TASMANIA is set to benefit from the first formal sister forestry park relationship between Australia and China, following the signing of an historic agreement between Forestry Tasmania’s Tahune AirWalk and the Qiandao Lake Park at Hangzhou owned by China International Forest Travel.
The Sister Forestry Park Agreement was signed by Forestry Tasmania managing director Bob Gordon and Chun An Xin An Jiang Development Company chairman Wang Jian Min in Hangzhou in China’s south east province of Zhejiang on 19 November.
“The agreement will ensure forestry-based tourism to Australia and China will be promoted, with an emphasis on educational-based itineraries,” said Gordon.
“Part of the agreement is to promote extra visits to each other and share business information and forestry park management experience.
Import and export opportunities will also be investigated as a result of the agreement.
“For the past eight years Forestry Tasmania has annually exported to China up to 200,000 tonnes of peeler logs for high quality veneer to be used in value added products,” Gordon said.
“With the establishment of the Ta Ann rotary peeled veneer plants in the Huon and Smithton the veneer production will now take place in Tasmania.
“Forestry Tasmania is building on the strong connections established between the Tasmanian and Chinese forestry sectors to develop new business opportunities between the two countries in relation to this.
“We are also exploring other opportunities, including the provision of seed to Chinese forest nurseries and joint research into the technical development of other products that can be made from eucalypt veneer.”
Gordon said the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), under which Forestry Tasmania is certified, and the China Forestry Standard would be promoted in China as a result of the sister forestry park agreement.
“The PEFC provides an assurance mechanism to purchasers of wood and paper products that they are promoting the sustainable management of forests,” he said.
“Forestry Tasmania will consult to Chinese foresters on sustainable forestry management and plantation establishment which will help pave the way for further inter-governmental level discussions towards a memorandum of understanding between the two countries to combat illegal logging and trade in illegal forest products in China.”