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21st July 2020 Newsletter
As Covid continues to rage outside our borders we run the risk of becoming complacent within our borders. New Zealand is indeed the lucky country, but this could quickly turn around, look at Israel, Japan, Croatia and Victoria for examples of how quickly this can occur. The world is entering a recession and we will be effected.
Why do I state this so bluntly? The reason is, now more than ever our sector needs to communicate and consult both internally and externally. We need to work as one, rather than being a number of individuals, business and associations. We need to scenario plan and agree how we will react in various situations. We need a plan which will ensure we all get through the next few years, rather than just having a few large winners. We need to ensure we still have our labour and skills intact when the world returns to more normality, a number of years from now.
Currently there are no meetings of all associations. The reason for this appears to be too much angst against each other as well as each association only looking after number 1. This is a ridiculous situation and it needs to change. Our association leaders (including NZIF) need to get over themselves and start communicating sector wide, this must involve FOA, WMPA, Maori, FFA, FICA, TuR, NZIF, log exporters, TIF, Scion, FISC nurseries, regional sector committees etc etc.
As I firmly believe the primary sector will have a major role in helping NZ recover we also need to extend our communication to our farmer friends, especially around land use and how to ensure land is used for its best purpose. It should not be them or us, there is enough land for all of us, if we are prepared to have an open conversation about right land use; and I do not mean at the title level, I mean within titles. Forests and farming within the one title makes sense and we need to work together on this. The future foresters latest video is a great example of this.
Arriving back into this role after two years away I am dismayed and disappointed by the rifts, splits, and anger within the sector. Where is the sector leadership? This is not to disrespect those currently leading our associations as I know they are all trying to do their best by their associations, but where is the leadership of the sector and industry? Where are the open and honest discussions being held involving the whole supply chain? Where is the planning being undertaken to ensure the sector comes out of this forthcoming recession in a reasonable way? It can not be one group or association who leads or speaks on behalf of the sector. We need all the associations and all the supply chain speaking and working towards ensuring a future for all of us. Currently this does not exist.
I challenge all the association leaders to get around a table and listen. Then plan for a difficult future and communicate that plan to the sector. Widespread consultation is required involving all groups listed above. I am prepared to put my hand up to play a major role in making this happen, but I also feel there are better qualified people to do it than me. I ask members how we can make this happen and await your responses.
Finally, I would like to thank the Auckland section for inviting me to speak to them last Thursday on what I am hoping to achieve over the next two years. It was a enjoyable session with some ‘interesting’ questions. It is great to see such an active local section. If other local sessions would like me or one of the councillors to come to one of their meetings so members can ask questions, I am more than happy to make this happen.
Let’s keep communicating.
EVENTS AND ISSUES
MPI Report: Fit for a better world – accelerating our economic potential
Find out about our roadmap, its themes, and how we intend rolling it out.
The way to a more sustainable economy
COVID-19 is a once-in-a-century public health crisis that has shaken societies and economies around the world. New Zealand will take time to recover from its impact.
As we restore our society and economy, we have an opportunity to rebuild better, in partnership with iwi/ Māori and industry. The food and fibres sector will be at the forefront of our export-led recovery and can lead the way to a more sustainable economy.
Our roadmap, Fit for a better world – accelerating our economic potential (released July 2020) sets out actions to bring together opportunities the Government considers will accelerate the productivity, sustainability and inclusiveness of the primary sector, to deliver more value for all New Zealanders.
NZ fire levy reform delayed by COVID focus
Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) funding reform progress will be delayed until after this year’s general election due to the Government’s focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Department of Internal Affairs GM Policy Raj Krishnan says the Government’s response to COVID-19 came shortly after public consultation concluded on the FENZ review paper earlier this year, causing progress on phase two to be placed on pause.
“The department will now seek a Government decision on how Fire and Emergency should be funded after the election,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au.
“Once this decision is taken, there will be further consultation with stakeholders on the details of the proposed funding regime.”
A recently released summary of submissions shows pressure has increased for FENZ to be at least partly funded through taxation, rather than through a levy on insurance premiums that allows “free-riding”.
“Of those that commented on this there was a range a range of positions, from stating that Fire and Emergency should be wholly funded through general taxation, through to an increase to the Crown contribution,” Mr Krishnan said.
The consultation paper released last year said funding mainly through taxation was outside the scope of the review, but many responses protested that it should be considered.
NZ Dryland Forests Initiative Project Update, January – June 2020
Our vision is to have 100,000 hectares of elite durable eucalypts planted by 2030, and a regional hardwood industry in full swing by 2050.
We are making good progress!
Catch up with the latest developments in NZDFI breeding, demonstration and propagation work: also the exciting research being undertaken by our School of Forestry post-graduates.
Queen’s Birthday Honour for Contribution to Conservation – DG Lou Sanson
It gives me great pleasure to share our conservation stories and give you an inside look at DOC's work, as well as the efforts of others contributing to the important work of conservation.
