Friday Offcuts 24 June 2022
Timely, stimulating and succinct summaries of local and international stories on forestry and wood products issues, innovations of relevance to our industry and technology developments impacting on your business or operation will continue to be supplied to you every week. In addition, your weekly news-fix is supplemented with targeted monthly tech updates being provided now to over 15,000 subscribers - with ForestTECH.News, WoodTECH.news and HarvestTECH.News. A two-weekly news service, WoodWORKS.News for those interested in mass timber, engineered wood and tall timber buildings is also being launched next month. If not already signed up to any of these newsletters, you can subscribe directly using the links supplied. All are free.
And linked to our technology news coverage, as most of you know, we run leading technology events for forestry and wood products companies across Australasia. After two years (it's being three in Australia) of making on-line events work for you (Covid really threw a spanner in the works here), we’re finally throwing open the doors and meeting up with you face-to-face. Environmental Forestry 2022 (the first environmental gathering of its type being run in this region) runs in Rotorua, New Zealand next week. We’re looking to catch up with many of you from NZ forestry companies.
The eagerly awaited Wood Residues event, Residues2Revenues 2022 also runs in Rotorua (with live streaming available to those outside New Zealand) on 26-27 July. Note, with close to 250 already registered for the event, discounted early-bird registrations to the event finish up tomorrow. And we really throw open the doors to forest resource and tree crop managers with the ForestTECH 2022 event running for the first time in three years in both Melbourne and Rotorua later in November.
And finally this week, out of Australia comes the welcome news that the already very successful The Ultimate Renewable™ nationwide campaign that’s been promoting the natural and sustainable benefits of wood to consumers is set to continue. The brand’s latest two-million-dollar advertising campaign was launched on 19 June. The first 15 and 30-second TV adverts have been appearing across eight networks. With the new campaign also comes a new brand ambassador, the very recognisable Adam Dovile, of Channel Seven’s Better Homes and Gardens. As well as a major boost to the industry, local forestry and wood products companies can also partner the Programme with free access given to easy-to-share assets for your own promotions. Further details on the campaign and recent launch can be found below. And that’s it for this week.
This week we have for you:
Record AU$28 million boost for farm forestryThe NSW Government has unveiled a record AU$28 million Farm Forestry package as part of the 2022/23 State Budget to bolster on-the-ground support for producers, drive innovation and promote best practice in sustainable farm forestry businesses. Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the funding boost follows the introduction of new Farm Forestry Codes of Practice earlier this year, and provides increased support to farmers through enhanced education and training.
“This investment will fund a suite of programs and partnerships to facilitate and expand the development of the State’s sustainable Farm Forestry industry,” Mr Toole said. “This is the largest investment in Farm Forestry in more than a decade, and it reflects the increasingly important role it will play in supporting our sustainable timber industry.”
This announcement follows the NSW Government’s recent introduction of new Farm Forestry Codes of Practice (formerly Private Native Forestry) that will ensure long-term sustainability for the industry and provide robust environmental protections across the NSW private forestry estate.
New changes for landowners under the codes include:
• New harvest and operating standards that provide greater clarity and are easier for landholders to apply – now including pest, weed and fire management;
• Updated planning and reporting with a clear role for Local Land Services to engage with farmers, and options for small scale harvesting; and
• Environmental protections that are clearer for landholders while ensuring long-term environmental sustainability in farm forests.
This investment will also fund a pilot certification scheme to support landholders seeking certification for their timber products under the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification standards. This will increase market access, improve social licence and incentivise the production of sustainable timber in Australia.
Source: Deputy Premier, Minister for Agriculture
FSC first for NZ registered MISForest Enterprises has achieved Forest Stewardship Council responsible forest management and chain-of-custody certification for 19 forests the company manages on behalf of its retail investors. These are the first registered managed investment schemes (MIS) in New Zealand to be FSC certified.
“Achieving FSC certification is validation that our forest management practices meet the highest international standards”, says Forest Enterprises CEO Bert Hughes. “We know how important this is to our investors.”
