World Environment Day: Sustainable Aussie timber and wood fibre is critical to protect our environment and decarbonise our economies

This World Environment Day the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) is calling on all governments and policymakers to better recognise the role sustainably produced Aussie timber and wood fibre plays in helping the nation to protect the environment. From sequestering carbon, to making low carbon renewable and biodegradable environmentally friendly products, Australia’s sustainable forest sector is critical to protecting our environment and also to decarbonise our economies, Acting Chief Executive Officer of AFPA Natasa Sikman said today.

On World Environment Day 2023 the United Nations (UN) is reminding the globe that action on plastic pollution matters and that it’s time to accelerate this action and transition to a circular bioeconomy.

“Sustainable timber and wood fibre grown here in Australia is extremely versatile, and we know that consumers want fibre-based products like grocery bags, packaging, cutlery, straws and more. The forest products sector stands ready to deliver an even greater effort in plastic replacements, but it needs greater recognition to drive the potential of the sector. We need an additional one billion new timber production trees planted and strong, sustainable native forestry industries, so we can meet the ever-growing demand for our sustainable and renewable environmentally friendly products into the future,” Natasa Sikman said.

“If we are going to replace plastics, we need the wood fibre to replace them. Demand for wood fibre is forecast to quadruple by 2050 and this increase in demand will put at risk vulnerable international forests by driving increased deforestation practices. Australia’s sustainable forest management regulations are world best practice and with the right policy settings our forest sector can do more to deliver environmentally friendly low carbon products.

“Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has taken a leading role developing a global agreement to phase out plastics and the Albanese Government has committed $300 million to grow the forest sector include funding the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) that will drive research and development.

“However, the full power of Australia’s forest products sector in purging the world of plastics is yet to be realised. We look forward to continuing our work with the Albanese Government and other policymakers to drive progress on this internationally critical issue,” Natasa Sikman concluded.


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