and local newspaper columns
NZ Farm Forestry Association Field Day Dairy
funding underlines value of forests
sustainable forestry bulletin
illegally logged timber
and Australia's emerging bioenergy industry
trading and bioenergy
Patrick Milne firstname.lastname@example.org
Denis Hocking email@example.com
-Taupo & Districts
John Dermer firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Jackson email@example.com
-Sthn High Country (north)
Neil Cullen firstname.lastname@example.org
-Men of Trees
-Sthn High Country (south)
Dean Satchell email@example.com
Field day reminders
Please ensure that
attendance at local branch field days is encouraged. Articles in local
publications publicising upcoming field days are an effective way of
Branches and local
Branches please encourage
your members to contribute articles to local papers.
We could do with the exposure and a good way are columns in local
They need not be very long and profound, but a regular presence can be
useful. Be prepared to use all kinds of sources for material,
this newsletter, the "Tree Grower", each other, other branches'
columns, Denis Hocking's Countrywide columns, etc.. Don't
worry about repetition, most people's memory for this sort of
thing is about 5 minutes and if they
remember anything for 3 months it must have been an
especially important point that warranted repetition.
MAF paper should have gone to the Minister in the last couple of weeks
and the Minister is due to visit Indonesia and PNG to discuss illegal
logging during August.
Bulloch and Denis Hocking attended a meeting on eco-verification at
Wellington airport during July. A sizable group was present -
growers, processors, retailers, John Eyre (MAF), a couple of MfE reps,
a Green Building Council representative and chaired by Peter Bodecker
of Wood Processors Assn.. The growers expressed real concern
about problems and cost of FSC and the steady creep of
conditions. They are sticking with it at present but may have to
give it away if things continue as have done in recent years.
Motivation for certification is mainly market access, with a bit of
added pressure from some foriegn owners.
It appears one major processor has problems in that
main supplier is certified but they don't get enough of better
structural grades from this source to cover demand and have problems
making up the gap. For retailers it is a considerable burden
selling both certified and uncertified timber. Suddenly 24 grades
based on dimensions, stiffness, treatment, etc. becomes 48 grades for
radiata alone. Specifiers often tend to just say they want a b
& c, including FSC, when x y & z without certification would be
more than adequate because specifying is easy and the problems are just
passed down the line. One interesting case was mentioned, off the
record, where FSC timber had to be rushed to Auckland from middle of
the NI to replace non-FSC timber already on site, for ------- concrete
boxing!!!!!! One is challenged to understand the
environmental gains from such an approach.
One serious problem is the Green Building
Council. It seems to have been taken over by steel and concrete
interests, who are well positioned with 'one-stop-shop'
organisations. Thus, they ignore the embodied energy in buildings
(it is only 10-20% of lifecycle energy so is 'best ignored to focus on
energy used during operation'), put considerable emphasis on recycling
(wood's weak point, even though virgin wood uses only about 1/3 the
energy of recycled steel) and demand that all wood is FSC
certified. So we see imported, FSC certified wood used for
cladding (Landcare Research building, Auckland) or feature walls (DOC
building, Wellington) rather than local material. Effectively
wood has been sidelined despite its superior environmental credentials
and this is with the support of one Government Department, Ministry for
the Environment, even while MAF is working to push the environmental
credentials of wood.
Apparently Telecom is planning a new 5 star building
in Wellington, which, judging by the preliminary sketch, looks as if it
will be another steel and concrete edifice. Will they be prepared
to recognise the environmental credentials of wood?
A good example of the possibilities and
environmental credentials of wood was an article in the Christchurch
Press in early July covering work done by Professor Andy Buchanan on
'post-tension timber', where wooden beams are reinforced with steel
tendons to improve performance. Such beams could be used for
structures up to 10 stories high while matching, or exceeding, concrete
or steel designs in areas such as earthquake and fire safety, cost and
energy efficiency. They would also be carbon stores rather than
carbon sources. Sadly, this article doesn't seem to have made it
past the "Press" to any other daily paper.
Countrywide NZ Farm Forestry Association Field
Call Liz 0800 852580 to register your branch field day for next month.
Farm Forestry Awards
is a call for nominations for our innovation awards. We now have a page
for these awards on the website
Husqvarna Farm Forester of the Year Awards
- Awards for both North and South Islands.
Michael Hay Memorial Award
-Awarded to a younger member of NZFFA who is planting or establishing
Transpower Landcare Trust Grants Award
- Awarded for Innovation in Sustainable Farm Forestry
Research funding underlines value of forests
Future Forests Research (FFR) has welcomed Government support for
forestry research in New Zealand in the allocation of contestable
research funding to key areas of forest diversity, productivity
enhancement and sustainability.
