The forest, wood and paper industries are based on a biological resource that is renewable and relies on the sun to produce timber and fibre. The environmental benefits of these industries include low fossil fuel energy inputs when compared with alternative materials such as steel, aluminium and concrete. Other benefits include the carbon stored over time in forests and harvested wood and paper products and the high propensity for recycling and re-use of these products.
This roadmap shows how governments can assist, through key measures to promote these opportunities.
AFPA has identified eight key priorities for government and industry to partner in positioning the industry at the forefront of the low carbon economy and to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits.
Plan for a renewable future. Recognise the environmental and economic value to the Australian community of a vibrant forest products industry and plan for expanded contribution of the industry to a low carbon economy.
- Carbon economy and renewable energy. Deliver a better regulatory environment and a new program of direct action for the commercialisation of carbon sequestration in forests and forest products through payments for carbon storage and greater use of biomass for renewable energy.
- Building resource security. Stimulate capital investment for new softwood and hardwood plantations and support the Regional Forest Agreements to provide long term wood supply from sustainably managed forests.
- Competitive energy networks. Deliver competitive and efficient (low cost) energy networks for wood and paper manufacturing users, including affordable gas and associated gas infrastructure.
- Improving market access. Deliver fast and effective anti-dumping action, support certification, address illegally sourced imports of wood and paper products and recognise the environmental advantages of wood through building codes and energy rating schemes.
- Public communications. Promote the benefits of sustainable forest management and recognise the renewability of products derived from wood through public communications activities.
- Investment environment. Facilitate investment comparable to other countries, by reducing sovereign risk, transparent planning processes and incentives for investment.
- Infrastructure and R&D. Develop better infrastructure promote skills and resume funding of R&D in sustainable forest industries.