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Victoria’s wood and fibre producers applaud commitment to halt deforestation by 2030

seedlings in a native forest

Victoria’s wood and fibre producers welcome and support the world leaders’ pledge on halting deforestation by 2030 at the Glasgow Climate Change Summit, COP26.

Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA) CEO Deb Kerr said our forests are the world’s lungs and need to be sustainably managed.

“While we commend the world leaders for their commitment, we need to make one thing clear: forestry does not equal deforestation. In Australia, forestry is well managed and sustainable and will continue to produce vital native timber furniture and other appearance grade products, along with wood fibre and paper and pulp products that we all depend on,” Ms Kerr said.

According to the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) deforestation is the long term or permanent conversion of forests to other land uses and excludes regeneration where trees have been harvested. In Australia, all areas of native forests harvested are regenerated to ensure there is no net loss over time. In simple terms, every Victorian tree used for wood and fibre products is replaced and regenerated over time.

Many believe sustainable forestry is an oxymoron. But the UN’s very own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recognised it as one of the best ways to reduce carbon emissions:

“A sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.”  –  IPCC 4th Assessment

“Yet the Victorian Government will be responsible for pushing Australian demand for hardwoods offshore and, in some places, contribute to more deforestation.

“This is at odds with our nation’s commitment to the Deforestation Pledge. Already furniture makers in WA are seeking alternate supplies to Jarrah from Indonesian rainforest timber because local options will not be available for much longer.”

“If Australia is serious about ending deforestation globally, we must increase our timber resources by expanding our native and plantation forest estates,” Ms Kerr concluded.

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