The investment forests which have FSC certification are Blairlogie, Blairlogie North, Cleland, Ngahape, Rata Hills, Ratahuia, Te Hau and Te Puhi (Wairarapa); and Glenwood, Goodwood, Hokoroa, Hokoroa North, Homewood, Longwood, Majestic Pine, Millwood, Ormond, Te Karaka and Te Karaka North (Gisborne).
A further 26 investment forests are scheduled to be evaluated for certification later this year. Forest Enterprises celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and remains one of New Zealand’s leading forestry investment managers. In addition to its investment forests, Forest Enterprises also manages 17,000 hectares of FSC certified forestry in the North Island for a private international impact investment fund.
New Ultimate Renewable™ campaign launchedThe next evolution of The Ultimate Renewable™ has been unveiled. The brand’s latest consumer advertising campaign has been launched, headed up by a new brand ambassador.
As part of the first consumer-related marketing activity for the brand since the pandemic, FWPA has launched a new television advertisement. Through the ad, which will run nationally, Australian viewers will meet the new brand ambassador for The Ultimate Renewable™, Adam Dovile.
A highly-skilled builder and carpenter (or ‘chippy’) with a genuine love of timber, Dovile is a recognisable face thanks to regular appearances on Seven’s ever-popular Better Homes and Gardens. Dovile said he hopes the campaign will further the brand’s mission of helping shift attitudes around wood among the public and construction industry.
“It’s great to see that many more architects, designers and specifiers recognise the benefits of wood and embrace its use,” said Dovile. “I am excited to add my voice to this great cause by partnering with The Ultimate Renewable™ to promote the benefits and sustainable nature of this wonderful, versatile material.”
The 15 and 30-second TV ads will appear across eight networks, including Ten, Nine, Seven, WIN, Prime, Southern Cross Austereo, SBS and Foxtel, and could reach up to five million people.
During the ads, viewers will hear Dovile speak about the advantages of forest and wood products, as an animated house takes shape. The television ad will be supported by promotion through social media, magazines, podcasts, and billboards in both metro and regional locations.
The aim of the campaign is to create genuine consumer and industry engagement with the brand and reinforce that wood is a sustainable product. The campaign was launched on Sunday 19 June, and will run for two-months, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled!
Ash forests to forests of ashDesperate efforts to regenerate Victoria’s towering ash forests, which are being regularly decimated by bushfires, involves a dedicated group searching high and low to bank enough seeds for their survival.
An icy wind starts to strengthen on the peak of Mount Wills in north-east Victoria. It’s just another part of the challenging and changing conditions that professional climber Daniel Jenkins deals with on the job each day.
But the idea of standard 9-5 office work leaves him terrified. Instead, he’d rather be spending months on end in remote corners of Victoria, vulnerable to bitter and unpredictable alpine elements, scaling some of the forests’ most spectacular giants.
The wind sends strong ripples through the branches at the crown of the 50-metre-high alpine ash tree he’s preparing to scale, but it’s not enough to keep him grounded, not today at least.
Harness on. Chainsaw attached at the hip. As the weather starts to deteriorate, Mr Jenkins wastes no time in scaling this promising giant swaying in the alpine breeze. Metre by metre he climbs.
The sound of a buzzing chainsaw cuts through the whoosh of the wind funnelling through the leaves overhead. The ash tree’s limbs begin tumbling to the forest floor far below with an explosive thud. It’s exhausting, time-consuming, cold and often stomach-churning work.
And the physical reward is tiny: a peppercorn-sized seed pod clinging to the canopies, almost invisible from the ground with the naked eye.
Carbon sequestration – how does NZ redwood stack?New Zealand has committed to a net-zero emissions target by 2050. Carbon uptake by rapid planting of new forests is the only way New Zealand has to remove CO2 from the atmosphere at the speed required to meet our net-zero target. The centrepiece of New Zealand’s afforestation response to climate change is radiata pine as the species has high growth rates over the short term. However, the growth rate of radiata pine declines after 30 years, which may limit the country’s ability to build enduring carbon stocks if we establish large areas of this species as permanent carbon forests.
The establishment of native forests has been widely advocated and these species provide important ecosystem services and cultural value. However, as native trees grow a lot slower than exotic species, particularly over the short term, it will be difficult to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 using a high proportion of planted native species.
