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Fern warns of EU’s free trade deal with Japan

GFIS - Tue, 25/09/2018 - 02:34
European non-governmental organization (NGO) Fern says the EU’s new free trade deal with Japan threatens global efforts to tackle illegal logging, including its own action plan. Source: FLEGT Fern is a Dutch foundation created in 1995. It is an international NGO set up to keep track of the European Union’s involvement in forests and to coordinate NGO activities at the European level. Fern works to protect forests and the rights of people who depend on them. The deal, which was agreed in July 2018 and is in the processing of being ratified, is the Fern believes it is a missed opportunity to promote the trade in legal and sustainable timber and improve forest governance and that it contradicts EU’s commitments to use trade to pursue sustainable development. They point out that a study of the deal’s potential impacts — published by the European Commission in 2016 — concluded that the agreement would boost economic activity which would increase incentives for illegal or unsustainable practices in countries from which Japan sources its timber and wood products. In an article published on Euractiv.com, Fern’s trade and forests campaigner Perrine Fournier says the deal “could also sabotage the EU’s own fight against illegal timber”. “The increased pressure on the world’s forests the pact is likely to herald, is down to three things,” Ms Fournier said. “First, Japan’s long history of importing illegal wood products. Second, its toothless laws to prevent this happening. Third, the weak text of the EU-Japan agreement.” While Japan has introduced a law promoting legal timber trade, it is voluntary. The EU-Japan trade deal, meanwhile, has no enforceable measures preventing the trade in illegal timber. Ms Fournier says the deal would be unfair to companies in the EU, which are prohibited from trading in illegally sourced wood, as it would allow their Japanese competitors to do so. She adds that the deal would discourage Japan’s supplier countries from taking strong action against illegal logging. Fern is calling on the European Parliament to partially suspend the ratification of the agreement so that “significant changes” can be made to avoid undermining the global fight against illegal timber.

Karri planting complete in Manjimup

GFIS - Tue, 25/09/2018 - 02:33
Karri planting has finished in the Manjimup area, with little time or seedlings to spare. Assistant Operations Officer Callum Raper said that the FPC has planted just over 268 hectares of karri seedlings this season, battling poor weather to do so in time. Source: Timberbiz “Our target was to plant 238.8 hectares of karri, so we exceeded that this season despite the storms,” Mr Raper said. A tool that assisted in achieving this target was the use of new technology. “Things like Samsung tablets have changed some of our approach in the field, letting us complete surveys on the go, and it also keeps live hygiene and planting maps in one easy to access location, rather than as bundles of paper in the back of a vehicle,” he said. The planting was carried out by contractors from Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and R & S Bamess. “The contractors fought through the terrible weather of the last few weeks to finish all planting on schedule,” Mr Raper said. The areas planted include harvested forest that is being regenerated and areas that were damaged in the 2015 Northcliffe fire.

NZ program to train young workers

GFIS - Tue, 25/09/2018 - 02:32
The New Zealand forest industry is another step closer to a more sustainable flow of trained workers with the imminent start of the Eastland Wood Council driven Generation Program. Source: Timberbiz Siobhain Fyall has been appointed program manager and the first course is set to start on October 15, 2018 with another following in late April 2019. Participants will spend six weeks at a forestry base camp industry introduction program followed by ‘learn while you earn’ work out with contractors complemented with part time courses through EIT Tairawhiti, Turanga Ararau and Competenz. All the while students would receive pastoral care from First Choice Employment. The new program is set to produce 12 graduates in the first year, 30 in the second and 60 in the third. Eastland Wood Council chief executive Kim Holland says the program is a real collaboration between the region’s key stakeholders that ensures trainees are qualified through a real world introduction to the different sectors within the industry. “It’s a multi-stakeholder approach with industry and training providers working together to ensure that the training meets industry’s skills needs,” Ms Holland said. “We all want to make sure the program succeeds and I believe by doing this it will better prepare the young people and increase the uptake by contractors as they will have more confidence in the abilities of the young people to do the work. Newly-appointed Eastland Wood Council Generation Program manager Siobhain Fyall has been employed to run the programs. Ms Fyall was appointed in August 2018. “I hear a lot about the issues they face trying to find workers,” Ms Fyall said. “It comes down to having basic common sense, a good attitude and an understanding of what it is to have a decent work ethic. Finding workers with these basic skills seems to be increasingly hard to find.” S he has 25 years tertiary teaching experience predominantly with youth, and focused on employment skills and work-based training. “I am excited to be part of his new innovative approach to forestry training. It offers a contextualized learning and a training environment that will allow our trainees an opportunity to experience working in a real work environment” she said. Trainees will get a mapped career pathway which will offer choices across different strands of interest in the industry. “We aim to match the trainee with a suitable employer for their placement,” Ms Fyall said. “The initial six weeks will build their self esteem and confidence by providing robust pastoral care and identify any issues or barriers that may impede on their training.”

