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Australia founding member of Forests & Climate Leaders group

Australia has become a founding member of the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership, a new international group to accelerate the contribution of forests to global climate action. Source: Timberbiz

The UK-led voluntary partnership was formally launched today at COP27 in Egypt to maintain the momentum of global action on climate change through forest-based initiatives.

The new partnership is dedicated to advancing ambition from the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use, of which Australia is a signatory, to help achieve the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Global Forest Goals.

The Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership will support the goals of the declaration, focusing on stepping up global efforts to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030, and promoting sustainable production and trade.

By joining the partnership, Australia reaffirms its commitment to this ambitious cause, and to work with other countries to support global efforts to combat climate change with forest solutions.

Australia is already contributing to global action to reduce emissions from forest activities as a founding member of the Global Forest Observations Initiative. Australia also provides support to countries in our region to enhance their natural resource management, conservation and protection.

In the decade to 2020, Australia increased its forested area by 4.4 million hectares – the second largest increase of any nation in that period. Australia’s sustainable forest practices are consistent with the focus on ensuring that forests and forest products provide climate solutions.

In addition to Australia, other members of the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership include Canada, Ecuador, Finland, Gabon, Norway, the Republic of Korea, the UK and the US.

“Forests and forest industries are vital to addressing our global climate challenges, and require an ongoing focus at all levels to unlock their potential. Australia is proud to join with other high-ambition countries and help drive global momentum to address climate change through the partnership,” Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Senator Murray Watt said.

“Our unique and varied forests, deep Indigenous knowledge and practices, and experience managing forests for multiple outcomes, position us strongly to contribute.

“We look forward to working with others to find innovative ways to build on existing global forest initiatives and maximise the role of forests and sustainable wood as climate solutions,” he said.

“Sustainable forest industries have a strong role to play, meeting our growing material demands with carbon-absorbing forest products.”

Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association Victor Violante said Australia can lead the world in these priority areas, and with global demand for wood fibre on track to quadruple by 2050, it’s critical we get sustainable forest production right across globe.

“Australia’s sustainable forest industries are already contributing positively to climate change mitigation because we manage our precious forest resource to the highest environmental standards in the world, regenerating after harvest to ensure there is no net loss of forest area,” Mr Violante said.

“And we can do even more by delivering on the Australian Government’s One Billion Trees goal to grow the timber plantation estate by one billion trees this decade and secure Australia’s future timber and fibre supply.

“Timber and paper products continue to store half their weight in carbon for the life of the product, and the benefit is even greater when these products are made here in Australia. Wood really is the ultimate renewable, and the world will need much more of it in the coming decades. We are pleased Australia is taking a leadership role in showing the world how we manage our forests sustainably to meet our wood fibre needs.”

Mr Violante said AFPA is showcasing the climate change potential of forest industries at COP27 through a series of events, and the FCLP is an important step towards embedding the sector’s role in global climate change mitigation strategies.

“We share the Australian Government’s commitment to working with our global counterparts to achieve the same high standards we have in Australia and halting deforestation,” Mr Violante said.