The Foundation for Research Science and Technology (FRST) announced
this week that three proposals involving FFR have gained support in the
latest funding allocation rounds.
Funding of approximately $10 million will support research looking
at ways to get improved productivity from plantation forestry in the
face of fierce international competition, to match the increasingly
important environmental benefits.
Funding of $8 million will support research to develop new forests and
new species to complement and strengthen forestry in New
Zealand. These other species have potential to create new
processing options and market opportunities in high value products and
energy. FFR Chief Executive Russell Dale said. There is also
potential for native species to play a greater role in long term
sustainable wood production and other values.
Russell Dale said the funding recognised the importance of forestry to
New Zealand, with an annual economic benefit of NZ$6.5 billion, exports
of NZ$3.2 billion and growing environmental benefits through improved
water quality, reduced soil loss and sequestration of carbon in line
with the Kyoto Protocol. FFR, through its research theme groups, would
now play a key part in managing the research on behalf of members and
in conjunction with Scion and other research organisations involved.
MAF sustainable forestry bulletin
Issue 3 is available at http://www.maf.govt.nz/climatechange/forestry/ets/sustainable-forestry-bulletin/issue3.htm
Articles include the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (Forestry),
Permanent Forest Sink Initiative and Afforestation Grant Scheme.
Amazon destruction continues
Destruction of the
Amazon rainforest appears to be on the upswing, and Brazil's new
Environment Minister,Carlos Minc, is blaming cattle farmers. "The price
of meat and soy has skyrocketed and there is a historic relationship
between prices and deforestation."
Government researchers said that preliminary data indicate the Amazon
lost at least 5850sq km of forest cover from August to April 2008. That
was up from 4974sq km over the same period a year before.
The Amazon's 73 million cows outnumber the human population about three
to one and feeding them is the biggest driver of deforestation.
Cattle pasture already covers 7.8 per cent of Brazil's 4.1 million sq
km Amazon region, according to the National Statistics Institute.
Burning to clear new or overgrown pasture in the region accounts for
about 75 per cent of Brazil's total greenhouse gas emissions.
Imported illegally logged timber
The Government says an outright ban on imported illegally logged timber
is difficult to impose, mainly because of difficulties knowing what was
legally cut and WTO problems with using environmental concerns as a
trade barrier. Agriculture and Forestry Minister Jim Anderton is
proposing mandatory labelling of all kwila products sold in New Zealand
at the point of sale, to indicate whether the supplier has verification
of the legality of the wood.
New Zealand imports Kwila from dwindling forests in Papua New Guinea
and Indonesian-run Papua. The World Bank had reported 70 to 80 per cent
of such logging was illegal.
Mr Anderton is due to report back to the Cabinet this month regarding
the feasibility and practicality of implementing mandatory labelling.
We will keep you posted.
The Government is also considering adoption of independent third-party
verification (certification/certified) for legality and sustainability
for its purchases of timber and wood products. Download the TIMBER AND
WOOD PRODUCTS PROCUREMENT POLICY document here.
U.S. and Australia's emerging bioenergy industry
The emerging U.S. biomass industry is projected to become a US$1.5
fibre market by 2012. The market's explosive growth is due
not only to multi-billion investments from private equity firms and
Fortune 500 corporations but also as a result of numerous legislative
initiatives including the new Farm Bill. To date in 2008, the
International Woodfibre Report has identified over 65 new major wood
energy projects across North America and notes that there are another
30 to 50 projects in the works, though not all are expected to
break ground. Source: RISI via Friday Offcuts
In Australia, WA Biomass is undertaking a detailed environmental impact
assessment of their proposed 40MW bioenergy plant and is seeking
planning approval for the proposal. The Diamond Mill biomass plant is
expected to cost AU$110 million to build and will create around 350
short-term and 100 long-term jobs, direct and indirect, with an
estimated additional AU$4-5 million per year in household income.
The plant will provide 40MW of energy from approximately 380,000 tonnes
per annum of plantation forest waste. The site is on cleared land
located adjacent to the existing Diamond Mill timber operation,
approximately 8km south of Manjimup. The power station will be a
conventional steam cycle plant generating electrical power, which will
be supplied to the South West Interconnected System. Source: Bioenergy
Australia Newsletter, June 2008
Carbon trading and bioenergy
So what will it take for woodchips to compete with oil?
At $100/tCO2e permit price, the cost of petrol will only increase by
Source: Carbon News 2008