I'd particularly like to acknowledge the number of Queen’s Birthday Honours awarded to New Zealanders for their contribution to conservation.
Event: The 2020 Forest Growers’ Research Conference – Webinar substituted for In Person
The FGR had scheduled our annual forest growers research conference and field trip for the 13th – 15th October 2020 in Nelson.
Over the last month or so we have been monitoring the COVID developments and reviewing whether we will be able to continue with our plans to hold this conference in Nelson.
Reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we will not be proceeding with this years “in person conference“ for several reasons including:
- the uncertainty over whether gatherings of this size will be permitted if there is any resurgence of COVID cases;
- the reluctance of many organisations to allow their staff to travel and attend external meetings of this type;
- business recovery being a priority rather than time and expenditure on travel and conference attendance.
However, it is important that we continue to communicate the outcome of our research programmes to industry levy payers and other stakeholders and we will be substituting the conference with online Webinar sessions during the same period of time in October (13th – 15th) 2020.
We will be developing a programme for this with our research partners and communicating this to our industry members and stakeholders in the near future.
We regret having to make this decision but in the circumstances we are all having to deal with we believe it is the sensible option.
Information on the 2019 FGR Conference are available here.
Select Committee Report (Forestry Amendment Bill) & ETS Links
Please find links below for the select committee report and for further information on the ETS changes.
Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill
A copy of the committee’s report on the bill (containing the RT as amended by the slip) is now available on the Parliament website at here.
The departmental advice has also been published to the website here.
Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill
MPI web link for breakdown of key forestry changes here.
MfE link for breakdown of broader changes and helpful webinar here.
Event: Environmental Defence Society Climate Change and Business Conference confirmed for October in Auckland
The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) is pleased to be proceeding with its annual Climate Change and Business Conference in October this year.
“We are delighted to confirm that our event will go ahead as planned. It will be held in Auckland on 6-7 October 2020. Feedback from conference supporters is strongly in favour of holding an in-person conference, though we will also offer livestreaming registration options,” said Conference Organiser Fiona Driver.
“We are currently finalising a wide-ranging programme and inviting constructive ideas for key speakers and content, and sponsor support. Registration for the event is now live and earlybird registration options are available on the conference website until 20 July 2020,” said Olivia Grainger.
MPI Sustainable Forestry Bulletin
MPI’s Sustainable Forestry Bulletin is available through the subscription link. The bulletin outlines new information, upcoming requirements etc relating to the ETS, etc.
Forestry Career Portal
For career options, jobs are available advertised on this site
Institute of Chartered Foresters (UK)
The ICF provides a newsletter with news and blogs as well as relevant information for members through this link.
Royal Society New Zealand
The NZ Institute of Forestry is affiliated with the Royal Society, with many co-memberships. For those interested in finding out what is happening, receiving newsletters and other alerts, please follow the link here.
NZIF Council Treasurer
Kent is in his forth term as a Councillor and his second as Treasurer. Since graduating from the School of Forestry he has spent his career working in the Otago/Southland region and is currently the Marketing and Logistics Manager for City Forests in Dunedin.
Kent says he’s privileged to have worked across the full breadth of the industry, from forest establishment to timber marketing. He believes the industry does not receive the recognition it deserves and he is extremely proud to have made his career in forestry.
Council responsibilities are: NZIF Finance
Event: NZIF Canterbury Local Section Meeting 23 July 2020
Date: Thursday 23 July 5.30 pm
Venue: Room F1 at School of Forestry, Canterbury University
- Sean Weaver CEO of EKOS will talk about how the NZ-ETS can be used to finance indigenous forest restoration projects and how he envisages this will play out in Canterbury.
- Adam Forbes, Principal Ecologist at Forbes Ecology; Te Uru Rakau Restoration Ambassador; and Research Associate UC School of Forestry will be speaking (via Zoom) on forest ecological opportunities and risks associated with permanent exotic/indigenous forests being established and managed under the revised NZ-ETS regulations
Light snacks and drinks will be provided with no charge.
Please RSVP to Patrick Milne email@example.com
Annual CPD workshops inconjunction with AGM
We will be running 2 x CPD workshops on Saturday 26th September at the Miramar Golf Links conference rooms. Starting at 10am. Further details around the CPD, costs etc to be announced asap. Numbers will be limited.
Recording your Continuing Professional Development just got easier.
We’ve recently updated the website to make it easier to record your CPD. This has been rolled out to all members. While it’s a requirement for registered members to record CPD if you may want to apply for registration in the future it’s good to have the history of your CPD recorded.
You can find the link to record your CPD under your profile on the NZIF website and definitions for what qualifies as structured and unstructured CPD are available here.
Latest NZ Journal of Forestry is On-line
Find latest journal here
New Zealand Forest and Wood Sector Forum
Find out more here
It is with sadness
It is with sadness we let members know Richard Woollon’s (Fellow) passed away early Sunday morning. Many members will remember Richards very entertaining lectures. We will keep members informed of funeral arrangements and will have a full obituary in time. We send our sympathies to Richard’s family.
