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25 Years of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management: How Intergovernmental C&I

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 10:40
The article conclude that the 25-year history of C&I work in forestry has had significant positive impacts, though challenges do remain for the implementation of C&I and progress towards SFM. The work should be continued and carried over to other sectors to advance sustainability goals more broadly.

New climate strategy gives Icelandic forests an upswing

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 09:12
In recent years, public contributions to the forest sector in Iceland have been sharply reduced. Earlier Perspective texts here The total area of forest and woodland in Iceland has at least doubled, possibly quadrupled, since 1950. Whether this should be considered a large or small increase depends on the comparison.…

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Japan wants wood in kitchens and bedrooms

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 01:08
Year-on-year, Japan’s June imports of wooden kitchen furniture were up 12% but flat compared with the value of June imports while imports of wooden office furniture were down. Sources: Timberbiz, Lesprom As has been the case since the beginning of 2018, three suppliers accounted for most of Japan’s wooden kitchen furniture imports; the Philippines (48%), Vietnam (36%) and China (9%). In June, imports of wooden kitchen furniture from Chinese shippers fell 27% driving down their June market share by about half. Year-on-year Japan’s June 2018 imports of wooden office furniture were down 3%. The decline in June imports marked the third monthly fall driving down total 2Q imports sharply. The top three shippers of wooden office furniture to Japan in June – China, Portugal and Poland accounted for more than 60% of all wooden office furniture imports. Unexpectedly, Japan’s imports of wooden bedroom furniture surged in May reversing two months of declines. The value of May imports of wooden bedroom furniture was up 21% compared with April and year-on-year May 2018 imports were 14% higher. The top three shippers of wooden bedroom furniture to Japan in May were, in order of value, China, Vietnam and Thailand. Exporters in these three countries accounted for 90% of Japan’s wooden bedroom furniture imports in May. Shippers in China accounted for 59% of May imports followed by Vietnam (28%) and Thailand.

Unique possibility for disruptive start ups

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 01:03
Based on last year’s success, Stora Enso has announced a second Accelerator program in partnership with Aalto ENT and Vertical Accelerator. For startups, the program brings new opportunities as well as unprecedented access to Stora Enso talents and leadership, working side-by-side for innovative solutions. Source: Timberbiz In the 2017 program, six startups were selected and collaboration projects focused on digital solutions particularly around smart factories, supply chain, customer experience and renewable products. One example was Sulapac. Following on the Accelerator program, Stora Enso and Sulapac signed a joint development agreement to combat the global problem of plastic waste by accelerating the use of fully renewable, recyclable and biodegradable materials in packaging. This year, the Accelerator program will focus on the circular economy, especially in regard to circular solutions, raw material management, packaging, separation and sorting, and fuel. Stora Enso is looking for startups with current offerings in supply chain technologies, IoT, big data, analytics, machine learning, AI, VR, robotics, automation, or hardware systems that can be the basis for solutions in the circular economy. “Our first Accelerator program was a big success and I’m confident that this second one will be even better,” Markus Mannström, Executive Vice President, Biomaterials division said. “Working with startups that have ideas around recycling and reuse will be a unique opportunity to explore the circular economy further. It may be self-evident, but to work with a startup for months is a great experience in itself.” Malin Bendz, Executive Vice President, HR says that together, Stora Enso and the startups will actively ideate and innovate to create new solutions with renewable materials at the foundation. “Startups work with dedicated Stora Enso teams, and can tap into our executive competence and network to further develop their business,” he said. “Merging the corporate and startup mindsets, Stora Enso benefits from the entrepreneurial approach, while startups work with a world-class company that could potentially become a future partner.”

