Tuesday 23 May 2023
Forestry Australia welcomes Strategic Forest and Renewable Materials Partnership
Forestry Australia has welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government of the creation of the Strategic Forestry and Renewable Materials Partnership, thanking Minister Murray Watt for convening this important forum of experts to advise on strategies to grow the forest sector, build on its sustainability and contribute towards Australia’s emission reduction targets.
President, Dr Michelle Freeman, said Forestry Australia members have been concerned for some time that current strategies for managing Australia’s forests have largely failed to secure the promised balance between environmental, social and economic values.
“Our forests are critical to addressing Australia’s environmental and economic challenges,” Dr Freeman said.
“Forests store carbon, support biodiversity, provide water, recreation and renewables as well as highly valued materials, such as timber and honey which underpin regional livelihoods.
“Forests also form the foundation of connection to country for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.”
Dr Freeman said with the right holistic and integrated approaches forests can be more resilient to increasing threats, whilst providing for community needs, such as timber for affordable and climate-friendly housing.
“Australia has a moral obligation to reduce its growing trade deficit in timber products by finding pathways forward to meet more of our own domestic demand locally.
“As a nation we have some of the highest environmental standards, and the skills and knowledge required to support thriving forest industries that are sustainable and deliver the social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits the community expects,” Dr Freeman said.
Dr Freeman has been appointed as a member of the Partnership and is keen to fully participate in the process, saying that this new collaborative forum would hopefully provide an ideal platform through which these issues can be discussed.
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