It is important NZIF has up-to-date contact details for members so we can stay in touch and keep you informed of news, events and our journal. If you have changed your residential and/or postal address, or any other contact details, please let the office know. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THE NEWS
A tea plantation in Cameroon. Large scale agribusiness, driven by the developed world’s hunger for palm oil, rubber, tea and other commodities is driving African deforestation. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay
REDD+: The U.N.’s grand plan to save forests hasn’t worked, but some still believe it can
At this critical moment for forests, this two-part Mongabay series delves into the past, present and future of the controversial global strategy for “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation,” known as REDD+.
- Part one explores REDD+’s evolution up to the present: how a lofty plan meant to generate large-scale financing for global forest conservation and climate mitigation became a patchwork of individual projects and programs that have failed to achieve the central goal of curbing deforestation.
- Recent developments could represent something of a turning point for REDD+, including the first large-scale, “results-based” funding — the conditional financial incentives seen as key to REDD+’s success — from the U.N.-REDD Programme and the World Bank, and a surge in private-sector dollars for forest conservation and reforestation projects that could mark the beginning of a significant new source of cash.
- However, challenges remain to delivering REDD+ at its intended scale, not least of which is the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, which could potentially trip up progress just as REDD+ looked poised to gain some real ground.
The world’s tropical forests are in serious trouble, with deforestation worsening and the sixth mass extinction accelerating faster than scientists previously thought. This grim news comes more than a decade after the international community agreed on a strategy for curbing the destruction of tropical forests as part of global efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
Known as REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation), the strategy sounds simple: Rich, industrialized countries would pay developing countries for preserving forests avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions released when trees are destroyed. But making REDD+ work has turned out to be anything but simple, in large part because its architects have yet to design the global carbon market that was meant to pay for it.
This means 13 years and plenty of tense negotiations after REDD+ officially debuted in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) summit in 2007, in the real world, it still doesn’t exist at its intended scale.
Rollback of environmental protections continues during COVID-19 pandemic, expert says
As the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown limits civic participation, some officials are dismantling ecosystem protections, an environmental governance expert has said.
Rachel Golden-Kroner, a social scientist with Conservation International who studies the cyclical pattern between environmental rollbacks and deforestation, has been monitoring policy changes.
“Many leaders are taking advantage of the fact that the coronavirus has limited the public’s ability to participate in these decisions despite the cruel irony that by scaling back protected areas, governments are silently weakening policies that can help minimize future pandemics,” Golden-Kroner said. “In most cases the catalyst for shrinking or eliminating protected areas in recent months is to make space for infrastructure developments, agricultural expansion, or increased fossil fuel mining – like in Brazil and Canada.”
She argues that governments must be vigilant in enforcement of protected areas and support green coronavirus recovery measures as opportunities to reinforce the value of nature.
Forestry slash affects Tolaga Bay lives and livelihoods
Tolaga Bay locals fear lives could be lost at sea as forestry detritus litters their shoreline and fishing grounds.
A week ago, a massive amount of forestry slash has travelled down the Uawa River blanketing the bay.
This follows a deluge of huge logs previously littering the region's farmland, foreshore and valley during floods in June 2018.
This latest dump has angered residents who are fed up with having to navigate the debris.
Tolaga Bay crayfisher Murray Dolman says it is too dangerous to go out in the dark on his boat.
“We’ve got to wait till daylight. And if somebody hits one of them in the dark, it’ll put a bloody big hole in their boat and it doesn’t take long for the boat to sink.
“And someone is going to get drowned if it continues, it’s dangerous, there’s a lot of logs out there now."
The 2400-hectare Mangaheia Station in Tolaga Bay has been owned by Annette Couper's family since the 1970s. Photo: Supplied / Bayleys real estate
Farm owner rejects carbon bids to buy East Coast station
A Gisborne farmer is ecstatic that a large sheep and cattle station in Tolaga Bay - which has just changed hands for the first time in nearly half a century - will not be turned into forestry.
Earlier this week the Labour Party announced plans to introduce legislation limiting forestry conversions of the most productive land, if it wins re-election.
Annette Couper is saying goodbye to Mangaheia Station, a farm that's been in her family since the 1970s.
She said selling up was tough, but none of her daughters were farmers.
"To me it's just a beautiful property," she told RNZ.
"My husband bought it back in '77. It's been an enormous decision to sell Managaheia, not an easy one, I can absolutely assure you of that, not an easy one, but it was purely succession."
When the station went on the market, many in the local community feared it would be snapped up by carbon farmers.
While its proponents say carbon farming will help New Zealand reach its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, rural communities say it is destroying them by forcing people out.
NZ: Southern Wood Council describes forests amendment bill as 'a lemon'
Southern forestry groups are wary of an amendment that would attempt to control log market prices for the industry.
