WoodWeek 22 February 2017
Next week’s Forest Industry Safety Summit conference in Rotorua is getting close to selling out. Less than 20 seats are available. Call the Rotorua office or register online now to make sure you don't miss out. With many projects under the Forest Industry Safety Council now starting to come to fruition, the conference includes plenty of safety updates for contractors and forest managers alike. Also, many companies have worked directly with people in the forest to develop specific safety tools for practical use. FICA’s president Ross Davis noted in a media release this week that there is still a glaring gap with smaller forest contractors who need to upskill themselves on safety in the forest workplace. Many of the larger contractors are leaders in this work.
To fill a gap in day-to-day technical communications and networking, FIEA is supplementing our annual technology conferences with a live website. FIEA will be using it’s very popular ForestTECH events website to keep you updated much more often. The ForestTECH website (www.foresttech.events) will now include regular updates (breaking news, research results, reports, information on new technology and essential links) for forest resource managers, remote sensing specialists, GIS, mapping and inventory foresters throughout Australasia. Further details on this new service can be found in the story below.
Here is some great news for a modern timber project: InnoV8, Vodafone’s new South Island base, has been selected as a finalist in the NZ Timber Design Awards. The new building also achieved a 5 Green Star Design rating. Jasmax chose Abodo Vulcan timber as it is made from FSC-certified renewable NZ radiata pine forests. The timber is locally sourced and has been through a patented treatment process which removes the need for the timber to be chemically treated. This means it’s safe for people and the environment, a great fit for a project of this kind which promotes sustainability and wellbeing alongside business success.
This week we have for you:
Labour promises Gisborne factory subsidyLabour promises $20M for Gisborne timber processing - The Labour Party is pledging up to $20 million, if elected, to support the region's timber processing sector, possibly by helping fund a prefabricated housing plant.
Such an initiative would dovetail with Labour's KiwiBuild policy to fund construction of 100,000 affordable homes over a decade.
The announcement, by party leader Andrew Little at Gisborne's Prime Sawmill today, is the second in a series of targeted regional development investment announcements that Labour plans to roll out in election year for a total of $200 million in commitments, which would only be fully spent if matched dollar-for-dollar by local government or private sector funds.
A fortnight ago, the party announced the first in this series: a $10 million package for Dunedin's technology sector.
For Gisborne, Little pledged that “a Labour-led government will provide a stimulus package up to $20 million to enable the construction of a timber prefabrication plant and associated infrastructure in Gisborne".
"This money will match dollar for dollar investment from businesses and local economic development agencies, and be subject to a robust and transparent tender process," he said, citing Gisborne's mature plantation forests as a source of economic strength that was underexploited because most of it left the region as raw logs. Prime is already investing in a wood engineering technology plant.
“This funding could be used for construction of the plant, investment in necessary infrastructure upgrades to support it, or supporting sawmilling technology to help provide the lumber. What’s important is that this investment underpins local aspirations," said Little.
Local aspirations include reopening of the railway line between Gisborne and Wairoa, which washed out in 2012 and which KiwiRail says is uneconomic to restore to service. The Hawke's Bay Regional Council this week called on the Gisborne District Council to commit funds for a joint feasibility study into reopening the section of line between Wairoa and Gisborne. Plans are already in place for the Napier-Wairoa stretch to reopen.
Bolstering a housing prefabrication industry would also assist efforts to overcome high construction and the under-supply of homes in some parts of the country, Labour argues.
Click here to see the PDF document outlining Labour Party details of the offer to the region.
Photo: Inside the Passive House Factory in BC. (For more pics see here)
Source: Business Desk via Scoop and Gisborne Herald
New information service launchedTo assist in filling the void with ongoing communications and networking, FIEA is also now extending the annual technology events that to date have been supplied through it’s very popular ForestTECH technology series to foresters in the region.
The ForestTECH website (www.foresttech.events) will now include regular updates (breaking news, research results, reports, information on new technology and essential links) for forest resource managers, remote sensing specialists, GIS, mapping and inventory foresters throughout Australasia. Further details on this new service can be found in the story below.
