Today marks the International Day of Forests – a great reminder for political decision-makers to recognise the role forestry plays in meeting Victoria’s emission reduction targets, Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA) Deb Kerr said today.
The International Day of Forests 2023 theme is ‘forests and health’. Forests provide many recreational, social, environmental, and economic benefits. And forest products help us live our daily lives better. They supply us with house frames, furniture, food and medicine, paper, cardboard packaging, and other essentials such as sanitary items and tissues.
“A healthy forest is an actively managed forest. Active forest management should be tenure blind. It includes thinning, regular removal of fuel load to prevent bushfires and managing invasive pests and species. It is how we ensure a healthy forest for our forest-dependent plants and animals. Indeed, it is how Traditional Owners have managed our forest landscapes over tens of thousands of years,” Ms Kerr said.
Investing in the local forestry sector benefits everyone. Growing more trees in plantations and native forests captures carbon and secures the supply of sustainable timber and wood fibre. This enhances Victoria’s sovereign capability while creating jobs for thousands of people, many in rural and regional areas.
“With the Commonwealth Games coming up and population growth forecast for our state, the demand for wood fibre will increase as well. The opportunity for Victoria to build housing from locally grown wood, for athletes and new Victorians alike, is huge.
“Today, on International Day of Forests, I call on all policy and political decision-makers to better recognise the role of Victorian forestry to fight climate change and meet our emission reduction targets – as Prof Chubb recently stated forestry is “the only pathway known to science that has the immediate capacity – immediate capacity – to remove greenhouse gases” – and what’s more, it does this service at no cost,” Deb Kerr concluded.
About International Day of Forests:
International Day of Forests is celebrated annually on 21 March to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
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