Trelleborg Twins on Ponsse Elephant

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 01:02
The latest addition to Swedish logging company WNK Skogsgallring’s collection of forest machinery is a brand new Ponsse Elephant forwarder, equipped with eight Twin Forestry T480 tyres. Source: Timberbiz When fully loaded with timber, the vehicle weighs 45 tonnes. With such a heavy machine, it is essential to move around with caution; the effect of climate change bringing milder winters has increased the risk of ground damage, soil compaction and growth decline. Wet soil and a 45-ton machine are a dangerous combination however, the Trelleborg Twin Forestry T480 incorporates the wide flat profile of the tyre creating a large contact area, resulting in low ground pressure and less impact on the forest floor. “Our sales contact at Ponsse recommended the Trelleborg forestry tyres,” WNK Skogsgallring’s owner Niklas Nannestad said. “We are satisfied with Trelleborg tyres overall and about half of our machines are now equipped with them.” He says the biggest advantage of the T480s is the perfect fit between tyres and tracks. “The tyres have clearly been adapted to fit well with tracks, providing exceptional grip. This is an important feature because we drive large machines and always use tracks to increase bearing power and decrease impact on the ground. The tyres’ transverse grooves also mean less slippage, longer lasting and better fuel consumption.” It takes Nannestad and his colleagues just two to three days to clear an area and produce 900 cubic meters of timber.

Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers’ annual report

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 01:01
Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers’ (KIPT) annual report was released recently and the company has said that it was issued without any qualification or emphasis from the auditor. KIPT is a publicly listed company. Source: Timberbiz In a media statement KIPT said that its conservative approach to biological asset valuations, strong cash at bank and the further availability of debt finance if required put it in a sound position. A profit of $13m was noted mainly on the back of strengthening USD prices for pine logs and hardwood chip, and this was despite the company electing to adopt a USD rate of 80c. The annual report includes details of the year’s events for the company and that it has made steady progress towards its goal of exporting its sustainably grown timber from its own port facilities.

NZ delegation to China – the case for more investment

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 00:59
The largest ever New Zealand forest industry delegation to China’s showcase Global Wood Trade Conference has made the case for more investment in New Zealand forestry and timber processing. Source: Timberbiz Forest Owners Association President, Peter Weir told delegates at Chongqing that more timber processing in New Zealand, before export, reduced the overall energy and carbon emissions required to produce and transport the finished product. “There’s also a particular opportunity for primary processing of pruned logs in New Zealand rather than the current approach of mixing quality logs with sap-degraded logs and a subsequent loss of value by both parties,” Mr Weir said. New Zealand Forestry Minister, Shane Jones told the conference New Zealand is heavily reliant on access to foreign capital and also has a need to substantially increase its forest reserves. He said this is behind the government creating a more streamlined process for investment in forestry using foreign capital and this creates a special opportunity for those interested in working with New Zealand. He invited potential investors to consider connecting with the New Zealand industry representatives. This invitation from Shane Jones comes at a time when there is increasing concern in China with the implications of the US tariffs. Numerous Chinese speakers at the conference referred to the trade war with the US and that they anticipated this to be a long drawn out battle. Commentators at the conference believe the impact of increased US tariffs could cost China 1.5% of its GDP. On the positive side, potential Chinese investors acknowledged the US trade problems were an opportunity to strengthen other trading partnerships and thus welcomed the invitation from Shane Jones. New Zealand Forest growers and processors report constructive engagement with members of the China Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association – the hosts of the Chongqing Conference. The CTWPD has thousands of members across China and there has been interest from the Chinese members in both the opportunities to invest in forests and processing in New Zealand, as well as securing additional wood supply. A number of the CTWPD group have expressed interest in a reciprocal visit to New Zealand later in the year to follow up on some of these options.

