Industry News

Spread of larch disease is slowing down in Wales, aerial study shows

Natural Resources Wales has released aerial footage of forests and woods around Wales showing that the spread of deadly tree disease P.Ramorum (Phytophthora Ramorum) is down on last years’ findings.

The assessment follows two spring flights in May over North and South Wales that surveyed woodlands and forests. Around 40 sites were seen to be showing signs of suspected infection and will be further investigated.

The figure is lower than was found following last years’ flight when nearly 30 suspect sites were found on Welsh Government Woodland Estate alone, as well as another 20 sites on private land.

Lajla Cash, Tree Health Planning Officer at Natural Resources Wales, said: “Compared to previous years the spread of P. Ramorum last year was fairly minor. We will be visiting the sites identified in the flights this year over the next few weeks to find out whether P Ramorum is present."

"We expected a significant increase in infection due to the wet and windy weather in late summer and early autumn. But that has not proved to be the case so far," Ms Cash added. 

Since March, Natural Resources Wales has been inviting visitors and workers of forests and woodlands to help tackle the spread of P Ramorum and other diseases by pointing out possible hotbeds and respecting simple hygienical rules. The campaign, called #Keepitclean highlights how visitors and workers can safeguard forests and woodlands future by heeding simple advice.

Ms Cash commented: “It’s not just P.Ramorum, there are a number of pests and diseases that threaten Wales’ woodlands. And one of the ways they can infect a healthy forest is by being transferred by the mud and debris on people’s boots, car or bicycle tyres or even on a dog’s paws. We are asking people to take a few minutes before visiting a woodland to clean dirt and mud off boots, tyres, kit and pets. We hope that checking and cleaning before every woodland visit will become a habit.”

A further aerial flight will take place later this summer.

For more information on #Keepitclean campaign click here.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/spread-larch-disease-slowing-down-wales-aerial-study-shows]

FAO World’s Forests report 2016: 'No need to cut down forests to produce more food'

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has released its State of the World’s Forests 2016 (SOFO) report.

The publication - downloadable here - highlights the major role played by forests in sustainable agricultural development through a host of channels, including the water cycle, soil conservation, carbon sequestration, natural pest control, influencing local climates and providing habitat protection for pollinators and other species.

According to FAO, there is an "urgent need to promote more positive interactions between agriculture and forestry to build sustainable agricultural systems and improve food security."

The same message was underlined by  FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva in his opening remarks to the Committee on Forestry: "The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change, recognizes that we can no longer look at food security and the management of natural resources separately. Both agreements call for a coherent and integrated approach to sustainability across all agricultural sectors and food systems. Forests and forestry have key roles to play in this regard"

"The key message from SOFO is clear: it is not necessary to cut down forests to produce more food," Mr da Silva added. 

According to the report, in the tropics and subtropics, large-scale commercial agriculture and local subsistence agriculture are responsible for about 40 percent and 33 percent of forest conversion, respectively, and the remaining 27 percent of deforestation happens due to urban growth, infrastructure expansion and mining.

On the flip side of the coin, the report stresses that forests serve many vital ecological functions that benefit agriculture and boost food production.

"Food security can be achieved through agricultural intensification and other measures such as social protection, rather than through expansion of agricultural areas at the expense of forests," said Eva Müller, Director of FAO's Forestry Policy and Resources Division. "What we need is better cross-sectoral coordination of policies on agriculture, forestry, food and land use, better land use planning, effective legal frameworks, and stronger involvement of local communities and smallholders."

Ms Müller added: "Governments should provide local communities not only with secure land tenure but also with secure forest tenure rights. A farmer knows best how to manage his or her own resources but often lacks legal instruments to do so."

About 2.4 billion people rely on woodfuel for cooking and water sterilization worldwide. Forest foods provide protein, minerals and vitamins to rural diets and can also serve as safety nets in periods of food scarcity.

According to SOFO, since 1990, over 20 countries succeeded in improving national levels of food security while at the same time maintaining or increasing forest cover demonstrating that it is not necessary to cut down forests to produce more food", says the report. Twelve of these countries increased forest cover by over 10 percent: Algeria, Chile, China, the Dominican Republic, the Gambia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Morocco, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Viet Nam.

