http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 16.31Change: -0.01
R/$ = 14.22Change: 0.03
Au 1292.99 $/ozChange: 1.84
Pt 1079.50 $/ozChange: 3.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Mar 09, 2012

Industry bodies emphasise sustainability of SA forestry sector

Back
Agriculture|Africa|Business|CoAL|Cogeneration|Education|Engineering|Environment|Eskom|Flow|Gas|Industrial|Packaging|Paper|Power|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Sustainable|Systems|Training|Waste|Water|Africa|Cogeneration|Energy|Equipment|Flow|Manufacturing|Packaging|Product|Products|Service|Systems|Environmental|Cogeneration|Waste|Operations
Agriculture|Africa|Business|CoAL|Cogeneration|Education|Engineering|Environment|Eskom|Flow|Gas|Industrial|Packaging|Paper|Power|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Sustainable|Systems|Training|Waste|Water|Africa|Cogeneration|Energy|Equipment|Flow|Manufacturing|Packaging|Products|Service|Systems|Environmental|Cogeneration|Waste|Operations
agriculture|africa-company|business|coal|cogeneration|education-company|engineering|environment|eskom|flow-company|gas|industrial|packaging-company|paper|power|renewable-energy|renewable-energy-company|sustainable|systems-company|training|waste-company|water|africa|cogeneration-industry-term|energy|equipment|flow-industry-term|manufacturing|packaging|product|products|service|systems|environmental|cogeneration-person|waste|operations



The domestic forestry and pulp and paper sectors do not have as negative an impact on the environment as many people might believe, industry bodies Forestry South Africa (Forestry SA) and the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (Pamsa) emphasise.

Pamsa executive director Jane Molony points out that public misperception, not just in South Africa but globally, is one of the biggest challenges facing the forestry and the pulp and paper sectors.

She emphasises that the fibre used in paper manufacturing in South Africa is not sourced from the wood of rainforests, indigenous or boreal forests. The pulp and paper industry alone plants 260 000 trees a day on a total of 762 000 ha for this purpose.

Forestry SA executive director Michael Peter adds: “We do not cut down indigenous trees to produce paper or manufacture furniture. The industry farms timber. And without farmed timber, which equates to 17-million tons a year, South Africa’s indige- nous forests would have been eliminated by now.” Only matured trees are harvested and replaced by saplings. Young trees are able to store carbon more rapidly than older trees so carbon absorption continues.

“Fortunately, deforestation of South Africa’s limited indigenous forests has never been nearly as significant as has been seen elsewhere in the world. This is precisely because the plantation industry was established early on in the country’s development to meet our wood and wood product needs,” adds Peter.

The largest indigenous forest in South Africa, the Knysna Tsitsikamma complex, can produce about 2 000 t/y of timber. South Africa’s forestry plantation industry, which is only about three times the size of South Africa’s entire indigenous forests, produces 17-million tons of timber a year.

South Africa’s timber plantations lock up 900-million tons a year of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a massive environmental service and a key means of fighting climate change. Only 9% of this timber is harvested a year to make paper and other wood products.

“If you discount what Forestry SA members harvest every year and what they plant, there is a continual block of 91% of standing timber that was not there prior to the industrial revolution,” he points out.

Further, Peter tells Engineering News that 84% of South Africa’s timber plantations are certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), which measures the social, economic and environmental sustainability of global forestry operations and is nationally represented in more than 50 countries around the world.

Applying for FSC certification is voluntary and ensures that forest products are produced from responsibly harvested and independently verified sources.

“South Africa’s forestry plantations are a renewable, sustainable source of our paper needs,” says Molony. “People need to understand that paper and board are more environment friendly than any other medium for packaging and communication needs.”

Meanwhile, Peter says another common misconception is that bamboo is more environment friendly than timber in terms of water consumption.

“This is untrue, as there is no direct cost to supplying water to the forestry industry. The forests aren’t irrigated; they all use natural water,” states Peter.

Further, he points out that the forestry sector pays a streamflow reduction levy to compensate for the diminished flow in streams in the dry season arising from the evapotranspiration from plantations. It is the only agriculture sector which is charged for this. Hydrologists believe that other dryland crops should in some cases also attract a levy.

He also points out that plantations offer an ecosystem service in the form of improved water quality and the slower release of water, especially in steep, high catchment areas, which means that, although flow volume is reduced somewhat, rivers run for longer periods in the year because of the plantation industry.

Climate change is a global problem and every industry has a responsibility to help mitigate the effects of climate change. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, 90% of deforestation globally is caused by unsustainable agricultural practices.

Timber crops are only planted where it is suitable to plant them. This is often in areas where few other plants or crops can be planted.

In addition to ecological benefits, he adds that one needs to also keep in mind the return these plantations provide from an economic and social perspective.