WoodSolutions Young Professionals Network kicks off 

GFIS - Tue, 25/09/2018 - 02:31
WoodSolutions Young Professionals Network offers free networking events to provide opportunities for early career practitioners to develop useful contacts and enhance their knowledge of industry issues. Source: Timberbiz The network will hold regular meetings focusing on hot topics concerning timber construction. The first event was held on 20 September 2018. Laurence Ritchie, FWPA Cost and Program Estimator, Mid-rise Advisory Program, said the aim of these monthly meet-ups is to provide early career graduates with an informal, convenient opportunity to up-skill and network. “Attendees will have the chance to learn more about building, sustainability, design and so on,” Mr Ritchie said. “But just as importantly they will meet people at the same stage of their careers, albeit in different areas of the industry, and this will provide them with the opportunity to develop lasting, broad networks for the future.” The WoodSolutions Young Professionals Network is open to all young professionals under 35 years-old who are currently employed in the property design or construction industries. The first event included presentations that provided an introduction to engineered wood products and an update on some of the most exciting engineered timber projects currently planned or under construction around the world. Anyone who can’t attend events but would like to stay updated on future happenings of the network can join the WSYPN Facebook group, which functions as a forum and news source for new developments in timber construction. For more information contact Laurence at Laurence.ritchie@woodsolutions.com.au to join the mailing list. Registration for an event is free through Eventbrite but compulsory.

South Korea new requirements for compliance

GFIS - Tue, 25/09/2018 - 02:30
South Korea, one of the world’s largest importers of timber and woodbased products, has announced changes to its ‘Act on the Sustainable Use of Wood’ as it continues to enforce rigorous compliance against illegal logging. Source: Timberbiz About 84% of the country’s demand for wood is currently met by importers with New Zealand and Australia two of the country’s largest suppliers of log timber and sawn wood. The changes represent a significant shift towards establishing a distribution order for timber, with importers now liable under South Korean law to document all relevant information as it relates to legal logging over the last five years. From October 1, the industry will be required to lodge an ‘import declaration form’ to the ministry responsible for the Korea Forest Service when importing timber or timber based products, with confirmation of documents to be issued to the customs officer for clearance. The requirements apply to wood pellets (4401.31), logs (4403), sawn timber (4407) and plywood (4412). In return, importers will be issued with a ‘certificate of import declaration’ confirming the timbers legality, with suspension of sale, return or revocation of order if legality of the timber cannot be substantiated. Under a new enforcement, importers must now present the Minister of the Korea Forest Service with a document that is internationally recognised to certify timber legality. To demonstrate legality, importers can provide the Minister with a PEFC Forest Management and Forest Product Certificate or a certificate from Responsible Wood, the governing body for PEFC in Australia. Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries said the latest enforcement represented a ‘game change’ for the global timber import market. “These new penalties for noncompliance underpin a greater global commitment to procure certified timber in accordance with internationally recognised standards,” Mr Dorries said. In 2017, New Zealand was the largest exporter of log timber to South Korea, supplying more than 40% of the country’s total importation of log timber. Who is affected? • All exporters of the specified wood products to the Korea. • All forest owners/managers who are harvesting and have logs exported to Korea. • All forest owners/managers who are harvesting and send logs to mills which export sawn timber, wood pellets or plywood to Korea.

Gippsland Logistics Precinct started with Crossco

GFIS - Tue, 25/09/2018 - 02:29
The Andrews Labor Government is starting on the Gippsland Logistics Precinct, with design works for Tramway Road awarded to Gippsland-based company Crossco Consulting. Source: Timberbiz Latrobe City Council awarded the tender for design works to repair Tramway Road and bring it up to a standard that will cope with its future usage by heavy vehicles. The design works are an important first step to reactivate the disused rail freight site at the former Gippsland Intermodal Freight Terminal (GIFT) and pave the way for the development of fully-serviced Council-owned land for industrial purposes. “The design works for Tramway Road are an important first step in improving rail freight access, boosting transport efficiency, diversifying industry and reducing the number of heavy vehicles on Gippsland roads,” Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford said. The Gippsland Logistics Precinct is situated close to the Princes Freeway and adjacent to the GIFT, and will have excellent transport links to the state’s road network and the Port of Melbourne and Geelong. The precinct will provide an industrial area where locally-produced goods can be transferred directly into shipping containers for rail freight.

