UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development launched the report ‘Measuring up: How the UK is performing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals’. The report offers a comprehensive stakeholder review of SDG delivery in the UK, covering 143 of the 169 targets. The report notes that although the UK’s Single Departmental Plans are a practical way of delegating authority, they could reduce recognitions of interlinkages across the Goals and targets, thereby siloing efforts or reducing their effectiveness.
On the sidelines of the HLPF Ministerial Segment, Canada, Iceland, Germany and Namibia hosted a high-level consultation on addressing the challenges of drought in the context of achieving LDN. Parallel to the HLPF, a High-Level Dialogue on Sand and Dust Storms (SDS) convened during the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. At the First Global LDN Forum in Seoul, Korea, a 'Peace Forest Initiative' was proposed as one possible approach for simultaneously contributing to LDN and post-conflict recovery.
Researchers describe for the first time the scavenging behavior of mangabey monkeys, guinea fowls, and squirrels on energy-rich nut remnants cracked by chimpanzees and red river hogs. The team used data collected by camera traps in the rain forest of Tai National Park in Ivory Coast. The results reveal new unknown interactions between different species and increase our understanding of the complex community of animals foraging around tropical nut trees.
The historic peace treaty in Colombia which brought an end to half a century of violence has led to mass deforestation. Once FARC soldiers were disarmed, it led to a vacuum of power which is being exploited by large landowners who are now deforesting the area at an alarming rate to make way for farms and for the illegal growth of coca crops. An ecologically significant region of Colombia, is now at risk of disappearing.
Conifex Timber Inc. has completed the acquisition of the Suwannee sawmill in Cross City, Florida and the Caddo River sawmill in Glenwood, Arkansas.
Ken Shields, Conifex’s President and CEO, stated: “As a result of this acquisition, our total annual lumber production capacity has increased by approximately 50% to 1.1 billion board feet and our total annual production capacity in the U.S. South has increased by approximately 200% to 550 million board feet.”
Conifex and its subsidiaries’ primary business currently includes timber harvesting, reforestation, forest management, sawmilling logs into lumber and wood chips, and value added lumber finishing and distribution.
Photo: Ken Shields, Conifex’s President and CEO
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The position of the Head of PCC is announced by the Thuenen Institute to be filled according to the conditions described in the linked advertisement: 18-164-WO-engl.pdf. Please, consider an application by yourself or forward the application to those who might be interested.
PDF for download A newly published study entitled Sustainable Forest Operations (SFO): A new paradigm in a changing world and climate, indicates that “climate change, as well as the increasing demand for forest products, requires a rethinking of forest operations in terms of sustainability.” The study suggests that the SFO concept provides integrated perspectives […]
A global panel exchanged experience and knowledge on the importance of investing in forest education in order to raise understanding and awareness among children and young adults of the sustainable use of forests at a high level World Forest Week session at FAO headquarters in Rome on Wednesday.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided to renew the European Diplomas for Protected Areas to 20 areas in Europe, including the Khosrov Forest Reserve (Armenia). Source: HETQ The European Diploma for Protected Areas for the Khosrov Forest Reserve has been renewed for 10 more years (until July 10, 2028) under the following conditions: 1. By 2020, design and adopt a management plan for the long-term conservation of the area which will include strategic aims and targets, an estimated budget and a time frame for its full implementation, as well as a monitoring mechanism for the assessment of the implemented management measures; the management plan should also consider a strategic approach for the development of sustainable tourism compatible with the carrying capacity of the Khosrov Forest Reserve and the preservation of its integrity as a strictly protected area. 2. Launch a political and administrative process aiming to sustain the preservation of the European interest of the area by means of expanding the territory of the reserve to better preserve the state of conservation of the key species (large carnivores and herbivores); removing the existing 11 enclaves along the border of the Khosrov Forest State Reserve; establishing a buffer zone with a clear protection regime and limits, minimising hunting and the effects of grazing on the reserve; addressing the issue of the “transit routes” that cross the reserve; and working to minimise their general impact on the natural assets of the diploma-holding area. 3. Maintain and sustain the legal regime as a strictly protected area for the Khosrov Forest State Reserve in the future law on the protection of nature currently under discussion in the parliament. The Committee of Ministers also gave some recommendations to the Armenian authorities for its renewal: 1. As part of the new management plan, create and fund an awareness and training program for local people, visitors and members of the staff of the reserve, in particular in relation to the management of litter and other waste, and to the development of sustainable tourism. 2. Secure the Khosrov Forest State Reserve administration capacities in the future, with the support of the Armenian authorities and external donors; provide staff with specific incentives to foster their interest in the preservation of the reserve and its value. 3. Assess the state of conservation of the wolf population (Canis lupus), both at national level and in the diploma-holding area and adapt the current legal and administrative regime of protection accordingly; design a “wolf concept” providing a general legal and administrative framework for the management of this species in Armenia, in line with the Bern Convention and the regulation of the European Diploma for Protected Areas. The European Diploma for Protected Areas is a prestigious international award granted since 1965 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. It recognises natural and semi-natural areas and landscapes of exceptional European importance for the preservation of biological, geological and landscape diversity and which are managed in an exemplary way.
