The ‘Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land’ released yesterday, backs Australia’s forest industries to help fight climate change, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Mr Ross Hampton said today.

This latest IPCC report reinforces its previous 4th assessment statement on the positive role of sustainable forestry and agroforestry in climate change mitigation, which was:

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.

“This latest IPCC report is further evidence that Australia’s forest management practices of sustainable harvest and regeneration are as good as anywhere in the world when it comes to emissions reduction and carbon mitigation benefits. It is better for the environment to have well managed multiple-use forests that continue to produce renewable forest products that store carbon and bioproducts that substitute for fossil fuels-based alternatives, than to lock forests up,” Mr Hampton said.

The latest IPCC report states:

Sustainable forest management aimed at providing timber, fibre, biomass, non-timber resources and other ecosystem functions and services, can lower GHG emissions and can contribute to adaptation. B5.3.

Sustainable forest management can maintain or enhance forest carbon stocks, and can maintain forest carbon sinks, including by transferring carbon to wood products, thus addressing the issue of sink saturation… Where wood carbon is transferred to harvested wood products, these can store carbon over the long-term and can substitute for emissions-intensive materials reducing emissions in other sectors. B5.4.

Most mitigation pathways include substantial deployment of bioenergy technologies. B7.4.

The use of residues and organic waste as bioenergy feedstock can mitigate land use change pressures associated with bioenergy deployment. B3.3.