Why are structural softwood imports booming

GFIS - Tue, 25/09/2018 - 02:28
Australia’s booming sawn softwood imports are dominated by structural grades, latest analysis shows. Working with industry stakeholders, IndustryEdge has established that in July, structural grades accounted for 91.5% of total sawn softwood imports. Source: IndustryEdge for Timberbiz Imports for the month totalled 80,374 m3 according to IndustryEdge, and the structural grades more than 73,500 m3. “By the middle of next year, we expect sawn softwood imports are going to be around one million m3 on an annualized basis.” IndustryEdge’s Tim Woods said. “Structural grades are probably going to total more than 85% of the total.” IndustryEdge points to the closure of Carter Holt Harvey’s Morwell sawmill in late 2017 as one driver of the growing imports. “Obviously reduced local capacity has had an effect, but it is not the only factor.” Mr Woods said. “Sustained growth in demand and what appears to be pretty shallow inventories are also having an effect. We know that the depreciated Australian dollar should be forcing prices up, but so far the recent increases have been pretty modest.” Structural grades of sawn timber are a fundamental element of Australia’s building supply chain. Imports are around 20% of the market and may be more than that. “Imports are required to ensure that wood is available for frames, trusses and other building products in the main.” Woods stated. “Without the imports, less frames would be made of wood, and that is in no one’s interest.” 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

National forestry plan examined

GFIS - Tue, 25/09/2018 - 02:23
A total of 30 key plantation regions will be created under the Federal Government’s national forestry plan, with farmers playing a big role in planting trees. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz The $20 million, four-year plan aims to plant an additional 400,000 hectares of forests – a billion new trees – over the next decade. It was announced earlier this month by the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck. Senator Colbeck said the next generation of plantation growth would rely on, and reward, farmers. “The Government is determined to ensure that we support our farming communities and regional centres, and they will be a centre piece of this forestry industries plan,” he said. CSIRO research showed that trees in the right places improved crop and stock productivity, and provided other benefits – reducing erosion, reducing salinity, providing windbreaks and enhancing the amenity of the property. “Working with farmers to secure a long-term ‘wood bank’ … will be an economic win for the farmers and forest industries,” he said. “At maturity, when the trees have been established in the right quantities and in the right locations, they will provide wood and fibre resources for processing facilities and income for farming families.” Senaor Colbeck said the native forest sector would remain an important part of the industry. Special timbers from appropriate regions would be harvested ethically to ensure public support. “There are (also) huge opportunities for indigenous employment on country with harvesting done in sensitive and sustainable manner,” he said. The larger existing plantations are nestled in key plantation regions such as Tumut and Oberon in New South Wales, Gippsland and Colac in Victoria, Mt Gambier in south Australia, Mayborough in Queensland, Bunbury in Western Australia, and northern and southern Tasmania. Such areas and others are likely to become regional forestry hubs. The exact location, composition and size of the hubs will be determined in consultation with industry, state and local governments, and other key stakeholders. They will focus on existing softwood plantation and processing regions with access to transport and markets. Once established, the hubs will identify new plantation opportunities, ensuring the right trees and planted in the right places, and add value to existing infrastructure and processing capability. Senator Colbeck said the Government would work with industry and all levels of government to identify infrastructure needs and regulatory barriers. “The plan will determine opportunities and gaps in key regional forestry hubs,” he said. Transforming farm forestry as a commercial enterprise supplying timber is a key part of the plan. This includes: Undertaking an inventory of farm forestry resources on private land to determine their potential to supply wood for the processing sectors. Working with states and industry to help farmers explore opportunities for expanding farm forestry, creating future wood and fibre supplies, improving linkages with the forestry industries and increasing economic returns to farmers. Ensuring that farm forestry is fully integrated into the existing commercial supply chains. “The National Farmers Federation’s support for farm forestry … as a supplement to primary agriculture confirms that farmers are poised to support a bigger part of tree growing in our landscape,” he said. Senator Colbeck said planting a billion new trees over the next decade would sequester an additional 18 megatonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2030. Also, the Government would: Undertake a review of the water requirements in the Emissions Reduction fund (ERF) farm forestry and plantation methodologies to enable forestry to fully participate in the ERF. Review other legislation, policies and processes that may be unintentionally restricting plantation expansion. Senator Colbeck said Australia needed more wood because the country’s two million hectare plantation estate had not grown in size in the past 10 years. Only 0.06% of native forest was harvested and regenerated annually, yet Australia’s population was growing rapidly, and global demand for timber was expected to quadruple by 2050. Senator Colbeck said apart from housing, technological advances were unlocking new materials derived from trees. These included engineered wood products, the construction of high-rise buildings entirely out of wood, food additives, pharmaceutical and medical applications, biofuels and wood plastics that can be turned into anything from car components to recyclable replacement plastic bags. “These new applications for wood and fibre will place even more pressure on Australia’s existing forest resources,” he said.