The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forest Advisors) amendment bill would require compulsory registration of log traders and forestry advisors, and set up a Forestry Authority to make rules and regulations for forestry practice standards.
So far it had reached a lot of opposition, with the majority of submissions against it.
The bill is sitting with the committee of whole house in parliament.
New Zealand could meet its zero carbon target at virtually no economic cost. But is the social cost too high?
When you look at it mathematically, tallying numbers in a spreadsheet, New Zealand’s climate problem has a cheap fix.
Not only could you get New Zealand’s climate pollution to net zero, you could turn the country into a carbon sink. The economic cost would be minimal, if there was one at all – in fact, you could leave major parts of the economy, including dairy farming and energy generation, virtually untouched.
How do you do it?
You let the market take over, and allow the end of sheep and cattle farming.
A research tower, part of the AmazonFACE project in Brazil, where scientists measure the forest's response to climate change. JOÃO M. ROSA/AMAZONFACE
Will Climate Change Upend Projections of Future Forest Growth? (The Australian research gains more coverage)
While the world’s forests can play an important role in absorbing carbon dioxide and slowing climate change, new research indicates that elevated CO2 concentrations do not necessarily boost forests and that higher temperatures could cause changes in trees that reduce their ability grow.
In a eucalyptus forest just west of Sydney, Australia, six open towers made of 25-meter-tall white pipes poke above the treetops. In 2012, carbon dioxide gas started flowing from the tubes, raising levels inside the rings to nearly 40 percent above the global average CO2 concentration of around 405 parts per million. For four years, trees soaked in the carbon bath, building some of it into leaves, roots, and wood, and respiring the rest. When ecologist Mingkai Jiang of Western Sydney University and colleagues measured the results of all this activity, they were shocked. Despite gorging on plant food in the form of CO2, the trees hadn’t managed to grow any larger, the researchers reported in April in Nature.
Almost halfway around the world, wires snake through the leaf-strewn soil of Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Electricity coursed through the wires for two years, raising the soil temperature by 4 degrees Celsius, mimicking the possible future. The findings were, again, sobering: The warmed soil belched out 55 percent more carbon than a control plot that wasn’t warmed, suggesting that tropical soils could become a potent source of carbon dioxide in a warmer future.
Ever since global climate change was recognized as a major threat, scientists have struggled to determine how much carbon ecosystems, and forests in particular, can soak up from the atmosphere as both carbon dioxide levels and temperatures rise. Basic plant physiology and small-scale experiments with tree seedlings indicate that as carbon dioxide rises, so does photosynthesis, all else being equal. And up to a certain point, warmth also juices plant growth, as anyone who has grown plants in a greenhouse knows. Forests today absorb more than a quarter of humans’ CO2 emissions, and more than a trillion tons of carbon reside in trees and forest soil — more than twice the carbon emitted by humans since the Industrial Revolution began.
NZ Wood ad 'implies farmers are dumb' if they don't embrace forestry
Sheep and beef farmers are up in arms over an advertisement which they say implies they’re stupid if they don't plant trees on their land.
The NZ Wood advertisement, screened on TVNZ One on Sunday night, opens with footage of a smoking chimney, gridlocked traffic and melting ice.
“The time to stop runaway global warming is running out,” a voiceover says.
Farm Forestry Video
The benefits of trees on farms.
East Coast Forestry
Opinion: Let them eat wood
The farmers are right. As the price of carbon rises, the settings in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will make it more profitable to plant pine trees than to grow food (or native forests) in many parts of New Zealand.
On the East Coast, for instance, a landowner will be paid 10 times more by year 5 for planting pine trees instead of native forest, and farmland is going under pine trees in many places. With wool prices at historic lows, and rising carbon prices, this trend will only accelerate.
Forestry Rights, Sabring, India
India: Under cover of the pandemic, stealth land grabs are ongoing in India
Indigenous women are on the front lines of resistance against forest evictions.
The outbreak of the coronavirus and the regulations that have been installed by governments worldwide to protect citizens, life and vulnerable groups effect everyone – but not every person or community in the same way. It is not yet clear, if indigenous groups in India, often living in remote areas with lack of information and restricted access to health care are particularly threatened by Covid-19 or more resilient to its spreading if they devise innovative coping mechanisms (such as self-isolation and protective health measures) .
However, research shows that land plays an important role and that indigenous groups who have access to their natural resources can survive the crisis better due to food security and live self-sufficiently through the lockdown . At the same time, forest related NGOs suspect that the pandemic might be used by governments as a cover for extending top-down development projects benefiting multinational companies, intensification of resource extraction and expanded restrictions on basic citizenship rights for forest and marginalized communities.
World: As fog clears on benefits of forest protection, excuses for failure wear thin
Global efforts to stop the destruction of tropical forests have faltered so far largely because poor understanding of the value of preserving them has led to weak political will - a barrier that may be overcome with stronger evidence of their benefits.
