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AFPA represents Australian forestry at COP28

The Australian Forest Products Association will represent the interests of Australia’s forestry and forest products to fight climate change over coming weeks as the world meets in Dubai for the UAE for COP28 in the continued pursuit to find effective climate solutions. Source: Timberbiz

“AFPA is an official observer to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and we will use our observer status to showcase to Australian and global policy decision makers the real and tangible climate, social and economic benefits of the forest products value chain and how it can be utilised to meet Australia’s net zero targets and sovereign capability ambitions,” Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Natasa Sikman said.

“Australia’s land sector will play a significant role in reducing and sequestering emissions needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Sustainable forestry management needs to play a larger role in emissions reduction and decision makers need to better understand that the carbon captured by production trees is transferred into the built environment.

“Decision makers and the broader public want the forest products sector’s renewable, sustainable and recyclable paper, packaging and fibre products, and sustainable resource security is critical for these products.”

AFPA Chair Joel Fitzgibbon said the importance of being on the ground at COP28 could not be overstated for the Australia’s forestry and forest product sector which had greater potential than most to be part of Australia’s climate change solution, which at present was often taken for granted.

“We will be on ground promoting the benefits that forestry and forest products provide to the transition to a low carbon bioeconomy,” he said.

“In addition to our key events the AFPA team will be participating in bilateral meetings with key stakeholders who want to engage with the sector.”

AFPA will take part in and lead a number COP28 events, including hosting a panel discussion on Sensitive afforestation: winning solutions for the climate and communities on December 9 in the Australian Government Pavilion.

AFPA’s official UNFCCC side event Design Thinking, Global Standards, & Integrative Solutions for a Net Zero Built Environment will be held in conjunction with both the American and British Architect Institutes, where Australia will showcase the real impact forest products have in reducing emissions in the construction sector which currently accounts for approximately 40% of global emissions.

“As demonstrated by the release of this week’s UN Environment Programme emissions gap report, the world is still falling short of progress required to meet the Paris Agreement goals,” Ms Sikman said.

“We have a real opportunity here to continue selling the credentials of forestry and forest products as a major solution, showing to governments that we have the tools and the capability required to lead the world on climate change mitigation.”

The AFPA delegation will be on the ground at COP28 from 30 November to 12 December.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the main decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It brings together the 198 Parties –197 nations plus the European Union – that have signed on to the Framework Convention.

The inaugural COP gathering took place in Berlin, Germany, in March 1995, and today the COP secretariat is headquartered in Bonn. COPs are hosted annually in different countries, under the auspices of the UNFCCC, with the UAE hosting COP28.