Australia’s forest industries welcome and support the commitment from world leaders on halting deforestation by 2030 at the Glasgow Climate Change Summit, COP26.
Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) CEO Ross Hampton said our forests are the world’s lungs and need to be sustainably managed.
“The Deforestation Pledge acknowledges that reducing deforestation efforts need to be made in concert with increasing sustainable agriculture, sustainable forest management, forest conservation and restoration, and support for Indigenous Peoples and local communities – practices where Australia’s forest industries are leading the way,” Mr Hampton said.
The Deforestation Pledge support for sustainable forest management is in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which reinforced that this was also the best way to deal with climate change:
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.” – IPCC 4th Assessment
“Timber harvesting operations in Australia do not result in deforestation, as all areas harvested are regenerated to ensure there is no net loss over time in forested area. In simple terms every Australian tree used is replaced,” Mr Hampton said.
“Yet those who seek to reduce these operations in Australia – such as the Labor Governments of Western Australia and Victoria – will be responsible for pushing Australian demand for hardwoods offshore and, in some places, contribute to more deforestation.
“This puts those state government decisions at odds with our nation’s commitment to the Deforestation Pledge. Already furniture makers in WA are seeking alternate supplies to Jarrah from Indonesian rainforest timber.”
“If Australia is serious about being part of the solution to deforestation globally, rather than contribute to the problem, we must increase, not decrease, the ability of Australians to source timber locally from our certified and sustainably managed natural forests and plantations,” Mr Hampton concluded.