Queensland’s timber plantations are a clean, sustainable income producing industry; they are also part of the climate change solution.
We know timber recycles carbon, in fact plantation forestry has been the major carbon positive land-based activity over the last decade. In 2008 plantations established in the previous decade across Australia sequestered 23 Mt of CO2, equivalent to 4% of Australia’s total emissions. These were not carbon-only plantations, but production plantations intended for a continual cycle of harvest and replanting. Timber and other wood products can continue to store carbon for long periods of time.
With a long and demonstrable history as good land managers Queensland’s plantation industry is supported by environmental groups, who recognise that plantations can deliver a broad range of significant environmental benefits including:
- Allow industry to transition out of native forests with high conservation value.
- Store significant amounts of carbon in the forests and the resultant wood products
- Restore environmental values to cleared land, including
- Reduce the use of fertilizer and chemicals
- Prevent soil erosion
- Improve water quality – fighting salinity
- Provide a habitat for native birds and wildlife
- Provide wind protection for soils, crops and livestock
- Can improve productivity by providing wind protection for soils, crops and livestock.
By continuing to increase the plantation estate, the amount of carbon stored in plantations will continue to increase, while also providing an ongoing source of wood.