The tallest mass-timber building development in the US is “on hold for the foreseeable future,” according to the project’s developer. Sources: Engineering News Record, Treehugger The 12-story mixed-use building, known as Framework, has been under development in Portland, Oregon, since 2014. It was first delayed a year ago and currently is postponed because of changing market conditions. These include inflation, escalating construction costs and fluctuations in the tax credit market, which all have had a negative impact on the development’s bottom line, says the developer. There were hints of trouble in January, when Rachel Monahan of Willamette Week noted that it was “attracting critics because it would be far more expensive to build than a traditional concrete and steel structure.” Framework was supposed to be “a catalytic project which will serve as a national case study”, but it was controversial because of its cost. Monahan also noted that there was a funding shortfall of about $2 million that was never closed. There are lots of crazy changing market conditions happening right now; lumber has spiked from US$315 at the start of 2017 to US$540 earlier this year, thanks to increased demand because of the hot American economy and big tariffs imposed by the Trump government on Canadian lumber. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) uses a lot of wood, so a big increase like that is going to make a difference. The alternatives, steel and concrete, have also spiked because of tariffs, generally making all kinds of housing less affordable. CLT is still new and expensive, and between tax cuts that lit a fire under the economy and tariffs that lit a fire under material prices, it is a tough time to try and build non-profit housing for a fixed price. Framework received a US$1.5-million US Tall Wood Building Prize for a two-year research, testing and permitting phase related to the structural, fire and acoustical performance of the mass-timber design. Timber buildings taller than four or five stories are not currently permitted under US building codes, except through a performance based design approach. Research results supported permit approval for the 148ft tall project, granted last year by the state and city. “Despite the news, we are continuing our efforts with mass timber,” says Thomas Robinson, founding principal of LEVER Architecture. The firm is designing other mass-timber structures, but none as tall as Framework.
Edinburgh Napier University has introduced a Masters of Science on Timber Architectural Design and Technology, the first program of its kind in the UK, to develop the technical and commercial awareness needed to work as a design professional within the timber building industry. Source: Timberbiz This program is designed for graduates in architecture, architectural technology, engineering or related disciplines, who want to become part of the growing international move towards innovative and high-performance timber building. The multi-disciplinary program will equip students to work as a design professional within the timber sector – one of the fastest growing parts of the building industry in many countries. Employers in the UK timber-building sector are facing severe skills shortages and similar gaps exist in many countries overseas. These employers are looking for graduates with a combination of technical knowhow and commercial awareness in the design, manufacture and assembly of timber buildings and structural systems.
Forestry companies in Taranaki New Zealand can expect more inspections of harvest sites to monitor whether operators are complying with new nationwide regulations. Source: Stuff NZ The national environment standards for plantation forestry (NES-PF) enables local authorities to target ground based operators not complying with the rules, Taranaki Regional Council forestry compliance leader Mark Addison told a Taranaki Regional Council consents and regulatory committee. The NES-PF came into force on 1 May to manage environmental effects of plantation forestry operations larger than one hectare. It covers a range of permitted or controlled activities including afforestation, pruning and thinning, earthworks, river crossings, forest quarrying, harvesting, mechanical land preparation, and replanting. It also controlled where landowners can plant trees with setbacks from neighbours, rivers, lakes and wetlands so slash, the pruned branches of trees, is less prone to being washed into waterways. The increased monitoring would help prevent the damaging consequences of forestry slash ending up in rivers as happened during storms near Gisborne, Addison said. East Coast farmers face a NZ$10m clean up bill after forestry slash swept through properties and destroyed homes during storms in June. The Taranaki region included just 1.6%, or 29,000ha, of the total 1.7m ha of plantation forestry in New Zealand. Around 15,000ha of forestry in the region would be harvested in the next six years, Mr Addison said. Because of the smaller volumes the extent of the damage from slash runoff on the East Coast was unlikely to be experienced in Taranaki, he said. TRC had previously inspected harvest sites for non-compliance but now it can issue abatement notices, or prosecute for non-compliance. “Comparatively for Taranaki we are a relatively low risk compared to somewhere like Gisborne whose forestry land is predominantly on very large steep faces with deep seated erosion prone soils,” Mr Addison said. “Our biggest risk would be the big catchments like Waitotara. “For most of inland Taranaki, like east of Stratford, a large rainfall event would likely only effect the immediate downstream property from the forestry block and not make it any further, unless there were landslides or debris dams where impacts could be greater.” TRC forestry staff would encourage planting in suitable areas with grants, plans and advice, he said.