Astronomers use Earth's natural history as guide to spot vegetation on new worlds

GFIS - Mon, 24/09/2018 - 23:44
By looking at Earth's full natural history and evolution, astronomers may have found a template for vegetation fingerprints -- borrowing from epochs of changing flora -- to determine the age of habitable exoplanets.

Namibia Launches NDC Partnership Plan for Climate Action

GFIS - Mon, 24/09/2018 - 22:58
The priority areas outlined in Namibia’s NDC Partnership Plan include developing better framework conditions for effective climate change governance, and strengthening financing of projects that help reduce emissions. In its NDC, Namibia has committed to reduce emissions by 89% by 2030 compared to the business-as-usual scenario through climate-smart agriculture, reducing deforestation and renewable energy.

Carbon Markets Update: ETS Reforms, Carbon Markets Alignments and Blockchain for Carbon Impact

GFIS - Mon, 24/09/2018 - 22:47
EU and California intensify cooperation on carbon markets. New Zealand proposes emissions trading reforms. Carbon Tracker Report predicts European Market Stability Reserve to prompt coal-to-gas switch. Pilot Project in Thailand tests Blockchain application in solar energy for data verification and carbon credit automatization.

Brazil: The Suruí REDD project has been suspended indefinitely

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 22:36
The Suruí Forest Carbon Project in Brazil has been suspended indefinitely as a result of illegal diamond and gold mining, as well as illegal logging, inside the 248,147 hectare territory of the Suruí. The Suruí REDD project and carbon credits The Suruí REDD project started on 9 June 2009 and was validated under the Verified […]

Northern European Countries Rank Highest Among Rich Countries that Help Poor

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 21:24
The Center for Global Development has released its 2018 Commitment to Development Index, which analyzes seven policy areas: aid; finance; technology; environment; trade; security; and migration. Sweden ranks the highest on the CDI, with other European countries occupying the top 12 positions in the Index. Poland, Greece and the Republic of Korea place at the bottom of the rankings.

Article Finds Commodity-driven Deforestation Remains Key Driver of Forest Loss

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 21:23
An article in Science by a group of authors from WRI, the Sustainability Consortium and the University of Maryland finds that 27 percent of deforestation results from permanent land use change for commodity production. The authors suggest that their results indicate that policies designed to achieve zero deforestation commitments “are not being adopted or implemented at the pace needed to meet 2020 goals” nor do they combat deforestation, as called for under SDG 15 (life on land).

Climate Action Roadmap Shows Sectors Can Halve Emissions by 2030 with Strong Policies

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 21:21
The report details steps to 2030 to catalyze action at the speed and scale required to combat climate change, including solutions to halve emissions in a range of sectors, and specific strategies to accelerate their scaling up. Existing technologies and companies behind them could help determine whether we live on a 1.5-2°C planet or in a +3°C world. While technology alone cannot solve the climate challenge, the authors conclude that “a critical mass” of businesses, cities, nations, industries and citizens contributing to the Paris Agreement on climate change will create “the snowball effect” leading to the scaling up of solutions.

Investor Coalition Joins Manifesto to Halt Deforestation in the Cerrado

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 21:11
In the Statement of Support for the Cerrado Manifesto, a coalition of investors and large food companies call for adopting policies to halt further deforestation in Brazil’s Cerrado region. The Cerrado stores the equivalent of 13.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide and plays a critical role in Brazil’s fresh water systems.

UNECE Integrates SDGs into Review of Albania’s Environmental Progress

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 21:06
The UN Economic Commission for Europe’s third Environmental Performance Review of Albania finds that the country has aligned its national agenda with the 2030 Agenda and is working to develop a national SDG action plan. The country has increased its protected area coverage and banned logging. Challenges include municipal waste, rural water supply, sanitation and wastewater treatment, and environmental monitoring.