The carbon on your plate: mangrove and aquaculture
Shoring up mangrove protection amid shrimp production
Stinky and full of mosquitos, mangrove forests may easily be dismissed and marginalized. But in these brackish coastal ecosystems, each hectare of mangrove swamp can store three times more carbon than terrestrial forest ecosystems, making them a key component in efforts to forestall climate change.
“It’s not exactly a nice place to work,” says Daniel Murdiyarso, laughingly recalling the challenging conditions he has faced during a 30-year career dedicated to the study of mangroves in 25 countries.
The CIFOR principal scientist says their unappealing image often undervalues mangrove forests leading to deforestation activities that make way for aquaculture farms, infrastructures and agricultural land. In Southeast Asia, for example, more than 100,000 ha of mangrove were removed between 2000 and 2012. “It is time to call for a moratorium on mangrove deforestation,” says Murdiyarso.
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Wants to Extract More Resources from National Forests
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, wrote a memo to staff of the U.S. Forest Service last month promoting an agenda to “increase the productivity of National Forests and Grasslands.” Perdue was pretty candid in outlining his vision: “These lands are critical for the prosperity of rural communities, sustaining jobs and livelihoods in grazing, mining, oil and gas development, recreation and forestry — sectors that support our American way of life.”
In simpler terms, Secretary Perdue is looking to streamline development on public lands. His blueprint imagines leveraging the country’s forests to “increase America’s energy dominance,” by creating opportunities for livestock grazing, logging, fracking and other environmentally debilitating practices. He’s also interested in “expediting broadband development” on protected lands, and setting aside more recreational areas for hunting and fishing.
Natural regeneration coming into a small canopy gap at Ticknock Forest in 2018. Photo: Edward Wilson
Ireland: Why are the forests in the Dublin mountains getting a makeover?
Opinion: the move to continuous cover forestry will have huge benefits for the environment and our health
The pandemic lockdown created a great deal of uncertainty. Top of the list has been concern for our health, and that of family and friends. It has also been a time to contemplate how life will be different in the future. One topic that has come to the fore is the environment. We have started to appreciate our natural world and wildlife around us more than ever.
In the capital, eyes have been raised to the woodlands that hug the Dublin Mountains. Nine forests are in easy reach of the city, including Cruagh, Ticknock and Carrickgollogan, and these have been places to escape to enjoy (socially-distanced) exercise and recharge emotional batteries.
Owned by Coillte, the semi-state forestry company, they total over 900ha and form a green backdrop to the city. Until recently, they have been managed on a commercial basis. However, with around 600,000 visits each year there have been calls for change. In 2019, a not-for-profit organisation called Coillte Nature was created to steward the nine forests in a new direction. Recreation and nature will now come first ahead of commercial considerations. The vision is to give the woodlands a "makeover" so they better serve the community and conservation.
Ireland: Forestry and the environment
Sir, – Unfortunately, there are still many misunderstandings about the 21st-century forestry model in Ireland. The modern productive forests we are planting today are not “industrial monocultures” (Letters, July 6th); rather, they contain diverse tree species, broadleaves as well as conifers, and areas set aside for biodiversity. This year’s afforestation programme will contain roughly 40 per cent broadleaves. Every one of our forests is different and provides different habitats. A mature forest is a patchwork of trees of different ages, with varied vegetation along its borders, paths and roadways. Walkers in our mature forests will bear witness to the nature and diversity they see along the way.
Our forests provide diverse benefits to our society, economy and environment – they are providing thousands of rural jobs and reliable farm incomes, and all the while they are absorbing millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and delivering a sustainable building material that locks away carbon for generations.
Successive governments have created a great success story by supporting forestry and the imperative to do so is greater than ever as we seek to create rural jobs, build a new Irish bio-economy, diversify our agriculture and be carbon neutral by 2050. – Yours, etc,
Mark McAuley, Director, Forest Industries Ireland
England's first pine martens have babies in the Forest of Dean as they fight back from brink of extinction
Conservationists are delighted by the happy news that a number of recently released females from Scotland have given birth to little kits.
And they have released a video of the youngsters playing in the woodlands.
Wildlife experts say at least three females have give birth since September 2019 when 18 Scottish pine martens were released into Forest of Dean in a bid to create the first wild colony in England.
Around-the-clock radio tracking and trail camera monitoring has allowed them to see the babies which they hope will lead to the recovery of pine martens in this country.
Britain’s second-rarest native carnivore was nearly hunted to extinction and conservationists say the births are a major milestone because it proves the Forest of Dean is the perfect environment for breeding.
NZ: Labour policy would put forestry decisions in council hands
The Labour Party will get tough on forestry conversions if it wins the next election, it says.
Announcing the proposal to allow local councils to determine what classes of land can be used for forestry, Labour Party forestry spokesperson Stuart Nash said the change would take place in the first six months of the next term of government.
The move has been supported with reservations by Federated Farmers but strongly opposed by the Forest Owners Association.
