New Queensland research shows multiple-use state forests used for sustainable timber production provide greater overall carbon mitigation and social benefits than national parks, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Ross Hampton said today.
The Indufor-Natural Capital Economics study found – ‘State forests…would have a slightly superior outcome in terms of carbon sequestration and storage in forest and offsite storage and substitution impacts, in comparison to formally protected forests, over the longer term.’
The study also concludes the net benefit for state forest management in South and Central Queensland equated to $1.2 billion in additional social benefits over the next 100 years, or 30 per cent higher than if the forests were national parks. The study compared management outcomes in state forests and national parks using cost benefit analysis.
“This research clearly demonstrates the higher carbon value and community benefits derived from native forests where sustainable timber harvesting takes place. Not only is biodiversity protected, but these forests also allow broader recreation activities, while the harvested timber goes on to create quality, sustainable and essential products where carbon is locked up, thereby fighting climate change,” Ross Hampton said.
It also reinforces that sustainable timber harvesting is not a common or significant threat to forest biodiversity.
“Sustainable native forestry is critical to Australia. It’s critical in terms of carbon sequestration, to provide sustainably sourced timber and fibre products, and is socially and economically critical to the communities it underpins,” Ross Hampton said.
“This study clearly shows the beneficial triple bottom line outcomes from the multiple-use management of state native forests at a regional level.”
The cost-benefit study was commissioned by the South & Central Queensland Regional Forestry Hub with funding from the Australian Government, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.