Martin Frick, Senior Director for Policy and Programme Coordination at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), moderated a panel discussion on ‘Bamboo and rattan for climate change and green growth’ at the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress (BARC). Here, he talks to INBAR about the importance of bamboo as a climate change solution. […]
When it comes to climate, things are officially veering out of control.
In the towering Swiss Alps, skyrocketing temperatures — above 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celcius) — have revealed a World War II airplane that was buried for over 70 years in a glacier.
In England, rare Andean flamingos are laying eggs for the first time in 15 years, because the weather reminds them of their tropical home.
In Denmark, a drought is costing farmers nearly a billion dollars.
And an intercontinental heatwave is killing people across the Northern Hemisphere as it provokes devastating wildfires in Greece and California.Broken Thermometer
It seems like global heat records are being broken year after year. And a new study in Nature Communications suggests we won’t see any relief soon.
Using a novel statistical approach, the authors of the new study predict that the next five years — beginning this year — will be even warmer than expected.
In any one year, global temperatures are a consequence of two interacting factors, both of which are accounted for in the new study.
One of these is the escalating buildup of greenhouse gases, caused by over 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases that humans spew into the atmosphere each year.
The other is natural climate variation, which results from a range of different factors, including occasional volcanic eruptions and cyclic variations in global sea temperatures that operate over multi-year time-periods.
“Global warming is not a smooth monotonous process,” the researchers write in the new paper.
Importantly, the authors looked at temperatures only on a global scale. They did not attempt to predict which regions will experience heat waves or extreme temperatures.
But there’s no question the double-dose of warming will hit wildlife and biodiversity hard. Animals and plants don’t have air conditioning.
Whole ecosystems, including coral reefs, mangroves, cloud forests, and of course the Arctic and Antarctic are being pummeled.Hot Opportunity?
While the prediction for the next 5 years is anything but good, it may provide a political opportunity to convince leaders and the public of the urgency of combating global warming. Perhaps unsurprisingly, humans are more easily convinced of the reality of global warming when it happens to be hot outside.
And there’s plenty of things we can do to combat global warming.
We can move far more actively towards green energy, while divesting from fossil-fuel companies and other heavy polluters.
We can pull out all the stops to protect and regenerate forests, peatlands, mangroves and other carbon-rich environments.
And we can decisively address the fundamental causes of environmental pressures, especially human population growth.
Yes, over the next 5 years, it’s almost certainly going to get warmer.
But we are not helpless. It doesn’t have to be hot forever.
Jeremy Hance, a leading environmental reporter, is an occasional contributor to ALERT.
The forest industry contributed more than AU$7 billion to the Victorian economy last financial year. This includes AU$1.9 billion in direct sales, and a further AU$5.4 billion once flow-on effects in other industries are included, leading to a total contribution to gross regional product (the regional equivalent of GDP) of AU$779 million.
These figures are among the key findings of two reports funded by Forest and Wood Products Australia; the new Socio-economic impacts of the forest industry – Victoria report and an earlier report examining the Green Triangle region.*
The research was conducted by the University of Canberra in conjunction with consultancy EconSearch, a division of BDO Advisory. In terms of jobs, the Victorian forestry industry (excluding the Green Triangle Region) overall generated 14,475 direct jobs including almost 5,115 in primary processing, and over 9,360 in secondary processing.
The new report reveals:
– Softwood plantations generate the highest employment at 47.7% followed by native forests at 32% and hardwood plantations at 8.9%, with the remaining 11.4% dependent on native forests and plantations grown in other regions.
– The industry is an important contributor to the economy in several regional communities, and contributes to diversification of the economy in many regions. In Melbourne there were 7,717 jobs generated (mostly in secondary processing), 3,646 in the Central Highlands and Gippsland, 1,677 in the Western region, 1,435 in the North Central region.
– Of the jobs in primary processing, 55.3% are located in the Central Highlands and Gippsland, 19.6% were in the North Central region, 12.7% in the Western region and 12.4% in Melbourne.