"Resource consent would be required for plantation or carbon forests on Land Use Capability Classes 1-5 - often known as elite soils - above a threshold of 50 hectares per farm," Nash said.
NZ: Forest owners group says industry will save rural communities
The Forest Owners Association says foresters have little interest in highly fertile farmland, which is too expensive.
Converting farmland into forestry can offer a lifeline to rural communities, rather than sound a death knell, a group representing forest owners says.
On Friday, Labour forestry spokesman Stuart Nash announced plans to introduce a resource consent requirement for conversions of some farmland into forestry.
The requirement would apply to forestry blocks larger than 50 hectares – equivalent to 50 rugby fields – on “elite soils”.
Federated Farmers meat and wool chairman William Beetham said the move to protect productive farmland from blanket afforestation was a “step in the right direction”.
However, Forest Owners Association president Phil Taylor said that message was concerning, as the federation had previously strongly supported the right of landowners to choose what to do with their land.
Canadian Institute of Forestry promotes Canada’s boreal forest management
As the national voice of forest practitioners, the Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada (the Institute) fosters public awareness, promotes competency among forestry professionals, and pursues partnerships, such as with the Centre for Social Intelligence to proudly champion the Gender Equity in Canada’s Forest Sector National Action Plan.
The Institute takes an active role in helping to advance science through peer-reviewed research publications (The Forestry Chronicle). The Institute is a member of the Forest Professional Regulators of Canada and the Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board, and partners with accredited institutions to help foresters obtain and maintain their competencies by providing bridge training and e-learning opportunities regarding developments in the science and practice of forestry.
There has been recent media attention concerning the management of Canada’s boreal forest. The Institute would like to make it clear that Canada is a leader in sustainable forest management with some of the strictest laws for harvesting forests. Forest management in Canada uses sound science to consider biodiversity, wildlife habitat supply, ecosystem processes, and natural disturbance emulation. Canada’s forest management planning processes also strive to incorporate the values and perspectives of stakeholders who use the land on which trees grow, including Canada’s Indigenous Peoples whose history and culture is inextricably linked to forests and all that they support.
Canada is failing to track the true climate cost of clearcut logging in boreal: report
Greenhouse gas emissions created by logging in Canada’s boreal forest aren’t being properly regulated or accounted for, threatening the country’s ability to meet its 2050 climate targets, according to a new report released on Thursday.
The report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Nature Canada and Environmental Defence challenges the “creative accounting” that has allowed industry and government to claim that forestry in Canada is carbon neutral.
Australia: Green groups call on Bunnings to extend Victorian timber ban to NSW
Environmental groups have called on Bunnings to extend to NSW its recent halt to sourcing native timber from Victoria's state forests, fearing supply will simply shift to the state's fire-hit forests.
The hardware giant last week announced it was ending its supply contract with VicForests following a Federal Court decision in June that found the state logging agency had breached the law by failing to protect endangered Leadbeater's possums when it logged 66 sites in Victoria's Central Highlands.
Protesters disrupting logging operations in Victoria's Central Highlands. Bunnings decided last week to cease taking timber from the state's native forests.
Protesters disrupting logging operations in Victoria's Central Highlands. Bunnings decided last week to cease taking timber from the state's native forests.
The Nature Conservation Council of NSW, which represents 150 environmental groups, has written to Bunnings, saying they fear NSW's state forests could end up filling any supply shortfall.
Scottish Forestry hopes the £2m grant scheme will lead to an increase in tree planting in woodlands across the country.
Forestry grant scheme to put more trees in ground
Scottish Forestry hopes the £2m grant scheme will lead to an increase in tree planting in woodlands across the country.
New forestry grants worth more than £2 million have been announced by Scottish Forestry for farmers, tree nurseries and small forestry businesses.
The harvesting and processing grants are designed to help boost woodland planting across Scotland by enabling businesses to buy specialist forestry equipment ranging from polytunnels and seed trays through to mounding equipment, work site welfare units and small-scale sawmills for processing.
Tree nurseries in England and Wales which supply trees to Scotland will also be able to apply for the money.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said forestry had a key role to play in helping the rural economy recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Tree planting does not always boost ecosystem carbon stocks, study finds
Planting huge numbers of trees to mitigate climate change is "not always the best strategy" -- with some experimental sites in Scotland failing to increase carbon stocks, a new study has found.
Experts at the University of Stirling and the James Hutton Institute analysed four locations in Scotland where birch trees were planted onto heather moorland -- and found that, over decades, there was no net increase in ecosystem carbon storage.
The team -- led by Dr Nina Friggens, of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Stirling -- found that any increase to carbon storage in tree biomass was offset by a loss of carbon stored in the soil.
Dr Friggens said: "Both national and international governments have committed to plant huge numbers of trees to mitigate climate change, based on the simple logic that trees -- when they photosynthesise and grow -- remove carbon from the atmosphere and lock it into their biomass. However, trees also interact with carbon in soil, where much more carbon is found than in plants.
