WoodWeek 18 November 2020
In line with forest technology innovations, one of this year’s ForestTECH sponsors, Aerometrex, has just developed a system to standardise the capture of LIDAR for bushfire fuel load mapping in Australia. The technology is able to determine, in three dimensions and in real time, the exact fuel load densities in any bushfire prone region across the country. Following the disastrous bush fire season last year and recommendations made by the Royal Commission only a couple of weeks ago, the announcement is timely. The technology will be available ahead of this year’s bushfire season.
In a story that is hard to get many details on, news continues to be drip-fed that China has banned timber from Victoria and says it will step up inspections on all Australian timber imports after pests were found in shipments to two Chinese ports. The latest escalation in trade tensions with China comes as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned the federal government against ripping up the state's Belt & Road deal and called for greater "respect and mutual understanding". The move follows a similar ban on timber from Queensland last month and appears to be the latest escalation of China's unofficial trade war on Australia.
In better news from the big island, FWPA has released their Annual Report with the theme running through it on “finding opportunities during a time of crisis.” FWPA Managing Director Ric Sinclair announced the report’s release which provided a good opportunity to reflect on their achievements during what has been a challenging time for everybody across the Australia forest industries and communities.
Next week we will profile our upcoming Carbon Forestry 2021 Conference coming in mid-June to Rotorua – watch this space!
This week we have for you:
Australian exports: China takes further actionChina has banned timber from Victoria and says it will step up inspections on all Australian timber imports after pests were found in shipments to two Chinese ports.
The latest escalation in trade tensions with China comes as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned the federal government against ripping up the state's Belt & Road deal and called for greater "respect and mutual understanding".
China customs said in a notice posted on its website late Wednesday that imports shipped from Victoria after October 11 would be banned after "live pests" were found in logs from the state.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the government was working with the industry to address Chinese authorities' complaints saying, "There is concern around the effectiveness of fumigation treatments on shipments of bushfire affected logs for export."
"The department has notified the industry and the major Victorian exporter and is working with industry on an enhanced treatment and inspection response and will be writing to GACC [General Administration of Customs in China] in the coming days."
The move follows a similar ban on timber from Queensland last month and is the latest escalation of China's unofficial trade war on Australia. In the past six months, China has placed restrictions or bans on Australian barley, lobster, coal and told distributors to stop buying sugar, copper, wine and other products.
China customs said the move was made in line with Chinese and international quarantine standards designed to stop the spread of "harmful pests".
Logs from south-western Victoria and South Australia were due to be shipped to China from the Port of Portland. The port's chief executive, Greg Tremewen, said the suspension would have far-reaching consequences for the local economy. He said the Port of Portland exported well over 1 million tonnes of logs each year, with the vast majority going to China.
"Something would need to happen very quickly for those ships to be loaded. It's not good news."
Source: ABC, AFR and SMH
Log imports from State of Victoria banned - China has banned imports of logs from Victoria in Australia as of 11 November according to a notice on the Australian Department of Agriculture's website. This is because the quarantine service in China once again detected pests in a log shipment. Customs clearance for logs shipped from the state of Queensland after October 31, 2020 will not be cleared. Since the beginning of this year, the Chinese customs has repeatedly detected live pests such as Cerambycidae and Buprestidae in logs imported from Australia.
In accordance with national quarantine laws and regulations the infected logs have been treated and the exporters notified of the non-conformance with international standards and required to investigate the causes and take improvement measures to avoid a recurrence.
FWPA Annual Report releasedFWPA released Annual Report - Finding opportunities during a time of crisis - Last week FWPA Managing Director Ric Sinclair announced they have recently published our Annual Report for the 2019/20 financial year, which provided a good opportunity to reflect on our achievements during what has been a challenging time for everybody.
The past twelve months have brought challenges nobody could have predicted. During the summer, Australia was ravaged by some of the worst bushfires our nation has ever seen; a crisis followed almost immediately by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
FWPA would like to acknowledge the devastation caused by the bushfires of late 2019 and early 2020. Everyone at our organisation is deeply saddened by the loss of lives and homes.
“We acknowledge the impacts of damaged assets on members and levy payers, and the significant effect this is likely to have on businesses for some years to come. FWPA is with you on the journey towards recovery, and we will continue to take proactive steps to strengthen and support this process.”
“We also keep in our thoughts all those who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. Alongside the devastating loss of life and severe health impacts, we join other industries in bracing ourselves for an inevitable drop in demand, as a result of the far-reaching impact of the pandemic on the global economy.”
While the actual impact is still entirely uncertain, FWPA would like to reassure industry that we are thinking ahead, and remain committed to developing measures that will best support the sector through whatever lays ahead. While these real-world issues have affected our industry in a plethora of ways, FWPA has embraced the opportunities to adapt our approach and respond in a way that will continue to provide benefits to as many stakeholders as possible.