Although the current public debate around reaching net-zero emissions is polarised around the establishment of radiata pine or natives, there are other options that could rapidly sequester carbon over both the short and long term. Coast redwood (redwood) is one of the most promising of these options.
Redwood is a fast-growing exotic tree species native to the western US that can maintain high growth rates over hundreds of years and has been found to store more carbon than forests dominated by any other species. Individuals within this species include some of the oldest and tallest living trees on earth that have reached ages exceeding 2,200 years and heights of 115 m.
Although redwood has considerable potential the species currently occupies only 1% of the NZ plantation area which is considerably lower than the 90% covered by radiata pine. A new study by Michael Watt and Mark Kimberley, published in the latest (May) issue of NZ Journal of Forestry, predicts and spatially compares the amount of carbon sequestered by redwood with that of radiata pine throughout New Zealand.
For the full article, click here
EPA approves wilding conifer weedkillerA weedkiller to target wilding conifers has been approved for use in New Zealand, with controls, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) says. Method 240 SL is a herbicide used to control wilding conifers and other woody plants on non-crop farmland, conservation land and recreational parks.
It contains the active ingredient aminocyclopyrachlor. While aminocyclopyrachlor is new to New Zealand, the United States, Canada, and Australia have previously approved the active ingredient.
Bayer CropScience Proprietary Limited applied to import or manufacture Method 240 SL. The company said the new herbicide had fewer hazards, including much lower risks to people, with lower application rates than other herbicides currently used on wilding conifers.
The EPA decision-making committee imposed strict rules for how Method 240 SL could be packaged, labelled, stored, disposed of, transported, handled, and used, EPA's Hazardous Substances Applications Manager, Dr Lauren Fleury said.
"The committee considers that, with these controls in place, the risks to human health and the environment are negligible, while the benefits to ecosystems and landscapes threatened by wilding conifers will be significant."
The EPA committee received nine submissions on the application - three supported the application and six opposed it. A public hearing was held on May 18, 2022. Read more about the decision on Method 240 SL on the EPA's website.
Source: NZ Herald
Expansion of forest products educational resourcesIt goes without saying that the forestry and wood industries are an intrinsic part of New Zealand’s history. But it’s one thing to say it, and another to educate ourselves as to its massive significance.
That is one of the key objectives of the New Zealand Timber Museum (NZTM). Born from the passion of the Timber Museum society in the 1970s, the NZTM seeks to celebrate and preserve the history of the timber industry in New Zealand and for the site to become a major educational resource and must-see attraction.
The WIDE Trust shares the Museum’s vision for growth; to transform the site into a major historic destination for all to enjoy.
To support the development of the site the WIDE Trust has approved a grant, over three years, that provides funding for development of a comprehensive plan for the Museum site including the engagement of project management and museum curatorial skills. The WIDE Trust is keen to support any individual or entity undertaking study, research or initiatives to advance the forestry and wood industry sectors and the NZTM’s plans certainly ticked the box.
Included in the development plan for the Museum is the establishment of a Radiata Pine Story exhibit and an upgrade to the original sawmill village houses to accommodate further exhibits, and refurbishment of an old native forest grove. The Museum will also house harvest training simulator pods for on-site training and a major model railway system.
It’s a very exciting time for the forestry and wood industries with new technologies, projects and discoveries making things more streamlined. With all that is going on, it’s important to see where it all came from, and the WIDE Trust are proud to be involved in NZTM’s preservation of the past.
Source: WIDE Trust
Global Network for Forestry Young ProfessionalsFuture Foresters New Zealand is supporting a global effort to unite forestry young professionals to promote, grow, and raise awareness of the importance and opportunities of the forest sector.
The recent World Forestry Congress in Seoul, Republic of Korea called for a halt of deforestation and forest degradation and promote sustainable forest management. An executive member of Future Foresters New Zealand, Alfred Duval, says this was the first World Forestry Congress with a substantial youth focus and youth led sessions.
“Future Foresters were asked to showcase to the conference the success of our young forester’s initiative so that others from around the world could witness the benefits of uniting and promoting youth for careers in forests.”
