WASHINGTON – The theme of the 2015 United Nations International Day of Forests is “Forests and Climate Change.” The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) is proud to represent the global forest products industry and its commitment to climate change mitigation all along the value chain.
The ICFPA’s Statement on Climate Change is available at: http://www.icfpa.org/uploads/Modules/Publications/icfpa-statement-on-climate-change.pdf
“Trees, especially those in well-managed forests, absorb carbon dioxide,” said ICFPA President Donna Harman. “Carbon dioxide remains stored when trees are used to make forest products, and that storage can be prolonged through recycling.”
Renewable energy producer
In addition, the forest products industry plays an important role in contributing to the production of renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels by using residuals and byproducts to produce much of the energy required for its operations. These residuals and byproducts, known as biomass, are carbon neutral when combusted for energy, according to the international carbon accounting principle.
South African context
The South African forestry sector plants an average of 260 000 trees daily. Some 600-million trees are grown across 762 000 hectares specifically for pulp and paper manufacturing. These plantations are among the world’s best in terms of sustainable forestry management and include biodiversity-rich conservation areas and grasslands as part of the managed area.
The local paper value chain employs 149 000 people from planting trees, manufacturing paper and sorting and processing paper for recycling. “The forest products industry is providing a wide range of renewable bio-based products that are used by homes and businesses on a daily basis,” says Jane Molony, executive director of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa.
The ICFPA represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations around the world. Together, ICFPA members represent over 90 percent of global paper production and half of global wood production.