If this is your specialista area or you want to keep an eye on technical developments we suggest you check it out and subscribe (it’s free). If you are managing a team that includes technical people we suggest getting some of your team on board.
You can sign up directly through the revamped ForestTECH website.
Paradigm shift in forest safetyParadigm shift in forest safety is no surprise to some - The leading professional group for loggers in New Zealand says big improvements in forest safety are no surprise – they’ve been focused on change for 3 years. Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) president Ross Davis says new technology and culture change have had a real impact in forest workplaces.
Davis says, “Many of our member contractors have been working closely with safety coaches and innovative engineers in the forest. Real changes in safety are now clear with people communicating better in our crews. Also, mechanised harvesters are making steep slope harvesting much safer.”
Davis says the change in the forest contracting industry has been in collaboration with both forest owners and brokers whose leaders understand the intent of our new health and safety laws. He cautioned though that there are still safety challenges in smaller forests because:
“Our membership is the most well-informed group about safety practices but the message that safety is paramount needs to be heard by farm foresters and the smaller contractors who are going to be operating on their forest land,” says Davis.
Russia expanded log exports in 2016Final results of 2016 show that the Russian roundwood trade on the foreign markets is still getting more active. This conclusion can be made on grounds of the foreign trade statistics published by the Russian Federal Customs Service.
Thus, in January-December 2016, Russian enterprises expanded roundwood exports both in volume and value terms. During the indicated period, the Russian log export reached 20.065 million m3, that is 3.21% more than during the respective period of the previous year when these figures came up to almost 19.44 million m3.
The total value of the Russian exported logs during all twelve months of the last year grew year-on-year by 0.93%. In January-December 2016, the Russian log export reached just under US$1.352 billion, while during the respective period of the previous year it came up to US$1.339 billion.
Champion Freight Export Report - February 2017Thanks to the great team at Champion Freight we've got the latest export market activity update for you in a series of really self-explanatory charts.
Click here to download the Champion Freight reports.
Source: Champion Freight
Emitters to pay full cost in 2019Emitters are now on their way to paying the full cost of their carbon emissions in New Zealand, says Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett. “As part of our ongoing work programme to reduce domestic emissions we have started the three-year phase out of the one-for-two emissions trading scheme subsidy,” says Mrs Bennett.
“This subsidy allowed some businesses to pay one emissions unit for every two tonnes of pollution they emit. Last year the Government announced we are phasing the measure out over three years to give businesses time to plan and adjust.”
The initial 50 per cent unit cost increased to 67 per cent from 1 January, and will rise to 83 per cent from 1 January 2018. All sectors in the ETS will pay the full market price from 1 January 2019.
“Meeting our Paris Agreement targets will require more than business as usual. Alongside the ETS review, we have established three expert groups to help get more trees into the ground, reduce agricultural emissions, and adapt to the environmental impact of climate change” says Mrs Bennett.
Recommendations from the second stage of the ETS review are expected in mid-2017 when the review is scheduled to conclude.
News from ForestWorks AustraliaForestry Corporation of NSW Adopt FOLS in Northern Region
Over the next two months, approximately 200 new operators will move over to FOLS in the northern region of NSW, around Coffs Harbour. The move is being led by Forestry Corporation of NSW as part of an effort to manage the competencies of their workforce. This system will assist in ensuring operators are competent in the tasks they are performing.
FOLS memberships have increased steadily in the past 12 months, as more businesses recognise the benefits of the service. Mid last year HVP Plantations adopted FOLS as their required standard for the recording of training and skills verification for high risk forestry activities.
In July last year, the Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA) became advocates of FOLS, signing an agreement with ForestWorks to provide AFCA members and their operators with discounted FOLS fees. The majority of the AFCA Board members have moved their operators over to the skills verification program and ForestWorks is working with the remaining Directors to come on to FOLS.
Training and Skills Development Service – First Applications Received
First applications have been received for the Training and Skills Development Service (TSDS) in Tasmania.