Almost $6m to plant 4574 trees in NZ

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 00:58
Funding of NZ$5.9 million will be given to landowners nationwide to plant 4574 hectares of trees under Te Uru Rākau’s (Forestry New Zealand’s) Afforestation Grants Scheme (AGS). Source: Timberbiz Eighty-three applications were approved in the 2018 round, with 2788 hectares being planted in the North Island and 1785 hectares in the South Island. This year’s AGS grants will contribute about 4.5 million trees to the government’s One Billion Trees program. The AGS was launched in 2015 to encourage and support planting new forests. Southland, Waikato and Manawatū-Whanganui regions are planting the largest hectares of trees, with 1246 hectares in Southland, 1220 hectares in Waikato, and 428 hectares in Manawatū-Whanganui. The tree type that will be planted in greatest numbers across all regions is mānuka. Most tree planting will be done in 2019, with eight funding recipients looking to plant this year. “The AGS has helped landowners achieve positive economic outcomes by helping them plant trees on erosion-prone land and regenerating indigenous forests while reducing some of the high costs associated with marginal land,” Steve Penno, director of investment programs said. “New forests established by the AGS since 2015 have also delivered environmental benefits such as reducing soil erosion, improving water quality, and absorbing around 1.9 million tonnes of carbon every year.” With the 2018 funding round complete, the AGS will be replaced by a new grants scheme which will be launched later this year under the One Billion Trees program. “The new forestry grant scheme will be simplified and accessible and will continue to help landowners meet the cost of planting and establishing trees,” Mr Penno said. “The goal will always be to ensure we have the right tree in the right place, for the right purpose.” The new forestry grant scheme will be funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) with NZ$118 million set aside over the next three years. A further NZ$120 million has been set aside for partnership projects which will work to create closer relationships with regional councils, non-government organisations, researchers, training organisations, Māori landowners, and community groups.

Drought assistance from OneFortyOne

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 00:57
Normally the trucks leaving OneFortyOne’s Jubilee Highway Sawmill are loaded with crates of timber for building houses. However, the sawmill team has recently dispatched two crates of donated goods to help farming families in drought-stricken NSW.  Source: Timberbiz OFO’s Maree Little led the employee donation drive having seen the news. “For all of us living in regional communities, we know how important our farmers are, and we all know what it’s like to go through a tough time. We know that community help during these times is just so important and appreciated,” she said. With this in mind, Ms Little reached out to the charity “Drought Angels” and got a list of items that were desperately needed. These ranged from non-perishable food items such as tea, cereal and sauce, through to men and women’s toiletries, cleaning products and even items for children like craft supplies and toothpaste. “The call was put out to the OFO teams at the mill and the forests for donations, and I was overwhelmed by everyone’s support,” Ms Little said. “It has been a really humbling experience to see my colleagues jump on board in such a big way. I was expecting people would donate the odd item or two, but most people brought in shopping bags full of goods.” The donated goods left the Jubilee Highway Sawmill on a Linfox Mount Gambier truck heading to Victoria where “Need for Feed-Disaster Relief” will deliver the donations to those in need. Need for Feed is a Lions Club project who have been supporting communities and farmers affected by fire, drought and flood relief since 2006.

Top 5: Market Points from IndustryEdge

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 00:56
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 608,599 bdmt – Australia’s exports of hardwood chips in July 2018 were toward the top of the long-term monthly range, remaining above 600,000 bdmt for the second successive month 279,744 m3 – softwood log exports in July were 21.4% below the average of the last year, despite the average export price rising to new highs… AUD148.38/m3 OR USD110.26/m3 – the average price of Australia’s softwood log exports in July hit new peaks, on a free-on-board basis 20,138 m3 – Australia’s exports of sawn timber (hardwood and softwood) in July 2018, were on the annual trend 10 years – since the collapse of Lehmann Brothers in the US heralded the commencement of the global financial crisis.

Improvements on the cards for industry statistics

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 00:54
Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is developing opportunities to improve the way industry statistics are collected in a number of key areas, such as safety. Source: Timberbiz A specific data-sharing portal has been established for the aggregation of safety data and FWPA is providing support to the Softwood Processors Workplace Health and Safety Interest Group. The Safety Data Series will provide an aggregated data set of lead and lag safety indicators for growers and processors. In addition to a growers’ interest group, the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has now established the Softwood Processors Workplace Health and Safety Interest Group. The group has received funding from FWPA for secretarial support. The eight participating companies in the softwood group will use the portal to benchmark safety performance across some standard OH&S metrics, using 24 months of data provided by softwood processors.

