‘I have been waiting for the day that we were going to stop’: BHP says timber industry has had too much time to plan for change
AUSTRALIA’S biggest timber company is launching a campaign to stop the destruction of its trees.
Key points:BHP Billiton said it would start a “conservation campaign” to stop logging from its treesA coalition of organisations are planning a week of actions and talks on Thursday to try and stop the logging of the company’s forestsBHP, which owns around 50 per cent of the world’s timber, is one of Australia’s biggest timber producers, and is one the biggest producers in Australia of hardwood trees.
The company has been working to prevent logging in its forests for decades, but the new campaign aims to change that.
“This is the first step towards getting people to be a bit more engaged in our forests,” said BHP Billitons executive director of forest policy and legal affairs Andrew Rimmer.
“The best thing we can do is engage with the communities that we own, and we are going to make a series of changes and activities over the next week to try to stop this.”
The new “conservatory campaign” will see a range of organisations and communities coming together to try out a range the company said would be “really exciting”.
The group will also be launching a week-long action called ‘The Day of Change’, where people can gather in their local town, park and community centre to have their say.
“There is no question that logging is damaging our forests and these communities, and it’s time we changed course,” Mr Rimmer said.
“We need to make this change, we can’t allow this to continue.”BHP’s forestry chief executive David Heffernan said it was also trying to persuade people to engage with local groups, and to take action to stop these types of projects.
“It is a great opportunity to engage the community on a community basis, to get their views on the logging, to make them aware of this issue, so that it doesn’t happen in the future,” Mr Heffen said.BHP is one, and one of the biggest, timber producers in the world.
It owns around 5 per cent shares in the Australian Hardwood Tree Association, which has over 1,000 member companies around the country.
“Our commitment is to stop timber logging in the forests of Australia,” Mr Bimmer said in a statement.
“At the moment, we have some big plans in the pipeline, including an ambitious plan to expand our timber holdings in Queensland, which would create tens of thousands of jobs.”
As well as creating thousands of good paying jobs, our plan would also create the world-leading Australian timber industry, providing sustainable jobs for our community.
“The announcement comes after a new report showed that the world was on track to be the sixth largest forest carbon emitter by 2050.
The report, compiled by the University of Washington’s Institute for Sustainable Forestry, found that the amount of carbon emitted per tonne of wood in Australia is currently over four times the global average.”
If we do not act, we are already in a situation where we could potentially have the world be the fifth largest carbon emorter by 2050,” said Prof David Weil, the study’s author.”
While this might not be bad news, it is a big deal because of the scale of the problem.
“The report found that one in six of Australia ‘s trees was logged in the past 20 years, compared to one in 10 in 1990.BMP has long campaigned against logging, saying the trees were important to the economy, and that logging should not be allowed to continue.
The group has also previously called for a moratorium on all logging in national parks, arguing that logging had the potential to decimate the local ecosystem.