Local builders and timber suppliers in Naracoorte, South Australia want to use local products but are finding that demand is exceeding supply. Source: Naracoorte Herald Naracoorte-based builder Paul Russell said there is a shortage of local timber in the region, believing it is caused by excessive exporting of logs from Portland. Builders and carpenters have had no choice but to use imported laminated timber from Europe, and despite it being the same quality, Mr Russell is disappointed it isn’t local. “We went down to get some from one of our suppliers and all we wanted was 30 lengths of timber and we couldn’t get it,” Mr Russell explained. “They just didn’t have the 30 lengths of timber and they are all back ordered.” An anonymous local supplier said it was an unusual situation, with local mills exporting logs, but businesses then importing timber back into the country due to a lack of availability. “If we were guaranteed a consistent supply for timber then we would use local but the supply is just not there,” the source said. “We all need confidence in the supply but the confidence is just not there. “A lot is having to come from interstate and overseas but locally sourced timber would be a much better investment.” The anonymous supplier now has 40 packs of timber back ordered, and is unable to keep up with demand. “Our locals are getting done over,” Mr Russell said. “Logs are being taken straight out to Portland to be exported and it is terrible that we have the supply down here but my question is, is there a certain amount left or allocated for domestic use?” Timber stock has also been reported to have come from Western Australia, yet this supply is only around 5% of what is used. “The quality of timber is the same,” Mr Russell said. “But we use local plumbers and local electricians, so we would like to use local timber as well.” There are also reports there’s about to be a blanket 9% increase in the cost of timber. “This means housing will also go up, it is almost 10%,” Mr Russell said. “The cost of jobs are going to go up and a large house, well you are talking an extra $2-2500 just for the framing and trusses.” Mr Russell explained that when it was exported, suppliers were buying the product at premium rate. “It is okay that they are paying the premium rate, but now we are paying it too and it is a large increase,” Mr Russell said. “There is a short supply and a large demand.”
Rotorua-based timber “super mill” Red Stag is generating its own electricity in amounts sufficient to power a town the size of Whakatane. Source: New Zealand Herald The Red Stag Timber Company, which annually processes more than one million tonnes of logs at its Waipa mill, is using its waste wood as renewable fuel rather than trucking it to landfill and paying for its disposal – avoiding an annual power bill of up to NZ$1 million in the process. Although the mill, considered one of the largest of its kind in the world, uses the power for its own purposes, the 7.5 megawatts of electricity produced is equivalent to the amount needed to power 7000 households, according to the company’s operations manager of energy and site services Shane Batchelor. With the average New Zealand home containing 2.7 people this would be enough for a town of about 19,000 like Whakatane. At the same time by using its waste wood as fuel instead of purchasing electricity, Red Stag is expecting to reduce carbon emissions by 6100 tonnes every year, an amount equivalent to taking more than 2200 cars off the road. Mr Batchelor says the multi-million dollar “carbon neutral” energy management project – made possible by the site’s biomass-powered turbines – will lead to an annual NZ$1m of power savings for the company. Because the new process is generating more electricity than the plant needs at some off-peak times and on weekends, it is selling its surplus back to the national grid. “We should be able to turn that NZ$1m loss into income of about $500,000 per year,” Mr Batchelor said. The bio-fuel project, which supplies the electricity and thermal energy to kiln dry timber, has been supported by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). The authority, which funded a feasibility study into the opportunity, says Red Stag’s second biomass-powered turbine could really close the loop on their waste-to-energy program and define their independent status as an energy efficient and low carbon business. Mr Batchelor says the plant annually produces around 100,000 tonnes of wood residue including bark, sawdust and shavings from the mill’s planers. Previously this waste was transported at both environmental and financial cost to landfill although some was also used at the Tasman Pulp and Paper Mill and by farmers for animal bedding. The project has gathered momentum following the June commissioning of the mill’s new turbine and comes little more than a year since Red Stag completed a NZ$60 million upgrade to a new sawmilling line, part of a $140 m upgrade program. This turned the mill into the southern hemisphere’s first “super mill” – a term the industry uses in recognition of a plant processing more than one million tonnes of logs a year. While there are a number of similar mills in North America and Europe, the Red Stag operation – which employs over 300 people and annually produces more than 500,000 cubic metres of