"Our study considered whether planting native trees on heather moorlands, with large soil carbon stores, would result in net carbon sequestration -- and, significantly, we found that over a period of 39 years, it did not."
The tree-planting experiments -- in the Grampians, Cairngorms and Glen Affric -- were set up by the late Dr John Miles, of the then Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (a forerunner to the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), in 1980, and the Hutton Institute in 2005. The research sites enabled the team to assess the impact of tree planting on vegetation and soil carbon stocks, by comparing these experimental plots to adjacent control plots consisting of original heath vegetation.
Europe: Heat stress: The climate is putting European forests under sustained pressure
No year since weather records began was as hot and dry as 2018. A first comprehensive analysis of the consequences of this drought and heat event shows that central European forests sustained long-term damage. Even tree species considered drought-resistant, such as beech, pine and silver fir, suffered. The international study was directed by the University of Basel, which is conducting a forest experiment unique in Europe.
Until now, 2003 has been the driest and hottest year since regular weather records began. That record has now been broken. A comparison of climate data from Germany, Austria and Switzerland shows that 2018 was significantly warmer. The average temperature during the vegetation period was 1.2°C above the 2003 value and as high as 3.3°C above the average of the years from 1961 to 1990.
Part of the analysis, which has now been published, includes measurements taken at the Swiss Canopy Crane II research site in Basel, where extensive physiological investigations were carried out in tree canopies. The goal of these investigations is to better understand how and when trees are affected by a lack of water in order to counter the consequences of climate change through targeted management measures.
A casualty of Trump’s immigration policy: Millions of trees
The decision to suspend seasonal visas is expected to hurt forestry firms as well as state and federal governments.
America needs millions of new trees each year for forests damaged by natural catastrophes, thinned by logging and developed to protect watersheds. But this year, many of the workers who do the planting are being barred from the U.S. by the Trump administration.
Seasonal temporary workers mainly from Mexico and South America perform most of the reforestation work in the U.S., entering the country in October each year for a six-month planting season.
But the White House last month suspended most seasonal temporary visas, known as H-2Bs, for the rest of the year in an effort to free up jobs for American workers as the country experiences record-high unemployment.
Now an entire planting season could be lost, leaving the U.S. with millions of fewer trees, forestry industry representatives warn. That could include work on the U.S. Forest Service’s own programs, which rely on contract labor to maintain federal forested lands.
Typically, only a handful of U.S. workers respond to listings seeking forestry crews.
Pine beetles successful no matter how far they roam -- with devastating effects
Whether they travel only a few metres or tens of kilometres to a new host tree, female pine beetles use different strategies to find success -- with major negative consequences for pine trees, according to new research by University of Alberta biologists.
The research, led by graduate student Kelsey Jones, examined the relationship between host colonization success by female mountain pine beetles and the distance travelled to find their new homes.
Since the early 1990s, an outbreak of mountain pine beetles has affected more than 18 million hectares of forest in the western provinces. Understanding the behaviour of these beetles is key in developing management strategies to prevent further damage to Alberta's boreal forest.
"It is hard to predict the continued invasion by the mountain pine beetle using information from this study alone," said Jones. "However, our work does indicate that beetles which fly for long distances can still call in many fellow beetles to mass attack trees. This indicates that, as beetles move further eastward and forest stands become thinner, they will likely still have the capacity to colonize hosts."
Some beetles fly distances more than 30 kilometres while others stay close to home, traveling no more than two metres away to find a new host tree. But this study shows that beetles may have different strategies for success that are based on the distance of an individual's dispersal flights.
Traditional practices and beliefs in landscape management
The roles of informal institutions in landscape approach
Traditional and local beliefs, taboos, norms and knowledge play a critical role in conserving local biodiversity and landscapes, and researchers are now considering whether these might be applied more widely to areas under threat.
Could informal “institutions” – including belief systems and practices – become more recognized as supports in preserving biodiversity and landscapes on a larger scale?
If so, could these strategies be applied in Indonesia’s biodiversity-rich but threatened Kapuas River watershed in West Kalimantan?
The watershed of Indonesia’s longest river is subject to an integrated management plan designed to protect the river’s essential hydrological functions while preserving forests in the watershed.
However, the plan has not been effectively implemented on the ground, and lacks coordination across local communities, stakeholders and regional governments, according to participants of a workshop on watershed management in Pontianak in 2019.
Indigenous people have been practicing landscape governance using their traditional knowledge and customary rules for generations.
As knowledge was generated and adapted over time to secure livelihoods, many systems became naturally aligned with the principles of sustainable landscape management and conservation developed by modern science. Indigenous people also have traditional conflict management approaches where customary leaders play the key roles in developing resolution mechanisms.
NSW Forestry Corporation ordered to stop work in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has ordered the state's Forestry Corporation to stop tree harvesting at a State Forest in northern NSW, saying two old 'giant' trees have been felled.