Preview of new Tigercat loggerA purpose-built logger, the Tigercat 865 will offer many advantages over excavator conversions, including better service access, stronger swing torque and superior operator visibility. The Tigercat FPT N67 engine delivers 165 kW (221 hp) at 1,900 rpm.
The 865 logger can be configured as a loader with boom options for various grapple types, or as a high capacity processor, capable of running large harvesting heads in demanding duty cycles. Dual swing drives will provide ample torque and speed for high-performance loading or processing.
Service access has been carefully thought out with the ability to step down into the centre of the machine for clear, unobstructed access to the engine and daily service points. Large enclosure doors and a spring assist side service platform provide a large, stable work area for performing maintenance on hydraulic components and changing filters. A large cast counterweight provides excellent stability with a swing-out door that allows access to the engine from the rear of the machine.
The rear entry elevated cab, full-length front window, and additional floor windows provide superior visibility with clear sightlines. LED lighting and the rearVIEW camera system further augment operator visibility. Stay tuned.
Carbon forestry: 10 years brings more optionsWhy trees really matter in the race to decarbonization - The World Economic Forum says trees are a cost-effective means of carbon removal and storage.
In all the different strategies being implemented, however, natural climate solutions should consistently be part of these sustainability portfolios. For many organizations, the most effective natural climate solution is planting trees.
Why trees? - In addition to rapidly avoiding and reducing emissions, carbon removal and storage are what will ultimately begin to stabilise a changing climate. Natural climate solutions — reforestation in particular — have lately gained tremendous momentum and awareness for this reason.
A proliferation of new global, regional and local tree planting and forest restoration initiatives including the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the World Economic Forum’s Trillion Trees Platform 1t.org, the Time for Trees initiative and others have been announced in the last few years.
When implemented correctly, trees are currently the most cost-effective and best technology for carbon removal and storage.
Source: World Economic Forum
New CWCWC makes 8The eighth Wood Council in New Zealand is a combination of forestry, transport, processing, regional councils, contractors, nurseries and Canterbury University School of Forestry. 54 members currently make up this diverse group that has formed to promote the benefits of forestry in our communities, careers in forestry, where our resource goes and what it is used for.
Wood Councils have been around in New Zealand for more than 30 years. They were formed by individual groups in each region to support each other in the sector and provide information to the public and interest groups on forest activities and purpose. It is important to understand how trees function in our landscape.
Trees can be integrated into nearly any other land use and play a vital role in storing carbon and providing carbon neutral products for our customers. In Canterbury and the West Coast some of the Wood Council members own forests and sawmills producing framing timber for houses, wooden pallets and boxes, wood chip for biofuels, MDF, joinery timber and packaging.
Canterbury was one of the first regions to establish plantation trees. Some of those original families are still involved in growing and processing forests today. The West Coast has been based around forestry since the region was first settled. The industry is still a significant contributor to the Coast economy.
The Canterbury West Coast Wood Council has a vision to promote, encourage and coordinate the sustainable economic development of plantation forestry and the wood products sector. The first event for the Wood Council was a visit to Clarkeville School with SML transport where all 200 students viewed a log truck, learned about safety around trucks and listened to a forester talk about a renewable resource, where our logs are going and why.
The Canterbury West Coast Wood Council held its launch ceremony and BBQ afternoon sponsored by Te Uru Rakau at Steam Scene, McLeans Island, Christchurch on 22 October. Over 70 members, their families, students from Canterbury Universtiy and interested parties attended and viewed a demonstration of a restored vintage steam driven sawmill owned by Stoneyhurst sawmill that has been in their family for generations.
If you would like to know more about CWC Wood Council activities please visit www.cwcwc.co.nz
New Government fund for cleaner process heatNew fund launched to reduce carbon emissions from coal and gas - The Labour Government is quickly delivering a key election policy that will help business to switch from fossil fuels like coal and gas to clean energy for process heat while accelerating the economic recovery from Covid.
The $70 million fund will allow business and industries to access financial support to switch away from boilers run on coal and gas, to cleaner electricity and biomass options.
“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from process heat is win win for our climate and our recovery,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “The $70 million fund will create jobs and stimulate the economy while demonstrating our commitment to future proofing our recovery.
“It provides much needed financial support to business to assist with the often costly transition of plant and equipment to clean energy sources. The Interim Climate Change Commission recommended a focus on lowering emissions from process heat as a priority for decarbonising our economy.”
“I have set out that the economic recovery from Covid and addressing climate change are priorities for the new Government. This fund creates jobs while lowering emissions and is the exact sort of initiative that will help us to build back better from Covid,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“Process heat makes up around a quarter of New Zealand’s energy-related emissions and this fund will be key to reducing those emissions in the coming year,” Energy Minister Megan Woods said.
