Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    WA timber is climate change champion

    29/02/2008 12:00 AM

    Forestry Minister Kim Chance said the Garnaut Climate Change Review Interim Report and the McKinsey Climate Change Special Initiative had both verified the forest industry’s important role in combating global warming.


    Mr Chance said some of the best scientific minds in the world had found the timber industry was already helping to save the planet, and that role was expected to grow in the coming years.


    “Western Australia’s forestry industry is leading the charge in reducing greenhouse emissions, with plantations making an important positive contribution,” the Minister said.


    “In this State, we have pioneered integrating trees on cleared farmland in marginal areas to tackle salinity and improve water quality, to store carbon and provide valuable timber.


    “The planting of trees in the Denmark River catchment has reduced the scourge of salinity and improved the river’s water quality, while also providing a new income stream for regional farms and communities.


    “The $64million Strategic Tree Farming (STF) project has resulted in approximately 13 million trees being planted in WA in its first two-and-a-half years.”


    The STF project is jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments in partnership with natural resource management groups, and is the nation’s largest single initiative under the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.


    Mr Chance said integrated commercial tree crops on cleared farmland had a range of positive impacts for the environment;  the trees were actively absorbing carbon from the atmosphere while growing, and they continued to store this carbon once harvested and turned into finished products.


    “If you have any wood in your home, it’s storing carbon right now,” he said


    “The residue can also be used for bioenergy, which has the potential to replace fossil fuels to produce energy, and this means nothing needs to be wasted.


    All WA old growth forests have been protected since 2001 and every tree harvested from a regrowth forest is replaced with another.


    Minister's office - 9213 6700