Initiatives Present Approach for Sustainable Mountain Development Using the SDGs

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 20:39
The Mountain Research Initiative and the Centre for Development and Environment released a paper that aims to help contextualize and highlight the specific needs and challenges for mountain communities and ecosystems in addressing sustainable mountain development. The report recommends developing a subset of SDG indicators to assess local progress that are relevant to SMD, applicable to different mountain regions worldwide and practical to use.

New John Deere L-Series II Skidders and Wheeled Feller Bunchers provide simplified, reliable machines for loggers

International Forest Industries - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 16:33

Continuously evolving to better its machines and exceed customer expectations, John Deere is excited to introduce the new L-Series II Skidders and Wheeled Feller Bunchers. The new L-Series II machines feature a simplified design, providing a reliable, powerful solution, while still maintaining the productivity-boosting features of the original line, including an increase in hydraulic speed, large grapples and an improvement in weight distribution.

“With the new L-Series II machines, we wanted to build upon the best features of the original machines, while also simplifying the design to increase reliability,” said Brandon O’Neal, product marketing manager, John Deere Construction and Forestry. “Listening to our customers, we reworked the machines, making significant improvements under the hood. The new L-Series II machines offer decreased downtime without any changes to power and productivity.”

The new, simpler L-Series II models enhance customer experience by reducing maintenance and increasing uptime due to a number of part changes. Other changes to the machines include a reduction to the complexities of the electrical and hydraulic systems and improvements to component placements. “They [John Deere] rerouted it so the wires wouldn’t be so bunched up in the machine,” noted Wayne Sugg of Sugg Logging, who was one of the first loggers to test the new machines. “Since we’ve had the L-Series II 843 we’ve put 300 hours on it and haven’t had any downtime whatsoever. Uptime is important, because if the wood’s not going out getting on the trucks I’m not making any money.”

The L-Series II machines also include changes to boost productivity. The new skidder models offer increased grapple squeeze force of up to 10 percent. Articulation steering sensors improve the operator experience, ultimately increasing productivity. A new two-speed 4000 winch replaces the previous single-speed winch. “The machine is better, stronger and faster than the original. These machines – on a daily basis – they just they take a beating. The more you beef it up, the stronger it’s going to be, and the better it’ll be for us.” said Zane Winfield of Southern Logging, who also got a chance to experience the new machines.

In addition to the new changes, the L-Series II Skidders and Wheeled Feller Bunchers retain the productivity-boosting features that loggers loved in the original models. From a comfortable operator station to durable axles and rugged, large grapples, the L-Series II models offer loggers the features they need to tackle tough jobs. “We’ve spent countless hours collecting customer feedback to ensure our new machines met their needs, understanding the demands they face daily,” said O’Neal.

The cabs on all skidders and wheeled feller bunchers are equipped with features designed to maximize comfort, ultimately increasing productivity. Amenities like the efficient HVAC system, improved ergonomic controls and storage space offer the creature comforts loggers desire. Joystick steering and an optional rotating seat reduces strain on the operator’s body.

The L-Series II Skidder models feature the powerful Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which combines the smoothness of a hydrostatic transmission with the fuel efficiency of a lockup torque converter. This combination enables the skidders to boast excellent fuel efficiency, longer engine life and enhanced operator comfort.

Offering a one-button Quick Dump feature, the wheeled feller bunchers improves efficiency with the push of one button to release trees in a single, smooth motion. Additionally, the head-tilt and arm functions are combined to help minimize fatigue while improving productivity.

Another industry-changing feature on our skidders that carried over from the previous models are the durable axles – particularly the Outboard-Extreme™ axles. The models feature a pressurized continuous-lube system and independent axle filters that extend wear life. The rugged Outboard-Extreme axles – standard on the 848 and 948 models, and optional on the 748 machines – feature larger components, delivering maximum jobsite durability and a heavier weight for boosted machine stability.

These new models retain the impressive weight distribution, tire options and increased hydraulic speed that current machine-owners commend.

To learn more about the L- Series II Skidders and Wheeled Feller Bunchers, visit www.johndeere.com

Justin McDermott
Forestry Sales Manager – U.S. & Canada

The post New John Deere L-Series II Skidders and Wheeled Feller Bunchers provide simplified, reliable machines for loggers appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Save the date: Matchmaking Day in Ås, Norge, November 8

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 15:44
We will repeat the success! Welcome to Matchmaking Day in Ås, Norge, November 8! Welcome to our new Matchmaking day, get inspired, let the creativity flow! You will meet representatives from SNS , NKJ, EFINORD and NordGen Forest and we’ll tell you about how to apply for funding from us. Lukasz Andrzej Derdowski…

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by Dr. Radut