“Future Foresters was a key part of the launch of the Global Network for Forestry Young Professionals (ForYP) at the World Forestry Congress. Communications technology makes it easy to interact with forestry colleagues in different parts of the world, and we’ll be on a learning curve to appreciate the priorities, methods of working and issues in other parts of the forest world”.
Alfred Duval says the likely priorities for Future Foresters involvement with ForYP is to showcase the far-reaching career opportunities regardless of an individual’s background. “We want to showcase to young Māori, young women and men, from all backgrounds, that a future in the forest industry is one that is diverse, rewarding, and sustainable where you can find your own passion and niche.”
The CEO of the New Zealand Forest Owners Association, David Rhodes, who also attended the ForYP launch says it’s vital to give voice and encouragement to the next generation of the industry. “They are in tune with the issues of tomorrow and for our policies and positions to be robust we must include their voices. This network will help achieve that”.
NZ's forest cover change being mappedMicrosoft and New Zealand Crown Research Institute, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, are teaming up to develop improved detection of land use and forest cover change in New Zealand.
Microsoft says its AI for Good team will work with Manaaki Whenua’s Remote Sensing team to develop models and methods to assess and monitor changes in land use and land cover at scale. The two organisations will use high-resolution satellite imagery, including datasets from the Planetary Computer.
It says those are important elements in assessing carbon stored in New Zealand forests, and improved mapping will help inform decisions and policies for a more sustainable Aotearoa. “The data from this initiative will have practical applications related to understanding changes in carbon sequestration – the process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” says Microsoft’s AI for Good programme’s chief data scientist, Juan Lavista Ferres.
Microsoft says these new mapping approaches can be combined with other carbon models to monitor changes in carbon, helping policymakers, urban planners, and the general community consider how their land use affects New Zealand’s climate change goals.
Manaaki Whenua chief scientist Fiona Carswell says Aotearoa New Zealand has ambitious goals to address climate change and meeting those goals will require many partnerships and collaborations. “This project with Microsoft is a strong example of working together to enrich our understanding of te taiao (our environment) today and for our future,” she says.
Source: IT Brief NZ
Submissions sought on Forests Act amendmentThe Chairperson of New Zealand’s Primary Production Committee is now calling for public submissions on the Forests (Legal Harvest Assurance) Amendment Bill. The bill would amend the Forests Act 1949 to establish a legal harvest system. This system aims to provide assurance that timber supplied and traded has been harvested legally. The legal harvest system would:
- require that log traders, primary processors, importers, and exporters who operate above specified thresholds to be registered
- require harvest information to be supplied to others when trading, and for records of that information to be kept
- require due diligence systems to eliminate or mitigate the risk of dealing in timber and timber products not legally harvested.
The bill would also establish offences, penalties, and search powers to enforce the requirements of the legal harvest system.
Tell the Primary Production Committee what you think
Make a submission on the bill by 11.59pm on Wednesday, 3 August 2022.
For more details about the bill:
- Read the full content of the bill
- Get more details about the bill
- What’s been said in Parliament about the bill?
Timber markets and impacts for Australian importsAustralia faces the reality of a persistent and growing gap between the supply and demand of sawn softwood timber. This is the interim finding of an FWPA-commissioned report analysing the future market dynamics of the softwood products industry and the potential impacts on Australian timber imports.
As Australia’s population continues to grow, demand for new dwellings will expand. By no later than 2050, the report suggests Australia will have:
• a population of between 34 and 40 million people
• demand for around 259,000 new dwellings per year
• more than 5 million additional households
• sawn softwood demand of 6.5 million m3 annually — almost 2 million cubic metres per year higher than in 2021
• static local sawn softwood production of between 3.6 and 3.8 million m3 per year, due to constraints on sawlog supply
• a gap between demand and local production of 2.6 million m3 per year, which is equivalent to 40.5 per cent of total demand.
In addition to housing and other dwellings, the report also considers additional demand for sawn softwood in Australia, including for industrial applications like packaging and a wide range of outdoor uses.
“As the Australian population continues to grow and more homes are needed, the construction industry increasingly embraces timber as a sustainable alternative to other materials,” said Kevin Peachey, FWPA Statistics and Economics Manager. “At the same time, consumers continue to seek out a range of environmentally friendly products made from wood.”