timber – is the first in this part of the world. Mr Batchelor says the bio-fuel project is consistent with Red Stag’s philosophy of not only seeking energy efficiencies, but creating a better environment and product. “It is the result of the company dreaming about what is possible,” he said. Generating electricity starts when the wood residue is fed into a boiler (the plant has three boilers) where it is burnt to create high pressure steam. Electricity is generated as the steam goes through the mill’s two turbines. Exhaust or low pressure steam from the turbine is also captured and directed to the kiln for timber drying. Mr Batchelor says about 60% of the heat generated is used in the drying process with the remaining 40% being used for electricity meaning the company only needs to buy in power for short periods during peak demand on weekdays. Outside of these times – and throughout the weekends – Red Stag is able to supply electricity back to the national grid. In other ‘environmental’ measures, Red Stag has installed LED lighting and compressed air systems and is looking at a system where the ash from its boilers can be processed into a product for soil conditioning instead of going to landfill. “We are also looking at EVs (electric vehicles),” Mr Batchelor said. “That is probably a way off yet, but if the opportunity is there we will be leading the way.” EECA’s account manager Amber Williams says sustainability is more than just an environmental term for Red Stag. “Their waste-to-energy focus is integral to business process improvement and financial gain. “We’re excited to see where they’ll take their next step, as the amount of electricity being generated through these biomass-powered turbines could provide power to additional parts of the business,” she said. “There’s no reason why their entire operation – through to supply chain – shouldn’t be powered by renewable energy”
Forest Enterprises Special Projects Director, Steve Wilton has been made a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF). The honour of Fellow is bestowed on a member who has been recognised by NZIF peers as having achieved eminence in the forestry profession. Source: Timberbiz This from Steve’s Fellow nomination: Mr Wilton has 27 years of achievement in the forestry investment and forestry management business with Forest Enterprises. He is a strong and articulate advocate for the New Zealand forestry sector and an architect of accessible and professional forestry investment. He has raised the profile of forestry and its significant economic and environmental benefits by being a passionate and tireless champion of many industry-good issues. In the early 1990s, Steve championed the rehabilitation of what is now red zone Gisborne land into productive forestry in the wake of Cyclone Bola’s devastation of the region’s farmland, bolstered by the Government’s afforestation efforts. Later, when New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme was introduced, Mr Wilton collaborated with other industry players on the Kyoto Forestry Association to ensure that forest owners received carbon credits for carbon sequestered by their forests. This has created major financial gains for forest owners who were at risk of having an entitlement to carbon credits denied by the Government. For the last decade, he has served New Zealand’s forestry sector. He has been a member of the Executive Council of the New Zealand Forest Owners Association and chaired the Fire Committee for a number of years; he is currently a member of the Association’s SME Committee. Mr Wilton was a foundation member of the Forest Growers Levy Establishment Board in 2013 serving as representative of small-scale growers, and in 2015 was re-elected to the Forest Growers Levy Trust Board, overseeing a program approaching NZ$10M of industry-good activities. Mr Wilton is presently working with Inland Revenue Department on complex taxation issues affecting forest owners to give them more flexibility and efficiency in the way they can harvest by allowing amalgamations of forests. When he joined Forest Enterprises in 1991 after 15 years in banking and finance, he brought a ‘fund manager’ philosophy to the company culture, developing the professionalism of forestry investment. This has made Forest Enterprises a leader in the industry. It now has more than 6600 individual investors which represents the largest organised group of forest advocates and stakeholders in New Zealand. Mr Wilton led the introduction of major innovations which opened the way for forestry to become an affordable and integral part of a balanced investment portfolio. These innovative forestry investments ensured forestry attracted many more New Zealand investors. This, in turn, has encouraged more planting and created jobs for many participants in the industry including silviculture workers, logging crews, roading contractors and transport companies. Under his leadership, and in keeping with the professional approach to managing forestry investment, Forest Enterprises has always maintained a professional staff of NZIF members at the company’s cost. Mr Wilton has also ensured his business invested in industry-leading and cutting-edge forest management systems, such as the Atlas Geomaster stand record system, Tigermoth estate modelling, Scion forecaster and Arc GIS.