- The NSW EPA has ordered the Forestry Corporation to stop tree harvesting at Wild Cattle Creek State Forest
- The EPA says it has discovered two 'giant' trees have been felled at the site, against regulations
- The Forestry Corporation says it takes environmental compliance 'very seriously'
It's the first time the EPA has issued the Forestry Corporation with a Stop Work Order under new laws which came into effect in 2018.
Regulations, contained in the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval, require loggers to ensure that trees designated as giant — that is, with a stump diameter of more than 140 centimetres — are not logged.
EPA executive director of regulatory operations Carmen Dwyer said recent EPA inspections had discovered the felling of two giant trees in the Wild Cattle Creek State Forest, inland from Coffs Harbour.
"These two old, giant trees have provided significant habitat and biodiversity value and are irreplaceable," she said.
"These two trees in particular are more in the order of 170 and 190cm diameter. These are really important trees, they are very precious.
A fifth of Brazilian soy in Europe is result of deforestation
Study findings suggest more needs to be done to protect rainforest in pending trade agreements
Large quantities of the soy and beef imported to Europe from Brazil have been “contaminated” by deforestation, research shows.
The findings suggest much more needs to be done to protect Brazilian land as pending trade agreements are likely to increase sales to European consumers.
About a fifth of the soy exported to the EU from Brazil’s Amazon and Cerrado regions, mostly for animal feed, and at least 17% of the beef, may be coming from land that has been deforested, according to the study published in the journal Science.
Outcry from environmentalists as Brazil fires official monitoring deforestation
Brazil’s government has fired an official at the national space agency Inpe whose department is responsible for satellite monitoring of the Amazon rainforest, just three days after June deforestation data reflected a continued increase in degradation.
Lubia Vinhas was the general-coordinator of Brazilian space agency Inpe’s Earth Observation Institute, which is an umbrella for divisions that monitor the Amazon and panels to debate climate change with civil society organizations.
Vinhas was picked in 2018 for a four-year term but Marcos Pontes, Brazil’s science and technology minister, decided to fire her after two years and three months on the job. He did not explain why.
The timing of the dismissal – coming on the heels of June data – drew an outcry from environmentalists who saw a parallel with another high-profile firing at the same agency last year.
Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s president, is a critic of environmentalists and defends fostering more economic development in the Amazon, which many adversaries see as a nod to illegal miners and loggers.
In August, amid international outcry over Amazon wildfires, Bolsonaro accused the then-head of Brazil’s space research institute, Ricardo Galvão, of manipulating satellite deforestation data in order to undermine his administration. Galvão publicly countered the claims, and was fired.
Tasmania's 'precious' swift parrot habitats marked for logging despite expert warnings
An old growth forest area has been reinstated in wood production plans after being removed in 2018
A Tasmanian old growth forest area has been earmarked for logging despite the state-owned forestry agency receiving scientific advice that it is vital habitat for the survival of a critically endangered species.
Its inclusion in a “wood production plan” has angered scientists and conservationists, who say there is clear evidence it contains large, hollow-bearing trees used for nesting by the swift parrot, a nationally protected migratory species that breeds in Tasmania and that peer-reviewed science has suggested could be extinct by 2031.
It follows a neighbouring area in the Huon Valley, south of Hobart, with similarly large trees being clear-felled last year despite an ecologist hired to advise government authorities that it should also not be logged.
Dr Jennifer Sanger, a forest ecologist and member of the volunteer campaign group Forestry Watch, said the entire area was particularly significant for swift parrots and should not be logged.
“All of the forest there provides excellent habitat for swifties. The hollow-bearing trees are needed and they got logged without any real mention of, or consideration of, swift parrots,” Sanger said.
How Mexican communities are helping to save a fir forest
- The future of an endemic tree and the ecosystem where it’s found depends, to a large extent, on stopping illegal logging and the expansion of avocado crops in southern Jalisco.
- The Colima fir tree (Abies colimensis) is listed as an endangered species by Mexican authorities that can reach 60 meters (196 feet) in height and 2 meters (6.5 feet) in diameter.
- Its survival has been threatened by logging and, more recently, by fires to clear the land and the avocado orchards that follow.
- But community-driven efforts are finding ways to leave the forest standing while still generating livelihoods and developing the local economy.
For 20 years, the Colima fir tree (Abies colimensis) has been at the heart of many disputes to conserve the temperate forests of southern Jalisco, a state in central Mexico. Today, the future of this tree rests upon whether the area’s avocado crops will advance further and whether neighboring communities will unite to protect it.
The Colima fir tree’s distribution has been reduced to the area surrounding the Nevado de Colima volcano. In November 2019, Mexican authorities included the tree on a list of endangered species.
According to biologist José Villa Castillo, the director of Nevado de Colima National Park and Nevado de Colima Cloud Forest State Park, it is imperative to stop the commercialization of the tree’s timber and to create policies that conserve the forests in which it lives. Villa Castillo also supported the inclusion of the tree on the endangered species list.