The report states that because Australia’s softwood plantation estate has not expanded for almost three decades, there is an ever-increasing risk of local supply not keeping pace with demand. On imports specifically, the report indicates sawn softwood brought in from overseas would need to reach 2 million m3 per annum before 2050, which is almost triple the level recorded in 2021.
“Imports play an important role in supplementing local production. However, this data and analysis also demonstrates global supplies of sawn softwood are diminishing, and factors of market volatility are becoming increasingly evident,” said Kevin Peachey. The alternative solution to over-reliance on imports is new plantation establishment.
The report estimates Australia would need to establish as much as 468,000 hectares of additional softwood plantations to effectively meet future demand, while also establishing the ‘buffer stock’ required to meet peaks in demand volatility.
You can read the Future market dynamics and potential impacts on Australian timber imports – interim report by clicking here. The full report is expected to be available later this month.
Researcher wins national forest industries awardThe Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) congratulates Dr Sam Van Holsbeeck of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Forest Research Institute on winning the Blue-Sky Young Researcher Innovation Award, becoming Australia’s national competition winner.
Organised by AFPA, the Australian national competition is the first stage of the highly prestigious international competition sponsored by the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA). Dr Van Holsbeeck will progress to the international round, where three winners from around the world will be chosen and have the opportunity to share their projects at the ICFPA CEO Global Roundtable in April/May 2023.
Dr Van Holsbeeck’s project investigates the potential availability and market feasibility of utilising currently unused woody biomass from Australian sandalwood plantations to supply local business with biomass feedstock. Sandalwood plantations contain multiple species of plants, that are used as hosts for the hemiparastitic sandalwood, which is considered a waste product when the sandalwood is harvested. This creates a potential source of biomass that is currently not utilised.
“As we have seen from the COVID-pandemic and the tragedy in Ukraine, supply chain shock waves have reverberated around the world, meaning local timber resource supply is incredibly important, not just for sustainability but for economic resilience. Sam’s research will ultimately help local Australian suppliers get more out of their plantations and open up exciting opportunities for local manufacturing of forest products,” AFPA CEO Ross Hampton said.
“This is pioneering forest industries research that’s much needed in Australia, which is why AFPA worked so hard to secure AU$100 million in government funding for the new National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) during the federal election campaign.
“On behalf of Australia’s forest industries, I congratulate Dr Sam Van Holsbeeck on winning the national competition and progressing to the world stage. We’ll be cheering for him at the ICFPA Global Roundtable!”
Dr Van Holsbeeck was awarded the Australian leg of the competition at the AFPA-Timber Queensland June Forest Industries Dinner in Brisbane in front of hundreds of national forest industries representatives and stakeholders.
Soaring tree demand to offset Australia's emissionsFrom 50 trees to 2.8 million. That has been the trajectory for Lisa McCreery's native tree nursery since it was set up 43 years ago by her parents outside Tammin in Western Australia's Wheatbelt.
"Mum started off with 40 or 50 trees," Mrs McCreery said. "That's how I got my pocket money, just working in the nursery, my sisters and I." It is a feel-good occupation. "How can you not be happy when you walk down and see so many trees and the oxygen that's in the system?" Mrs McCreery said.
"You just feel good, you feel really good." Demand has ebbed and flowed over the years, although farmers and local councils have been the nursery's mainstay. But lately, another major customer has been adding to the demand.
Carbon capture customers dominate
Companies planting trees to capture carbon and generate carbon offsets have been knocking at the door, bringing big orders for seedlings. This year the nursery will supply close to a million trees to the sector.
"We could have sold out the nursery easily to a couple of carbon companies this year," Mrs McCreery said. "We didn't let that happen because we've got our bread and butter. My dad always used to say 'don't put all your eggs in one basket', so I'm going with that."
With the new Labor government pledging to cut Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, experts predict demand will soar for carbon offsets to meet the target.
Buy and Sell
... and one to end the week on ...
While I was watching the TV one weekend, my wife and I got into a conversation about life and death, and the need for living wills.
And on that note, enjoy your weekend (a long one for the
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