Every month, IndustryEdge publishes Wood Market Edge, Australia’s only forestry and wood products market and trade analysis, and supplies its customers with hundreds of unique data products, advisory and consulting services. 16.0% – Australia’s hardwood chip deliveries to Japan in May 2018 totalled 159,436 bdmt, accounting for 16.0% of the total, behind Chile and Vietnam 34,673 m3 – exports of hardwood logs in May 2018 fell back sharply from the massive exports of the prior month 5.150 million – the number of units of free-standing furniture imported to Australia over the year-ended May 2018 3,897 m3 – imports of sawn hardwood in May 2018, were consistent with the long term trend USDFob157.23/bdmt – the average price of Australian softwood chip exports in May 2018 was the highest since July 2013 Find out more at www.industryedge.com.au
A major national conference on forest safety practices is set to showcase how forestry leaders have brought about practical benefits to logging and forestry workplaces through changes in culture and technology. Source: Timberbiz “Some of our leading forest contractors and companies have both developed safety improvements in both culture in the workplace and technologies to reduce harm on the forest floor,” Forest Industry Engineering Association event manager Gordon Thomson said. “Our speakers are practical leaders talking about real case studies for this year’s conference. “Our conference series has a great line up of inspiring and practical speakers. Many of them have already delivered safety outcomes for their teams and clients. “The practical information they bring includes some notable results with industry leading contractors,” Mr Thomson said. FIEA has again teamed up with the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC) to organise workshops in addition to our one-day conferences. “Here in New Zealand we have worked with Fiona Ewing of FISC. FISC will host a morning session after the conference so people can interact in a workshop format,” Mr Thomson said. In Australia, there is a pan-industry workshop on the afternoon before the FIEA conference from 1pm to 5pm on 14 August at the Bayview Eden Hotel in Melbourne. FIEA is working with Diana Lloyd of Forestworks as well as Stacey Gardiner from Australian Forest Contractors Association. Some of our ‘must-hear keynote speakers are: · Jono Brent from Connetics in Christchurch – A practical leader of electrical contractors with a very applicable model explaining how they “do safety differently” so that it works for their practical people working in the field every day with changing conditions, just like those faced by forestry people. Mr Brent’s teamwork results are proven through their results in practice and put in place in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes. Hillary Bennett – A practical thought leader and champion of safety culture change with many forestry crews in both New Zealand and Australia; Dale Ewers, industry innovator and director of both Moutere Logging and international forest automation equipment manufacturer, DC Equipment. The conference is on 8 August in Rotorua at the Distinction Hotel. The following week – 15 August – it runs at the Bayview Eden Hotel in Melbourne. For full conference details see: https://forestsafety.events Registrations are open.
The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) is launching a $10 million plan to turbo-charge forest industries in Tasmania, and specifically in the federal electorate of Braddon, ahead of the July 28 by-election poll. Source: Timberbiz “Forest industries are incredibly important to the economic and social fabric of North-West Tasmania, which is why AFPA is coming forward with specific policy ‘Asks’ for all candidates,” Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said. “There are six major building blocks in our plan which would allow our forest Industries to surge, growing jobs and ensuring their future viability. “More than 10,000 Tasmanians are employed directly and indirectly by our industries and they’re worth $574 million to the Tasmanian economy. “Under this plan we could add another 150 jobs at least to the North-West and many more indirectly,” Mr Hampton said. AFPA is calling for political parties and candidates to commit to: • Drive the planting of up to 14,000 hectares of new plantations, by removing the red tape locking forestry out of participating in federal carbon storing policy and commit to $2 million for a Timber Plantation Development Project. • No more lock-ups of native timber supply areas. • Back in bioenergy with a $2 million bioenergy commercialisation node in Braddon. • Ensure the future of the National Institute of Forest Products Innovation in Northern Tasmania with another $4 million research and development injection. • Provide $1 million for a Forest Industries Skills and Training Plan for our future workforce. • Get cracking on much needed infrastructure upgrades such as key roads and bridges with a $1 million study to identify priorities and bottlenecks. “Forest Industries are integral to Braddon, and the candidates and political parties contesting the by-election need to offer the recognition and support they deserve. We’ll be marking candidates and political parties on their commitments and producing a public scorecard prior to the by-election,” Mr Hampton said.
“Community forestry is a great development alternative, it improves green space, oxygen, water, and biodiversity. By doing community forestry we are ensuring a better future for our kids, our grandkids, and the world,” Carlos Pérez Sebastián, our field guide for the week, said from under his wide brimmed hat. He stood on a slope that the ejido—community forestry group—had restored with native tree species in Ejido Cruz de Ocote, Ixtacamaxtitlán, Mexico. Listening with rapt attention were leade
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