The TSDS webpage contains all the information and downloads you need to submit an application, including a short video presentation which provides an overview of the program.
The Training and Skills Development Service assists Tasmanian forestry workers adjust to changing job requirements, brought about by advances in technology and new product development.
Funding is available for training courses that will benefit industry, that are relevant to current and future job roles, and provided by a registered training organisation. We encourage all Tasmanian forestry businesses to take part in this fantastic opportunity.
Forest Harvesting Optimisation Project Commences
The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) have approved work to begin on a project to support optimisation of log production.
This project will review and update occupational skills standards and units of competency, from the FWP Forest and Wood Products Training Package, in line with current forest harvesting optimisation processes and technologies.
The project can be viewed on the Skills Impact website, where there is the opportunity to register your interest to keep up-to-date on project activities. There is also the opportunity to register your interest in becoming a part of the Technical Advisory Committee for the project.
Visit the project webpage
Vodafone building in Wood Awards finalsVodafone Building Christchurch a finalist in NZ Timber Design Awards- The Vodafone Innov8 brief required the design team to create a positive, healthy interior environment that not only brought people together but nurtured their wellbeing. With this in mind, the team developed the concept of a laneway tree house, which also helped inform the fit-out concept of the urban village; connecting those working in the office with each other, and with their surroundings.
The use of timber was key in realising this design intent and in bringing a level of familiarity, warmth and tactility to the structure at a level where people will engage with it directly.
InnoV8, Vodafone’s new South Island base, has achieved a 5 Green Star Design rating. Jasmax chose Abodo Vulcan timber as it is made from FSC-certified renewable NZ radiata pine forests. The timber is locally sourced and has been through a patented treatment process which removes the need for the timber to be chemically treated. This means it’s safe for people and the environment, a great fit for a project of this kind which promotes sustainability and wellbeing alongside business success.
For more photos of this award winning building, click here.
Native forests - Better than we thoughtNative forests absorbing more carbon dioxide - New Zealand’s forests and other land areas may be absorbing up to 60% more carbon dioxide than has been calculated, with much of this uptake likely occurring in native forests, NIWA scientists have discovered.
New research led by NIWA atmospheric scientists Drs Kay Steinkamp and Sara Mikaloff- Fletcher, indicates that New Zealand’s forests absorb much more than previously thought, with much of the uptake occurring in the southwest of the South Island.
Carbon dioxide is a primary greenhouse gas and responsible for most of the human- induced warming in the atmosphere. Globally, carbon sinks, such as oceans and forests, have helped mitigate the effects of climate change by absorbing about half the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities over the past few decades.
New Zealand’s forest carbon uptake played a key role in meeting our commitments under the Kyoto Climate treaty and is expected to play an important role in meeting our COP21 commitments.
The results of the research have just been published in the scientific journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
Dr Mikaloff-Fletcher and her team used an “inverse” modelling approach to estimate the amount of carbon uptake. This is done by measuring the carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere at a network of sites, and then using high resolution weather models to determine what parts of New Zealand the air has passed over before reaching the site. Simulations from a land model, run by partners at GNS Science, and ocean carbon data provide additional information. From there, the team calculates the best combinations of sources and sinks to match the data.
This project included data from NIWA’s clean air station at Baring Head, near Wellington, its atmospheric research station at Lauder in Central Otago, and measurements taken from a ship that collects observations on a line between Nelson and Osaka, Japan.
“The inverse approach integrates information about carbon dioxide sources and sinks from atmospheric data, ocean data and models,” Dr Steinkamp says.
“The story the atmosphere is telling us is that there’s a big carbon sink somewhere in the South Island, and the areas that seem to be responsible are those largely dominated by indigenous forests. However, we cannot rule out an important role for carbon uptake in the hill country or from pasture from our current data. ” Indigenous forests cover about 6.2 million hectares in New Zealand.
Dr Mikaloff-Fletcher says that was a very surprising result mainly because strong carbon sinks are expected when there is a lot of forest regrowth.
