The Chair of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Diana Gibbs has announced that long-serving AFPA CEO, Ross Hampton has accepted a new role as part-time ‘Counsellor – International Affairs’ for AFPA, commencing early in 2023.
Diana Gibbs said, “The AFPA Board is very aware that decisions which affect our industries are being strongly influenced by global developments. In 2021 the Morrison Coalition Government, for example, signed us up to the Glasgow Declaration on Forests and Land Use. Likewise, the Albanese Labor Government has just signed the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership at COP27 in Egypt.
“AFPA endorsed the signing of these pledges by the Federal Government, noting that sustainable forestry is mentioned as having a positive role to play in both.
“What is very apparent however, is that mere mentions of sustainable forestry need to be moved to centre stage. Growing sustainable, ‘climate-smart’ forestry (where trees used for timber and fibre are replanted or resown) is absolutely critical to achieving broader climate and deforestation goals. This is the sort of forestry we do in Australia.
“This is not a discussion we can have just among ourselves in Australia. For this reason, we are pleased that Ross Hampton will be able to add our voice to the global conversations from his new base in London.
“Being based in London will also assist Ross to contribute even more as Chair of the FAO Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-Based Industries (ACSFI); the FAO being headquartered in Rome.”
Ross Hampton said, “The FAO recently reported that, if we are to meet the world’s ambition to pivot to the bio-economy by replacing plastics with fibre packaging and steel and concrete with timber in construction, we must rapidly increase sustainable forestry outcomes. A report by respected South African consultancy Dalberg, released at COP27 in Egypt, repeated these clarion calls.
“It is critical that Australia – and other nations with strong governance structures and where more forestry is done in a ‘one out one in’ model – are encouraged to do even more. If the world fails in this regard, it is the fear of many that it will exacerbate deforestation in places like the Congo Basin.”