– The Local Government Areas with the highest dependence on the forest industry for direct employment were Alpine (6.8%), Latrobe (4.7%), Benalla (4.7%), Colac-Otway (4.5%), Wellington (3.2%), East Gippsland (2.1%), and Murrundindi (2.0%).
– Between 2011 and 2016, there was growth of 22% in employment in the primary production part of the industry, driven in part by growth in harvest of hardwood plantations. However, during the same time, employment in wood and paper product manufacturing declined by almost 30% (29%).
Managing Director of Forest and Wood Products Australia, Ric Sinclair, said: “The employment trend in wood and paper product manufacturing is attributable to increases in labour productivity and reduced availability of hardwood sawlogs.”
Victorian forest industry workers are slightly less likely than those in other industries to earn lower incomes (less than $649 per week), largely due to the higher rates of full-time work, but also less likely to earn high incomes (above $1,250 per week). Recruitment was a challenge for industry, in particular difficulty recruiting managers and high-level professional staff (reported by 70% of businesses surveyed); transport workers (69%), heavy machine operators (67%) and field staff (63%). Sixteen per cent of forestry workers were women, compared to 48% of the broader labour force.
Lead researcher Associate Professor Jacki Schirmer said that businesses were relatively optimistic about future demand for forest products. “About half surveyed (51%) felt demand would remain the same, about one third (31%) felt that that demand would grow and a few (18%) that demand would reduce.
“There are still big challenges facing many businesses, including recruitment difficulties, increasing cost of labour, government regulations and rising input costs. In Victoria, as with other states, the majority of forestry jobs are generated by the processing sector, as is the majority of the industry’s flow-on economic impact. This highlights the importance of local processing of wood and fibre for the generation of jobs,” she said.
*Benefits from the Green Triangle that could not be attributed to either Victoria or South Australia in isolation have not been included.
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The NZ Government is doubling to nearly NZ$500 million the funding for forestry tree-planting from its Provincial Growth Fund, meaning one-sixth of the NZ$3 billion, three-year fund will be spent on trees. Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced the boost this week after the weekly Cabinet meeting.
The NZ$240 million commitment to plant some 60 million trees will be funded through the PGF with about NZ$118 million set aside for grants and a further NZ$120 million for partnership projects over three years and will come on top of the NZ$245 million already committed to the so-called ‘One Billion Trees’ project to kick-start the programme, which includes funding for joint ventures and the expansion of the Hill Country Erosion programme.
The funding would “support tree planting in areas where wider social, environmental, and regional development goals can be achieved” rather than clear commercial returns.
“We’re strengthening our support for planting over the next three to four years in areas where there are currently limited commercial drivers for investment, and where wider social, environmental or regional development benefits can be achieved,” said Jones in a statement.
“The new grants scheme will provide simple and accessible direct funding to landowners for the cost of planting and establishing trees and regenerating indigenous forest. Private landowners, government agencies, NGOs and iwi will all be able to apply.”
Forestry planting has emerged as a key element of the government’s efforts to tilt the New Zealand economy towards action on climate change, land erosion, water quality and regional unemployment, as well as producing a valuable commercial crop.
Conifex Timber Inc. reported results for the 2Q ended June 30, 2018. EBITDA in the 2Q 2018, which excludes countervailing and anti-dumping duty deposits of $8.2 million, was a record $20.8 million, compared to $9.3 million in the 1Q 2018 and $10.2 million in the 2Q 2017.
Revenues totaled $200.3 million in the 2Q 2018, an improvement of 53% over the prior quarter and 72% over the same quarter last year. The revenue growth over the comparative quarters was mainly attributable to an increase in lumber segment revenues. The commencement of commercial operations in April 2018 at its El Dorado Mill contributed approximately 8% of total revenues.
Net income for the 2Q 2018 was $9.2 million, or $0.35 per share, compared to net income of $2.5 million or $0.10 per share in the previous quarter and $4.2 million or $0.16 per share in the 2Q 2017.
