22 February 2008
Old growth forests reducing climate change effects
The “Old Forests, New Management” conference in Tasmania has heard
from imminent scientists that there is no justification for logging of
old growth forests, and that re-growth forest logging could soon lose
its social licence under future carbon trading systems.
The conference, held in Hobart, has also warned that international
pressure could force an end to logging in native forests as the world
develops its approach to global warming and carbon trading.
In the context of Australia, there is not a need for old-growth forest
logging any more. But there needs to be structural adjustment for
industry and no perverse outcomes, as has happened in Tasmania
before,” the Australian National University Pofessor David Lindenmayer
The four-day conference, attended by more than 250 delegates from 20
countries, was warned climate change and carbon trading could bring
massive pressure to end native forest logging.
University of Tasmania forestry Professor David Bowman predicted
carbon trading would throw accepted forest management and harvesting
systems into chaos.
“These calls are a warning to the Victorian Brumby Government that no
climate change policy is credible unless our forests are protected,”
said Victorian Forest Campaigner Luke Chamberlain.
“The destruction of Victoria’s native forests for woodchips shows that
we are lagging years behind international policy in tackling climate
change, especially when we have a massive plantation resource for the
logging industry to transition into.”
“Victoria’s forests are amongst the most carbon rich in the world and
their protection from logging must be part of the Brumby government’s
response to climate change.”
The call from scientists comes just a week after an economic report
released by McKinsey & Company highlighted massive opportunities to
reduce carbon emissions from the forestry sector, leading to enormous
cuts in Australia’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.
“Protecting old growth forests is an immediate way to curb emissions,
and allowing young native forests to grow old is a long term insurance
policy to remove excess carbon we have put into the atmosphere.”
“Logging causes climate change and the forest industry is a massive
emitter of carbon pollution. When you log old growth forests, and turn
our forests into woodchips, waste and sawdust, millions of tonnes of
carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere.”
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