AFPA annual report released

GFIS - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 00:52
The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has released its annual report for the 2017/2018 year and in it  Chief Executive Officer Ross Hampton said the association has had a strong year, growing in membership, capacity, capability and influence. Source: Timberbiz He said that AFPA has gained the support of the vast majority of the companies operating right across the forest industry value chain. The long battle to have rotational forestry accepted into the Emissions Reduction Fund is a good example of the resoluteness of this association noting that policy change of any note is a difficult process, requiring perseverance, determination and demanding an association deploy all the elements of policy making. In financial terms AFPA is in a sound position to the satisfaction of the auditors. Mr Hampton said that last year’s change to the AFPA constitution, to enable the four AFPA chambers to each offer up two participants to a vote at the AGM, has strengthened the board’s diversity and representational structure. “As I speak to members around Australia right across the value chain I gain a strong sense of optimism. We have some positive tailwinds,” Greg McCormack AFPA chair said in the report. “The dollar has receded against the greenback from its global business-killing heights of two years ago.” Mr McCormack said that AFPA was already starting to see more retail companies agreeing that proven sustainable management practices and chain of custody is important to the end user. He stressed that there remains serious challenges from vocal minorities to our sustainable use of native forests who misuse ‘half truth’ science to drive political outcomes which cost dearly. “Growing our plantation estate has been the number one goal of AFPA for the last several years,” he said.

Improving 'silvopastures' for bird conservation

GFIS - Wed, 19/09/2018 - 19:39
The adoption of 'silvopastures' -- incorporating trees into pastureland -- can provide habitat for forest bird species and improve connectivity in landscapes fragmented by agriculture. But how do silvopastures measure up to natural forest habitat? New research shows that birds in silvopasture forage less efficiently than those in forest fragments but offers suggestions for how silvopasture habitat could be improved.

Newly identified African bird species already in trouble

GFIS - Wed, 19/09/2018 - 19:39
Central Africa's Albertine Rift region is a biodiversity hotspot consisting of a system of highlands that spans six countries. Recent studies have shown that the population of sooty bush-shrikes occupying the region's mid-elevation forests is a distinct species, and new research reveals that this newly discovered species may already be endangered due to pressure from agricultural development.

Diverse forests are stronger against drought

GFIS - Wed, 19/09/2018 - 19:30
Researchers report that forests with trees that employ a high diversity of traits related to water use suffer less of an impact from drought. The results, which expand on previous work that looked at individual tree species' resilience based on hydraulic traits, lead to new research directions on forest resilience and inform forest managers working to rebuild forests after logging or wildfire.

‘Actually existing’ REDD: Social tensions, ongoing deforestation, local confusion, financial benefits not delivered

GFIS - Wed, 19/09/2018 - 16:26
“Early evidence from REDD+ projects suggests major challenges, including: ongoing weak enforcement of domestic laws on forests and land, leading to limited effectiveness; contestation or conflict over property rights and community benefits; as well as securitisation and violence, often perpetrated by government agencies.” That’s from a recent paper published in Conservation and Society. The paper […]

NordGen ten years

GFIS - Wed, 19/09/2018 - 10:10
SNS had the great honor to participate in the ten year anniversary of NordGen – a celebration of the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of Nordic genetic resources.     Share List

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Strong policies, certification key to sustainable oil palm production

GFIS - Wed, 19/09/2018 - 00:00

This week the Malaysian Palm Oil Council is hosting the 5th International Palm Oil Sustainability Conference, a two-day event that provides palm oil industry stakeholders with updates on current and emerging trends and sustainability developments.


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by Dr. Radut