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Clean cities need clean wood

Jul 28 2017

AFS clean cities clean woodThe forest industry – and its place in sustainable living – took a pivotal role at the 10th Making Cities Liveable Conference in Brisbane, Australia, last month.

“Forestry is the oldest and best example of sustainable planning,” said Simon Dorries, CEO of Australian Forestry Standard (AFS).

AFS, the PEFC national member for Australia, held an exhibit at the conference, explaining certification systems, chain of custody programs and forest management practices to delegates.

“I think what PEFC and AFS are contributing to sustainable living is really cool,” said Ann Chiang, a Masters student in environmental management at the University of Queensland, one of a group of students to visit the stand.

She said information on the stand had ‘opened her eyes’ to the value of certification and the custody chain link between forests and timber products. She added that with other students she would be a willing volunteer to spread the AFS message.

Mr. Dorries said AFS was in discussion with university schools of environmental management and regional development about how lectures might expand the knowledge and value of forest certification among students.

The grand infrastructure challenge

Opening speaker Dr. Laurie Buys, professor, school design, and theme leader of Queensland University of Technology’s institute for future environment and sustainable communities, said the world's population is growing, ageing and urbanizing.

“Global demand for energy, water and resources is rising, while finite natural resources are declining,” she says.

“Communities expect that public and private infrastructure – from energy and ICT networks to transport systems and buildings – will be integrated, sustainable and tailored to community needs.”

“New ways of designing, building and managing infrastructure are emerging in the transition from the industrial to the digital age,” Dr. Buys says.

She says the grand challenge for the world is creating infrastructure that enriches communities while being sustainable, resilient and responsive to climate change, and developing technology and systems that improve the planning, design and operation of infrastructure.

Watch this space

‘Clean’ and sustainable cities will help realize this goal.

“And clean cities need clean wood,” highlighted Mr. Dorries.

“Australia has the goods in wood to help achieve this transition – third party certification, chain of custody programs – and legality.”

“Watch this space.”

Find out more about wood in construction

Photo: Jim Bowden, representing the Australian Forestry Standard (right) welcomes University of Queensland Masters students Melissa Ward (urban and regional development) and Ann Chiang (environmental management) with Frank Ondrus of Householders Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE), an Australian community-based non-profit environment organization promoting sustainability at the householder level.

PEFC Certified

Forests area: 307 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 20,000

(as of September 2018)

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