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Plantation forests role on the increase

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8 June 1999

Plantationforestsj*ole on the increase

Driven by the changing nature of global wood markets, economic factors and environmental issues, plantation forests will increase their role as a major source of wood and nonwood products in the future. This is the finding of a new study by ABARE and Jakko Poyry Consulting.

Released today by Dr Stephen Beare, acting Executive Director of ABARE, Global Outlook for Plantations finds that although plantations represent only 3 per cent of the total forest area, they supply around a third of industrial wood and 10 per cent of fuelwood.

‘Increasing costs associated with wood production from natural forests, are making plantations more viable as a source of wood fibre’, Dr Beare said. ‘As a result, any future increase in demand for wood is expected to be met by an increase in production by plantations’.

‘Supply of wood for wood fibre from plantations is expected to increase by over 70 per cent on current levels by 2040, which will increase the proportion of wood supplied by plantations to 46 per cent of global industrial wood production’, Dr Beare added.

The study aims to raise the profile of plantations globally by providing information to assist governments, policy makers, industry and landowners in the development of their plantation strategies.

‘The study provides an insight into the expected rate of plantation development over the next 40 years, while considering the economic, environmental and social implications of this change’, Dr Beare said.

‘While this study has highlighted significant gaps in our knowledge of the use of forest products, particularly for fuelwood and nonwood forest products, it has shown that well managed plantation forests can provide significant economic, environmental and social benefits to countries’, Dr Beare added.

The study was funded by Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia, as part of Australia’s contribution to the third meeting of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) held in Geneva earlier last month. Contributions were provided by 16 IFF member countries and organisations.

For further information contact, Allan Hansard on (02) 6272 2394 For copies o f Global Outlook for Plantations, contact ABARE Publication Services on 1800 244 129. For general media enquiries, contact Margaret Day on (02) 6272 2260 or 018 487 825.

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