“Carbon uptake this strong is usually associated with peak growth of recently planted forests and tends to slow as forests mature. This amount of uptake from relatively undisturbed forest land is remarkable and may be caused by processes unique to New Zealand or part of a wider global story. “
The National Inventory method reported by Ministry for the Environment reports annually on New Zealand’s carbon uptake. This internationally standardised methodology puts the amount of carbon being absorbed by all New Zealand forests at 82 teragrams (Tg) CO2 (A teragram is one millon metric tons) total over 2011-2013, the period studied by Dr. Mikaloff-Fletcher’s team.
Once accounting rule differences are corrected for, the new NIWA measurement approach finds that actual carbon uptake could be up to 60% higher.
The inventory-based method estimates carbon uptake using measurements of tree growth taken from about 100 sampling areas, and extrapolates this to the entire country using statistical techniques and modelling. There is still considerable work to be done in comparing the two independent approaches.
“We need to find out definitively what processes are controlling this unexpectedly large carbon uptake, in order to understand the implications for land management and climate treaties. We need additional measurments to tell us if this is unique to the southern half of the South Island or holds across a wider range of New Zealand.” Dr Mikaloff-Fletcher says the ability of forests to absorb carbon is a powerful tool to help address the challenge of climate change.
Next steps include incorporating data from NIWA’s newest atmospheric CO2 observing site, Maunga Kakaramea/Rainbow Mountain in the central North Island, deploying two new atmospheric CO2 observing sites and a major improvement to model resolution. This will start to shed light on what’s happening in the North Island and the Canterbury plains.
Source: Scoop News
BC prepares for US lumber fightIn British Columbia a former federal cabinet minister has been appointed the BC government’s trade envoy to try and reach a new softwood lumber deal with the United States.
The province says David Emerson will also work with the federal government to get a new agreement.
Emerson served in a number of federal cabinet portfolios for the Liberals and Conservatives including industry, foreign affairs and trade.
As trade minister, Emerson signed the last softwood lumber agreement in 2006, ending the fourth Canada-USA lumber dispute.
He also worked as CEO of lumber producer Canfor, which the province says gives him a “broad base of knowledge to defend BC’s forest policies” when negotiating with the USA.
Industry advocates and the provincial government have said they will try to convince American consumers and politicians that a fair softwood lumber deal is necessary to protect the USA from import restrictions and higher prices.
Photo: David Emerson
Source: Global News
Video gamers score industry jobMachine Zone operates one of the most successful mobile video game franchises in the world: "Game of War." For its next trick, it will dramatically improve the efficiency of New Zealand's public transportation system.
The maker of free-to-play video games is leveraging the technology it uses to match players within its digital worlds to create solutions for complex real-world problems, like allocating money for advertisement buying or helping cities improve bus schedules.
"Machine Zone is really a real-time technology company. We've been focusing on many- to-many, kind of massive environments where millions of people can interact with each other at once," Gabe Leydon, Machine Zone founder and CEO, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday.
Essentially, Machine Zone aims to organize cities in the way it manages its fantasy realms.
"Soon … entire cities will be networked in one real-time environment, which will create a level of efficiency that the world hasn't seen yet," he said.
In New Zealand, Machine Zone has created an app that now gives government a 360- degree view of its transportation ecosystem, allowing it to manage the fleets more efficiently, he explained. Much of that will eventually be done automatically through bots.
That same technology will soon allow New Zealand's citizens to see where every bus and train is down to the second.
"Anybody who's taken a bus knows that you should get to the stop 15, 30 minutes early. All of that is going to end," Leydon said.
The initiative in New Zealand only consumes about 1 percent of Machine Zone's capacity, he said. That means the technology is scalable and could be applied to a more complex transportation like New York City's.
Buy and Sell
... and finally ... your midweek break
Andres Amador doesn’t paint or sculpt. He prefers a medium that is temporary but absolutely
beautiful: a sandy beach at low tide. He uses a rake to create works of art that can be bigger
than 100,000 sq. ft.
That's all for our mid-week wood news roundup.
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