The National Association of Forest Industries (NAFI) is advocating a robust and transparent framework for accounting forestry measures that can significantly contribute to carbon mitigation.
“The forest industry has been working towards sensible and robust accounting frameworks for forestry measures. These include the role of new tree plantations and sustainably managed natural forests through the enhancement of carbon stocks in forests and harvested wood products,” said Deputy CEO Mick Stephens who is representing NAFI at the conference.
These views are consistent with the 4th assessment report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), acknowledging that: “A sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.”
Negotiators at the conference have been discussing changes to the simple rules originally developed under the Kyoto Protocol, that are largely restricted to new planting (afforestation) and deforestation but do not adequately address the enhancement of carbon stocks across vast areas of sustainably managed natural forests.
“There are also problems with the so-called „Kyoto compliant‟ planted forests. For example, the current treatment for wood products is instant oxidation (or emissions) after harvest, which is simply not the case,” said Mr Stephens.
“A big step forward would be to develop meaningful accounting rules for the carbon stored in forests and harvested wood products, so as to provide appropriate signals to the market of carbon offsets and the use of wood as a renewable and climate friendly material.
“Discussions under the Kyoto Protocol also parallel those occurring on the so called „REDD+ mechanism‟, which could assist developing countries reduce emissions from deforestation and poor forest management, which collectively accounts for up to 20 per cent of emissions.
“Sustainable forest management must be regarded an important component of REDD+ activities, since it can provide carbon enhancement in addition to a broad range of other economic, social and environmental benefits,” he said.
Greg Haraldson, NAFI Communications Manager
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(02) 6285 3833