Today, on International Day of Forests, forest industries across Australia and around the world are celebrating this year’s theme ‘Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being’ as well as the broader economic, environmental and social benefits that forests create, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) and Chair of the United Nations’ Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries (ACSFI), Mr Ross Hampton said today.
“This year’s theme highlights the critical role that the restoration and management of forests play in addressing climate change and biodiversity challenges worldwide. We also celebrate the sustainable goods and services that forests create, along with the job opportunities they present,” Mr Hampton said.
“Here in Australia, we are proud that our forest industries are world leaders in restoration and forest management. Our industries support 180,000 jobs, many of which are in rural and regional areas. They contribute $24 billion annually to our economy, our plantations store 258 million tonnes of carbon and are responsible for supplying renewable timber products which help build more than 162,000 homes each year.
“Connected to the 2021 theme, many of Australia’s forests were damaged through major bushfires over the 2019/20 summer season. Today we should recognise the critical role that forest industry firefighters performed in managing the bushfire situation as well as the resilience of industry to re-group, salvage timber and assets and regrow and regenerate,” Mr Hampton said.
“Every Australian should be proud of the contribution that our forest industries make to our country and the broader global community, and we will celebrate that, this International Day of Forests,” Mr Hampton concluded.
*The International Day of Forests was initially proclaimed in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly and is celebrated on March 21 each year, raising awareness of all types of forests.