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The roadmap for Australian forests

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has released its national policy roadmap for development of the industry over the next five years. It is looks to a renewable future with a policy roadmap for the forest, wood and paper products industries. Source: Timberbiz

“The forest, wood and paper products industries are well placed to help the Australian economy transition to a sustainable, lower emissions future; this roadmap shows how governments can assist through key measures to promote these opportunities” said AFPA Chief Executive Dr David Pollard.

“With a growing population and higher demand for a range of building, paper and energy products, the sector can help satisfy this demand with a renewable resource.

“It can also provide significant economic development and regional jobs. The forest, wood and paper products industries presently have a gross value of turnover of $22 billion, supporting around 120,000 direct jobs nationally.

“This is an environmentally friendly industry making products that are renewable, natural and carbon positive with significant opportunities to provide jobs and economic benefits.

“Australia should capitalise on the strengths of its renewable forest based industries in a world of growing population and materials demand. A visionary approach is needed to reposition the industry at the forefront of the new low carbon economy.

“The potential benefits of getting these policies right are huge. The Pulp and Paper Industry Strategy Group identified that full implementation of their recommendations could contribute as much as $38.7 billion to the national economy, with a further 3500 jobs by 2020.”

AFPA has identified eight key priorities for government and industry to partner in positioning the industry at the forefront of the low carbon economy and to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits.

1. Plan for a renewable future
Recognise the environmental and economic value to the Australian community of a vibrant forest products industry and plan for expanded contribution of the industry to a low carbon economy.

2. Carbon economy and renewable energy
Deliver a better regulatory environment and a new program of direct action for the commercialisation of carbon sequestration in forests and forest products through payments for carbon storage and greater use of biomass for renewable energy.

3. Building resource security
Stimulate capital investment for new softwood and hardwood plantations and support the Regional Forest Agreements to provide long term wood supply from sustainably managed forests.

4. Competitive energy networks
Deliver competitive and efficient (low cost) energy networks for wood and paper manufacturing users, including affordable gas and associated gas infrastructure.

5. Improving market access
Deliver fast and effective anti-dumping action, support certification, address illegally sourced imports of wood and paper products and recognise the environmental advantages of wood through building codes and energy rating schemes.

6. Public communications
Promote the benefits of sustainable forest management and recognise the renewability of products derived from wood through public communications activities.

7. Investment environment
Facilitate investment comparable to other countries, by reducing sovereign risk, transparent planning processes and incentives for investment.

8. Infrastructure and R&D
Develop better infrastructure promote skills and resume funding of R&D in sustainable forest industries.

The full report is at