From an economic perspective, the forest and forest product industry is a R40-billion-a-year industry and employs 170 000 people, which shows a return from a social perspective as well.

Black Liquor as a Renewable-Energy Source

Renewable energy is viewed by the pulp and paper industry as an opportunity for further climate change mitigation. The industry derives a significant percentage of its energy from renewable sources, such as black liquor and bark.

Black liquor is derived from the residue liquors of the chemical wood pulping process. About 50% of the wood compo- nents are dissolved in the chemical pulping process and extracted in the form of black liquor. It can be used to generate energy, which results in less fossil fuel being bought for paper manufacturers’ energy needs.

Molony adds that cogeneration is more carbon efficient than the generation of power by State-owned power utility Eskom and this applies even when coal is used. Obviously, using renew- able fuel for cogeneration is an even better option, which is the case for both the sugar and pulp and paper industries.

“The pulp and paper industry is currently in discussion with the Department of Energy about opportunities to sell green power to the grid. “The industry does have existing agreements with power utility Eskom; however, current procurement policies limit opportunities for renewable and cogeneration supply. This is a major opportunity for the pulp and paper industry as far as sustainability is concerned,” she says.

“What the pulp and paper and forestry industries would like to see in South Africa is plantation forestry being used as an offset mechanism. Forward-thinking municipalities, like eThekwini, are planting trees to sequester carbon and reduce its carbon footprint as a city,” adds Molony.

Paper Recycling in South Africa

Meanwhile, South Africa recycles 58% of recyclable paper. “If we really want to increase the amount of paper being recycled in South Africa, households need to contribute more,” says Molony.

Only between 5% and 10% of South African households recycle. Despite the paper industry spending in excess of R1-billion on collections a year, there is a lack of curbside collection in certain regions. While government supports the concept of job creation through recycling in its Green Industries Accord, the fact that recycling is not mandatory for households means progress is inhibited.

“The new Waste Manage- ment Act allows for sorting at source to be legislated, but municipalities have to incorporate this into their regulations,” Molony states.

Training

Pamsa has received funding from the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority to train entrepreneurs. So far, it has trained 200 entrepreneurs through the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa. More people will be trained across various municipalities.

“When it comes to the skills shortage in the forestry and pulp and paper industries, we realised that more entry-level people are needed. “In response to this need, Pamsa has developed a curriculum for a national certificate vocational (NCV) directed at learners with a formal qualification of grade nine or the national qualification framework Level 1.

People who complete the NCV qualification will be qualified to control the equipment, machinery and systems used in pulp and paper manu- facturing processes. The NCV Level 4 qualification also puts learners in a position to apply at universities and further their studies.

Besides the NCV qualification, Pamsa has also managed to add educational information regarding the process of recycling to Gauteng’s Department of Education curriculum for grade R to grade seven learners.

“This will help to instill awareness in children from a very young age about the pro- cess and importance of recycling,” says Molony.

With help from govern- ment, the business sector and households, South Africa can use its forestry plantations to help lower greenhouse-gas emissions, curb its carbon footprint, advocate renew- able energy and encourage everyone to see the ‘green’ value of paper products that they use on a daily basis in various forms.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here
 
Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Agriculture News
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $76.2-million (P850-million) loan to help Botswana fund new investment in agri-business, clean energy, services, infrastructure and manufacturing as part of efforts to broaden the country’s narrow economic base and...
One of the key messages to emerge ahead of the review of South Africa’s sovereign credit rating is that the country needs to outline the practical actions it will take to reignite growth, which has more or less petered out in recent years, with few expecting the...
In an attempt to maintain a pro-poor stance on public spending aimed at improving social development, the City of Ekurhuleni will inject R3.5-billion of its 2016 budget for into its community empowerment package, Mintirho Ya Vula Vula. Tabling the budget vote for the...
More
 
 
Latest News
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa
Cabinet has extended the contract of Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) director-general Nosipho Ngcaba and approved the appointment of Limpho Makotoko as the new DEA COO.     “Under the leadership of Ngcaba, the DEA has consistently received clean and...
Mzwandile Masina
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has invited companies to participate in a trade and investment mission to Ghana and Nigeria from August 8 to 12.   Companies in the agriculture and agroprocessing sectors, built environment professionals, automotive and...
Cabinet has approved the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap) 2016/17 to 2018/19, which seeks to achieve a higher-impact industrial policy in difficult economic circumstances, including the difficulties faced by the domestic steel industry and the drought which has...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
DOROS HADJIZENONOS The 700-series devices provide network security monitoring, app control, URL filtering, VPN security, antivirus, antispam, antibot, and advanced intrusion prevention and detection functionality
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $149 Close
Subscribe Now for $149