Natural capital report shows benefits of forestry

8 October 2021

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam welcomed the release today of Forico’s natural capital report.

The report uses innovative natural capital accounting to identify impacts and dependencies on natural capital assets.

“The report looks at forestry across the more than 174,000 hectares of Tasmania’s landscape managed by Forico and considers a range of factors including carbon sequestration, habitat provision, water filtration and biodiversity,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“We know that forestry, both plantation and native, delivers terrific environmental outcomes and that timber is the ultimate renewable resource.

“Using a natural capital accounting framework, Forico has been able clearly demonstrate the benefits of the strong and sustainable forestry industry.

“Australia’s sustainably managed and grown plantation and native forests offer many benefits to both the environment and the Australian community. 

“For example, there are many carbon benefits of products made from wood. They store carbon over their lifespan, the replacement trees sequester more carbon, and wood products typically replace far more carbon intensive products.

“Through the National Forest Industries Plan, the Australian Government is working with industry to reduce barriers to plantation establishment and develop mechanisms so that foresters can be rewarded for these activities.

“We have increased the ability of forestry projects to participate in the Emissions Reduction Fund, and the Clean Energy Regulator is also co-designing a new plantation forestry methodology to improve useability and uptake for the sector. 

“What Forico have done in accounting for carbon storage, I expect and hope other forest managers will also do in future.”

Forico Chief Executive Officer, Bryan Hayes, said the report demonstrates an overall net positive contribution to the environment from sustainably managed plantation and natural forests. 

“Forico’s Net Natural Capital Value for 2021 has been conservatively estimated at $3.39 billion, which can be split between $463 million to business and $2.92 billion to society,” Mr Hayes said. 

“As a custodian of the natural environment, trusted to protect our natural resources for future generations, we are committed to understanding the value of the lands we manage and our impacts on the natural world, which has driven our Natural Capital Reporting journey.”

Mr Hayes said natural capital accounting has revealed Forico has sequestered more than 126 million tonnes of CO² from the atmosphere, with a further 54 million tonnes expected to be sequestered by the standing plantation estate before harvest.