The Australian Forest Products Association SA Branch (AFPA-SA) welcomes Planet Ark’s National Tree Day, Australia’s largest community tree-planting event, which will take place on 31 July. Since National Tree Day started in 1996, more than 3.8 million people have planted 22.3 million trees and plants.
This is a great supplement to forest industries which themselves plant and regenerate the equivalent of 100,000 football fields of trees, which store more than 900,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. Each and every year, up to 60 million seedlings are planted or regenerated and Australia is considered world leading in its use of its forest resources.
Australia’s forest industries are recognised internationally as truly sustainable. The forest products industry is based on a renewable biological resource that contributes to long-term carbon emissions abatement. Atmospheric carbon is captured and stored in growing forests and in wood and paper products; emissions intensive materials such as steel, aluminium and concrete can be substituted with timber; and woody biomass can be used for renewable bioenergy.
State Manager of AFPA-SA Ms Clare Scriven said, “Now that the carbon constrained global economy is increasing the use of renewable and recyclable products, forestry and fibre are vital, and could play a much larger role in Australia. Sustainable forest industries are the environment’s best friend. South Australia has almost one tenth of Australia’s total plantation estate, so our state is ideally placed to turbo charge the opportunities in renewable resources,”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 4th Assessment Report) stated that, ‘A sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit’.
“As the only carbon positive sector of the Australian economy, the forest products industry can be at the forefront of a renewable and sustainable economy,” said Ms Scriven, “Community initiatives such as National Tree Day are a valuable complement to the ongoing carbon abatement activities inherent in forest industries.”
For more information about National Tree Day, please visit http://treeday.planetark.org/.