Confor report, Forestry: fit for the 21st century

07/03/12 0 COMMENTS

Confor has produced a report on the benefits of managed forests to help inform decision-makers, the wider public and media of the diverse benefits derived from forests, forest management, timber and participating businesses. It has already been sent to over 200 MPs and civil servants, as well as to members of the Independent Forestry Panel (England).  It is now released for wider discussion and the industry is encouraged to promote it.

Primarily produced to contribute to the fundamental forestry debate ongoing in England, where it is clear that opinion has not always been well informed, it is timed to brief the forestry panel and others involved, but is applicable across the UK.  It highlights some basic points, including:

  • The low level of woodland cover in England;
  • Around 45% of which is unmanaged;
  • Restructuring plantations and sustainable forest management;
  • Management brings diverse environmental and social benefits;
  • The need for financial sustainability to underpin the environmental and social;
  • The need for long-term policy, beyond the Westminster political cycle;
  • Growing trees absorb carbon, which is stored even when used in timber products;
  • The greater the economic activity, the greater the environmental benefit;
  • Appropriate use of woodfuel for renewable energy;
  • Green jobs, especially valuable in rural areas, and the supply chain, with case studies;
  • The need for increased softwood planting and production of raw material for industry.

Confor’s head of policy, Rupert Pigot, commented, “This report is a useful source of basic information for all those taking an interest in the future of forestry, especially in England, but also across the UK.  I hope it will increase understanding and awareness of this uniquely valuable sector.  Everyone is encouraged to take a look and think of people they know who would be interested in reading it.

A pdf of the report is available here.

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