians saw the environment — and their role in protecting it — as a major priority.

But since then, good will has flown out the window, along with an unnervingly long list of national leaders. 

The conservatives killed off Australia’s carbon-pricing scheme – making Australia the first developed nation ever to do so.

In Queensland, rapid broad-scale land clearing has roared back.

The iconic Great Barrier Reef is being battered by extreme heat-waves and by pollution from rapid land-clearing and runoff.

Massive heat-caused bleaching of corals on the Great Barrier Reef

Heat-waves and droughts recently caused the largest dieoff of mangrove forests ever documented in Australia.

And Australia’s higher-altitude species — specialized for cool, cloudy conditions — are increasingly taking it in the neck as the thermometer rises.

The list of eco-calamities keeps growing.  And the politicians from Australia's hard right — and their all-powerful mining god — can be thanked for much of it.

Stop the Damage

With their clumsy, bully-boy tactics, the Australian far-right is not just hurting the country's environment and its booming outdoor-based tourism, lifestyles, and industries.

It's ravaging Australia’s credibility as an international leader — as a nation with enviable principles and conscience.

It surely isn’t worth it. 

In the land Down Under, it’s time to stop upside-down thinking and give the right-wingers in the Liberal Party a great big boot into political obscurity.

Ponsse opened a factory extension

International Forest Industries - Fri, 31/08/2018 - 10:26

On 24 August 2018, Minister of Industry Mika Lintilä opened a new plant extension at Vieremä. The factory extension marks a significant step in the development and competitiveness of Ponsse’s production.

Factory investment is the largest in Ponsse’s history as production facilities expand from 2.7 hectares to four hectares. Above all, investment means a leap in production technology.

– The new plant enables the development of quality, flexibility, safety and productivity. We are able to react more flexibly to changes in the market situation and to ensure the efficient customer variability of PONSSE forest machines under serial production conditions, says Juho Nummela, CEO of Ponsse Oyj.

Mika Lintilä, the businessman of the factory, announced in a banquet that the extension is an example of a future that has stamped Ponsse throughout its development.

– This will bring Ponsse’s competitiveness back to the next level. The continuous development of processes, the world’s best forest machines and the best quality for the customer, sound like excellent targets. But I am confident that Ponsse’s actual loss based on strong values and fair atmosphere. It always does, Minister Lintilä said.

Intelligent technology transforms warehouse logistics
The new factory also moved to the new intelligent inventory technology, which enables the components to flow smoothly into production lines. At the same time, the productivity of warehouse logistics increased significantly and the manual handling of components decreased. Storage automation includes 15,500 small stock storage sites and 3900 storage spaces.

The construction of the new plant started in late 2016. Brushes were exported in January, while 13,000 were completed. The PONSSE forest machine. All PONSSE forest machines are manufactured at Vierem in the world’s most modern forest machine factory.

The post Ponsse opened a factory extension appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Single-use plastics – paper industry shares MEPs’ perplexity on ill-defined “catch-all” product scope

GFIS - Thu, 30/08/2018 - 21:09

The European Commission’s proposal on single use plastics products (SUPP), aims at addressing the marine pollution caused by the most littered plastics products. Yet an ill-defined product scope, open for interpretation, could consider any material using any sort of plastics layer or coating as plastics, whether the materials is in contact with food or for other functionalities.

During their first discussion on the SUPP proposal, members of the Environment committee of the European Parliament have expressed their perplexity regarding its definition and scope. The rapporteur Frédérique Ries stated that the Commission’s proposal is indeed too vague and open for interpretation.

Her colleague and shadow rapporteur Massimo Paolucci also questioned definitions and the lack of emphasis on recyclability. Mark Demesmaeker, also shadow rapporteur, even wondered whether cardboard boxes with plastic coatings should be also considered as plastic. Similarly the European Commission also admitted there is a grey area and that definitions should be improved.

Reacting to the debates, CEPI urges a clear and clean-cut definition to avoid other materials being inadvertently classified as plastics and an implementation chaos. “Leaving the text wide-open for interpretation with ill-thought definitions will lead to implementation chaos, not least for the SUP but also for the entire Packaging Waste Directive and products classification on the market” say Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of CEPI. The Directive is aimed at, and should therefore be focused on, the single-use plastics products most present in the marine environment.”

Paper packaging is not just recyclable but massively recycled, at a rate of 84.6% (Eurostat 2016), far and beyond any other material. It also does not show up amongst most littered application found on European beaches according the European Environment Agency surveys. There is no rational to mix-up the scope and cover other materials.

Note to editor: CEPI is the pan-European association representing the forest fibre and paper industry. Through its 18 national associations CEPI gathers 495 companies operating more than 900 pulp and paper mills across Europe producing paper, cardboard, pulp and other bio-based products. 84.6% of paper-based packaging is recycled in the EU and this level will further rise with the new packaging and packaging waste directive. Coated or not with plastics, paper-based packaging are recyclable and recycled.

In shadow of volcano, local man speaks on benefits of ecotourism

GFIS - Thu, 30/08/2018 - 17:00
New approaches to ecotourism and sustainable forest management have improved livelihoods for people living near the Tacana volcano in the Mesoamerican Biodiversity Corridor. In a new 1-minute video, community member Anibal Abundio Berduo speaks about an ITTO-funded project that has helped people increase incomes, upgrade forest trails, lookouts and signage, and conserve their forests.

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by Dr. Radut