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What’s on the forestry sector’s Christmas list

Season’s greetings from the Southern Wood Council


Media release from the Southern Wood Council

December 20, 2007


What’s on the forestry sector’s Christmas wish list…


New Zealander’s efforts to be kind to the planet don’t need to revolve solely around recycling household waste; there’s a big contribution we all can make to sustainability that’s right under our noses.

Wood is the new “green,” and using it is a very effective and straight-forward way of keeping the country’s carbon production in check.

In fact, Phil Taylor, Managing Director of Blakely Pacific Ltd (which has forests in Canterbury & North Otago) and member of the Southern Wood Council thinks our New Year’s resolutions could revolve around coming up with ways to use wood and reduce the country’s carbon footprint.  He’s urging New Zealanders to think wood.

“Choosing to use wood rather than other materials to help save the planet doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.  Build a wooden fence rather than a concrete or steel one.  Make a wooden compost heap or build wooden shelves.  Think about wonderful wooden tables, wooden building cladding, wooden planters, a wooden floor, or a wooden rather than steel garden shed,” he said from Christchurch.  

Trees reduce the effects of global warming because they take in carbon dioxide – the most common greenhouse gas - through their leaves.  Even when the trees are harvested, the carbon remains stored in the wood, so wooden products like furniture and construction timber effectively and permanently trap carbon and prevent its release into the environment.

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The continuous cycle of growing, harvesting, using and replanting New Zealand forests produces a neutral carbon balance as well as the obvious economic spin-offs from log production and wood processing.  “Timber is a low-energy renewable resource.”

 “It’s a win-win situation – you feel good that you’re able to do something to battle climate change at a household level, you get a good looking and durable product, you’re supporting regional economies, and actually it really is making a difference to the environment,” Mr Taylor said.

Using wood products helps fuels demand, and increase forest planting helps the environment, the economy, and New Zealand’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

Wishing you a wood-filled Christmas and a greener New Year.

The Southern Wood Council Inc was set up in 2001 to promote, encourage and coordinate the sustainable economic development of the forest products industry in Otago and Southland.  One of a few truly independent groups of its type in New Zealand, it includes all the major forest owners within the region (ownership or management of over 140,000 hectares of production forests with an annual harvest of over 1.2 million m³ of wood), the larger wood processing and manufacturing companies, the port authorities and each of the three economic development agencies from local councils.




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