“The new fund will target New Zealand’s largest energy users to accelerate their uptake of electrification and other technologies that will dramatically lower emissions from this sector, and create clean energy jobs.
“The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) will administer the investment fund, which is available to New Zealand-based businesses who demonstrate a commitment to decarbonising, and where Government co-investment will help remove barriers to accelerating their low-carbon goals.
“A minimum of $15m is available in the first round, which is now open. Successful applicants will likely already have a plan in place to decarbonise their process heat, and will be able to demonstrate value for money as well as their contribution to the economic recovery by boosting economic activity and providing local employment.”
“We’re requiring New Zealand businesses to implement these projects quickly, not only to get the benefits of lower greenhouse gas emissions and greater economic activity, but to demonstrate to industry across New Zealand that there are proven viable solutions to their clean energy needs.”
The first funding round is open now, with a deadline for proposals of December 14. Decisions on the first round will be made early in the New Year.
For more on the GIDI Fund see: genless.govt.nz/gidi-fund
Recognition for forestry staff firefighting effortsNSW Bushfire Emergency Citations have been presented to Forestry Corporation staff, acknowledging their contribution to the 2019-20 firefighting efforts.
NSW Emergency Bushfire Citation recipients receive a citation, certificate of recognition, commemorative cap and a letter from the Premier acknowledging their contribution and thanking them for their service.
Acting CEO Anshul Chaudhary said Forestry Corporation staff and forestry contractors were heavily involved in the firefighting efforts, alongside around 65,000 NSW Rural Fire Service volunteers and service personnel, as part of the State’s coordinated firefighting efforts.
“Forestry Corporation plays an important role in the coordinated firefighting response, working in close partnership with the NSW Rural Fire Service, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Fire and Rescue NSW,” Mr Chaudhary said.
“During the black summer fire season, Forestry Corporation staff completed over 16,000 individual firefighting shifts, equating to in excess of 250,000 hours in firefighting and incident management. Forestry Corporation also engaged a range of contractors to support the firefighting efforts, including heavy plant operators, aircraft and other service providers."
“While the forestry industry has key skills and expertise in forest firefighting and particularly using heavy equipment to create roads, fire breaks and containment lines, due to the scale of the fires last season our staff were involved more than ever in direct protection of homes and communities."
“I congratulate all our staff for their monumental contribution throughout the 2019-20 fire season and their ongoing commitment to the recovery efforts that have been taking place since to repair infrastructure and regrow affected forests for the future.”
Australia: Forecasts are for prolonged fire seasonsAustralia’s climate will continue to warm, resulting in prolonged wildfire seasons and less rain in the southeast and southwest that will lead to more frequent droughts, the country’s weather bureau said on Friday.
Australia’s changing climate patterns can be attributed to an increase in greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere triggering more extreme weather events, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said in its biennial climate report.
Australia’s climate has warmed on average by 1.44 degrees Celsius since 1910 and this will result in more wild fires, droughts, and marine heat waves, the report said.
“Climate change is influencing these trends through its impact on temperature, rainfall, and relative humidity, and the resulting change to the fuel moisture content,” BoM scientist Karl Braganza said.
Fires razed more than 11 million hectares (37 million acres) of bushland across the southeast early this year, killing at least 33 people and billions of native animals - a disaster that Prime Minister Scott Morrison called Australia’s “black summer”.
Fiji lifts tree-planting numbersMinister for Forests calls on more collaboration - Fijians have planted 2.6millon trees in a span of 22 months. This is part of their "30 Million Trees In 15 Years" initiative. Minister for Forests Osea Naiqamu has called for collaboration from all stakeholders in order to ensure the sustainability of our forests.
Officiating at the opening of the SPC’s Ridge to Reef (R2R) Project Technical Working Group meeting in Nadi, Naiqamu stated that working in collaboration with Government is pivotal in ensuring Fiji’s forests are sustainable in years to come.
Naiqamu says he is aware of the core function of TWG which is to provide a platform to ensure that service delivery is driven by an agreed work plan and also ensures the inclusion and coordination of all key partners.
Under the stewardship of the Technical Working Group, the R2R Project at the end of October had planted over 100,000 seedlings covering an area of 385 hectares.
The Group was formed in February 2020 to support the coordination, implementation and monitoring of activities of the R2R Projects that was assigned to SPC’s Land Resources Division. The total seedlings planted included over 40,000 fruit trees, 50,000 of native inland coastal species, and 17,000 of exotic species.
Source: FBC News
Buy and Sell
... and finally ... good for a laugh or two
And finally the colour orange has been made famous by the outgoing POTUS, so
much so that Forest & Bird
here in New Zealand made t-shirts promoting their favourite for Bird of the Year
- see below:
To see more shirts in their range click here: https://shop.forestandbird.org.nz/kakariki-the-orange-
That's all for this week's wood news.
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