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    How increasing timber demand could save the world’s forests

    2015 - 07.30

    It might seem counter intuitive, but increasing timber demand is one of the keys to helping protect the world’s forest.

    On Tuesday (28 July) Toru Hayami, head of the family-run forest management company Hayami Forest, told the Japan Times that the greater use of wood was needed in order to help protect the nation’s forests. “I want houses and offices to use more wood to protect forests in Japan,” he said.

    By creating greater demand for timber, more money will be invested in forests and forestry management. In other words, the more widely used the material, the more likely it is that people will invest in it.

    Evidence suggests that Mr Hayami’s call for more wood to be used might be answered. Firstly, a new trend is emerging in the construction and architecture industry of building wooden skyscrapers. With one planned for the Paris skyline, other 30-storey or taller buildings are also in the offing for Stockholm, Vancouver and Vienna.

    Of course, these skyscrapers alone will not be enough to increase global timber demand, even if they will be using huge amounts of the material. Nevertheless, it highlights a movement towards using more timber in construction and design – from both a structural and aesthetic view point.

    Another trend that could drive timber demand is the increasing prevalence of biomass power stations. These stations burn wood pellets for fuel and this is leading to greater demand on the forestry industry. With huge amounts of the wood pellets being distributed around the world, but particularly from the likes of the US and Canada into Europe, timber demand and thus forestry investments are likely to rise.

    Greenwood Management believes, as Mr Hayami says, that ensuring any use of timber remains sustainable will make sure the forests are not felled at a harmful rate while still enabling the industry to thrive and grow.

    Companies call for global deforestation solution

    2015 - 07.01

    A growing number of businesses are recognising the importance of combating deforestation and are taking steps to implement a global solution.

    Asia Pulp and Paper is one such company. A representative from the business, Aida Greenbury, spoke to Business Green recently about the growing number of businesses exploring zero-deforestation policies.

    Asia Pulp and Paper announced their policy back in 2013, but since than big household names have followed including McDonalds and Johnson & Johnson.

    Ms Greenbury explained that the plan is to restore some 150 million hectares of land that has been either degraded or entirely deforested by 2020. The challenge is increased with plans to restore 350 million hectares by 2030.

    She noted that in order to reach these targets more collaboration will be needed in addition to financial support: “We would like to see more governments and businesses, including community-based enterprises, adopting zero-deforestation policies as well as commitments to landscape-scale forest conservation.

    “For success, scale is required, as is greater multi-stakeholder collaboration.”

    Companies like Greenwood Management are already working to build services that naturally help to avoid deforestation.