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We can Build Back Better in Australia after COVID-19 with forestry

Ross Hampton

Renewable forest industries in Australia and globally are ready to grow and play an even bigger role in the COVID-19 economic recovery. The Australian Forest Products Association has added its support to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries ‘Build Back Better’ initiative, which has identified that using renewable forest products to replace fossil fuel based products will help drive economic rebuilding and recovery from COVID-19. Source: Timberbiz

“The Australian Government recognises our forest industries’ significant potential with commitments to planting one billion new production trees, developing a Bioenergy Roadmap, and investing in renewable and low emissions technologies, which will support our renewable forest industries, regional jobs, and help develop the new bioeconomy,” AFPA CEO and ACSFI deputy chairman Ross Hampton said.

“We know bioenergy can deliver baseload power 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unlike many alternative renewables, and wood fibre is a sustainable, natural resource that produces renewable wood and paper products, including new innovative bioproducts,” he said.

“That is also recognised globally, and forest industries overseas are keen to work with their governments to help develop this, just like we are here.”

Mr Hampton said that around the world, forest industries produced renewable products which made a real contribution to the sustainable development goals and the global forest goals of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests.

With the global fight against COVID-19 still underway and with the growing need for economic recovery forest industries could provide reliable, renewable energy and smart, low-emission products to drive economic growth.

“We already know that since the start of COVID-19, the Australian forest industries’ supply chain has been providing essential products and services,” Mr Hampton said.

“Demand for those renewable products continues to increase, from medical bioproducts, packaging for food, to building supplies, and biomass for heating.

“Australia’s forest industries are ready to play an increased role in the global economic recovery effort ensuring the flow of essential and renewable products, and we stand behind ACSFI in getting the ‘Build Back Better’ message to global policy makers and the public,” he said.