Year to date net income was $11.7 million, or $0.44 per share compared to $2.8 million or $0.12 per share for the same period last year. Net income for the first half of 2018 included deferred income tax expense of $4.2 million. There were no income tax expenses recorded for the first six months of 2017.
EBITDA was $30.1 million for the six month period ended June 30, 2018 compared to $16.3 million for the six month period ended June 30, 2017.
Conifex and its subsidiaries’ primary business currently includes timber harvesting, reforestation, forest management, sawmilling logs into lumber and wood chips, and value added lumber finishing and distribution.
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Boise Cascade Company reported net income of $41.8 million, or $1.06 per share, on sales of $1.4 billion for the 2Q ended June 30, 2018. 2Q 2018 results include $9.0 million of net after-tax losses, or $0.23 per share, from non-cash pension settlement charges.
“Both of our businesses delivered outstanding results in the second quarter. Wood Products made very good progress on engineered wood products pricing and took advantage of exceptionally strong plywood markets. BMD executed well and captured market opportunities at both the local and national level,” commented Tom Corrick, CEO. “I am very pleased that we further strengthened our nationwide distribution capabilities with the acquisitions in Nashville, Tennessee, and Medford, Oregon. Similar acquisitions remain a priority. As reflected by these acquisitions and our board’s decision to declare an additional dividend of $1.00 per share this quarter, we continue to have a strong focus on deploying capital to create shareholder value.”
Boise Cascade Company is one of the largest producers of engineered wood products and plywood in North America and a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of building products.
Photo: Tom Corrick, CEO Boise Cascade
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The bioproduct mill was started up on 15 August 2017, on schedule and within budget. The start-up phase progressed in line with the target curve. The bioproduct mill produces 1.3 million tonnes of high-quality softwood and birch pulp annually, in addition to other bioproducts, such as tall oil, turpentine and bioenergy.
New bioproducts that already complement the product portfolio include product gas from bark, sulphuric acid from the mill’s odorous gases and biogas from the sludge from its wastewater treatment plant, as well as biofuel pellets.
The bioproduct mill serves as a platform for the production of new bioproducts, as well as further developing and expanding the industrial ecosystem in Äänekoski. Metsä Group is actively exploring various processes and product paths. Key bioproduct development projects include pulp-based lignin products and textile fibres.
Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards and tissue and cooking papers.
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The credit facility replaces Western’s existing $125 million revolving credit facility and $110 million revolving term loan facility, which would have matured in December 2018 and June 2019, respectively. The credit facility will be used for general corporate purposes, and has terms consistent with current market standards.
Western Forest Products Inc. is an integrated Canadian forest products company and the largest coastal British Columbia timberlands operator and lumber producer.
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ECLAC Urges Countries to Change Development Paradigm to Combat Climate Change, Achieve Sustainable Development
James Jones & Sons (Pallets & Packaging) Ltd has announced the acquisition of one of the UK’s leading pallet collar manufacturers, Billington International Ltd, for an undisclosed sum.
The deal will see James Jones & Sons (Pallet & Packaging) Ltd take immediate control of the Billington Group, with business operations continuing from Billington’s current office and warehouse premises in Rotherham, Yorkshire to ensure a smooth transition for the Group’s long-standing and loyal customer base and staff.
The acquisition has been made to further expand the James Jones & Sons (Pallet & Packaging) range of products and services, which includes new pallets, pallet repair, pallet management, recycled pallets and bespoke packaging solutions, and to strengthen its market position in the pallet and packaging sector.
Billington International was launched in 1985 by Frank Billington and has grown to become a leading provider of wooden pallet collars, with an unrivalled reputation for quality products and customer service. The Billington product range includes new pallet collars, used and recycled pallet collars and collar accessories with the business supplying a wide range of retail businesses across the UK.
James Jones & Sons (Pallets & Packaging) Ltd was formed in 2016 following the acquisition of a number of long-established pallet and packaging businesses in the north of England and Wales – Unit Pallets in Golborne, TWP in Gateshead and Larch in Wrexham – over the last two decades.
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