"Their successes all relied on a similar set of tools: effective legal frameworks, secure land tenure, measures to regulate land-use change, policy incentives for sustainable agriculture and forestry, adequate funding, and clear definition of roles and responsibilities of governments and local communities."

Further information is available here.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/fao-world%E2%80%99s-forests-report-2016-no-need-cut-down-forests-produce-more-food]

Snows Timber launches Twitter Campaign to collect & share wood history pictures

Snows Timber, one of the leading UK importers, processors and distributors of timber products, is asking merchant customers to share pictures of any summer-time wood history ‘finds’ through @SnowsTimber on Twitter.

“We’re launching this campaign to tie in with a great piece of wood history that’s re-opening today: the new Mary Rose ship museum on Portsmouth Historic Dockyard,” says Snows’ Sales Director Andy Jones.

“Henry VIII’s Mary Rose sank on the 19th July 1545. Its rediscovery shows how many different uses there were for wood products in times past. We’d like customers to share their wood history ‘finds’ during the summer. We have a limited number of copies of ‘The Mary Rose Revealed’, published by the Mary Rose museum, to thank them for sharing their pictures with the Snows community online,” Andy Jones adds.

Merchant customers can tweet their summer holiday wood history pictures to @SnowsTimber or e-mail them, with their permission to share online, to: [email protected].

The campaign will continue until the end of August.

[Picture courtesy of Steve Foote]

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/snows-timber-launches-twitter-campaign-collect-share-wood-history-pictures]

PEFC UK celebrates key achievements of 2015

Earlier this month, PEFC UK held its 15th Annual General Meeting in London.

In his first annual report, Chairman Ross Bradshaw highlighted PEFC UK’s key achievements over the past year:

  • the re-endorsement of PEFC’s sustainable forest management scheme by CPET
  • the commitment of high street restaurant chains to using PEFC-certified packaging for their products

CPET’s 2015 review of the public sector timber procurement policy (TPP) Category A Evidence, concluded that both PEFC and FSC remain 100% compliant with the Category A legality criteria. Both schemes were also found to be over 90% compliant with the sustainability criteria and as such continue to deliver the CPET requirements for legality and sustainability.

Over the past year several high street restaurant chains have now committed to using PEFC-certified packaging for their products. KFC use the PEFC label on its customer-facing packaging to provide assurances of responsible sourcing. Pizza Hut uses the PEFC label on its chicken buckets and McDonald’s recently announced the packaging used in its European restaurants is now certified.

"It is excellent news that companies accounting for such a large proportion of our high street food outlets, have pledged to source their packaging sustainably to help protect the world’s forests", commented Mr Bradshaw. 

Further highlights of the year can be found in PEFC 2016 Annual Report.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/pefc-uk-celebrates-key-2015-achievements-its-annual-general%C2%A0meeting]

'Timber can help UK achieve its housing and climate goals', said Wood for Good Director

Christiane Lellig, Campaign Director at Wood For Good, has recently joined the Business Reporter debate on sustainable future.

The aim of the initiative, launched by the business and technology magazine, is to understand how innovations across disparate UK leading Industries could lead to a greener, more sustainable future.

In her contribution, Wood for Good Campaign Director underlined the environmental and social benefits of building with wood.

"With the built environment a main contributor to carbon emissions, UK housebuilding activity is currently caught between two conflicting aims – fulfilling demand for 200,000 new homes per annum, and meeting targets set in Paris to tackle climate change", said Ms Lellig.

"By using timber both of these challenges can be met, thanks to its energy-efficient properties and faster build times in comparison to traditional building methods. Wood is the world’s only carbon-negative building material. It is unique in its ability to store carbon as it grows, the most natural and effective way of removing CO2 from the atmosphere."

"Increased use of timber in construction would not only promote sustainability through improved thermal efficiency in homes, but also by creating a supply and demand opportunity for commercial forestry, boosting carbon absorption by simply growing more trees. Climate change is very much a modern challenge, yet by using the world’s most versatile natural building material, wood, the UK can create a successful carbon storage mechanism for a sustainable future", Ms Lellig concluded.

Read the full debate here.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/timber-can-help-uk-achieve-its-housing-and-climate-goals-said-wood-good-director]

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