JOHANNESBURG, January 15, 2019 - Forestry South Africa (FSA) has launched the Forestry Explained recreational map, ideal for when the travel bug bites, when you need family-friendly accommodation or a quiet weekend away from the city life. The new interactive map details the myriad of activities and attractions that are found on forestry-owned land around the country. Treasures within the trees Around 30% of forestry-owned land is unplanted and a large proportion is set aside for dedicated conservation. These include vast swaths of grasslands, riverine ecosystems and indigenous forests. Besides their obvious conservation value, these areas provide ample recreational opportunities on top of what is provided by the plantation forests themselves. Whether it is trail running, hiking and mountain biking adventures you seek, or serene days spent bird watching, picnicking and taking in spectacular views, forestry-owned land has something to offer you. The Forestry Explained recreational map makes accessing these activities and attractions easy. It showcases eco-activities of forestry companies and private individuals in one user-friendly recreational guide. Its interactive nature allows people to explore what’s on offer, along with the important information for the perfect forestry day out. 2019 “Forestry Fun” bucket list Make 2019 the year you explore the recreational offerings of South Africa’s commercial forests. Why not see if you can complete the 2019 “Forestry Fun” bucket list below, making sure tag @forestry_explained into any shots you post on Instagram. Mpumalanga’s waterfalls – many of the famous ‘Panorama Route waterfalls’ are actually situated on forestry land owned and managed by state-owned SAFCOL, including Berlin Falls, Lisbon Falls, Mac Mac Falls and Pools, Bridal Veil Falls, Lone Creek Falls and Marie Shires. Mountain biking getaway – take a long-weekend and explore the plantations, indigenous forests and open grasslands of . . .
A total of 7 643 hectares of predominantly pine plantations belonging to private timber growers in the Southern Cape region have either been totally or partially destroyed in the fires that raged in the Outeniqua Mountains between 25 October and 16 November 2018. Plantations ranging in age from one to 25 years old were affected. These were the findings of a meeting of 35 people involved in the timber and timber processing industries, held at the Nelson Mandela University on 3 December. The severity of the loss is exacerbated by the fact that more than 65% of the timber affected was older than 16 years. This will have a major negative influence on the future ability of the forestry industry in the region to produce the timber needed to supply the processing plants that rely on this resource. The value of the timber lost has not yet been completely established, as many factors need to be taken into consideration. The cost of re-establishing those areas that have been totally destroyed has also not been established accurately. However, initial estimates are that just the re-establishment costs could be in the region of R80-million. Furthermore, many jobs in the timber-growing sector will be permanently lost. Forestry infrastructure was also destroyed. The processing side of the industry in the region has the potential to process approximately 700 000m3 of logs per annum, the majority of this through sawmills and pole treatment plants. An entire sawmill in the Geelhoutvlei area, capable of processing upwards of 60 000m3 per annum, and valued at more than R100-million, was totally destroyed. This has left more than 400 people in the processing sector permanently unemployed. After the devastating fires of July 2017, the latest fires pose a severe risk to the sustainability of both the forestry and processing industries in the Southern Cape. Both Forestry South Africa and Sawmilling South Africa are working hard to ensure that the future of these industries . . .
JOHANNESBURG, DECEMBER 3, 2018 - Trees are very important as they provide our planet with essential environmental services while also giving us jobs, products and fun. To celebrate the many fantastic things about forests, both natural and planted, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is running a competition ahead of International Day of Forests on 21 March 2019. The prize: a trip to Rome! According to FAO, "the 2019 theme for the International Day of Forests is ‘Forests and Education’ and we want the world to know how you educate children and youth about the importance of trees and forests. Today, when more than half the world’s population lives in cities and are increasingly disconnected from nature, it is more essential than ever to bring an understanding and awareness of forests and their benefits into children’s lives at an early age.” FAO is inviting teachers, educators and parents to produce and submit a short one-minute video that shows how you impart a better understanding about the importance of forests and trees for our planet’s future. This could be a video of a traditional class, nature walk into a wooded area or plantation, a local park with trees, an artwork, a song or music lesson or even an exercise class. The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) and Forestry South Africa have put together some resources with specific facts on the South African forestry and forest product sector. Visit the special page on www.forestryexplained.co.za for more information. Deadline for entries is 15 December 2018. (We recognise that this is after schools break up for the SA summer holidays. It could however be a fun activity for these last few weeks of school.) How do I enter? To enter the contest, just follow these steps: Make a short video that shows how you teach children and youth about the importance of forests. The video should not exceed 1 minute and can be produced with any professional or non-professional device . . .
JOHANNESBURG - 22 OCTOBER 2018 -- The Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (PRASA), the 15-year-old paper recycling arm of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA), has a new name and identity: RecyclePaperZA. “For the past few years, members of the public have increasingly confused us with the state-owned enterprise, Prasa,” explains PAMSA executive director Jane Molony. “We have often been asked about train services, or questioned why a rail agency would be involved in recycling.” PAMSA recently initiated the name change process and invited submissions from its member companies. “The name was selected as it reflects a call to action,” explains Anele Sololo, manager for training, promotion and operations for RecyclePaperZA. “Incidentally, it also mirrors our website address www.recyclepaper.co.za, so it’s a perfect fit.” Backed by the pay-off line “Paper recycled. Paper Renewed”, the newly named paper recycling association will continue to promote the recovery and recycling of paper fibre as a vital link in the renewability chain. Paper is a renewable product made from farmed trees. As is the case with all trees, farmed trees absorb carbon dioxide necessary for growth and store this as carbon. When the wood is made into paper or other wood or cellulose products, the carbon remains locked up in the end product. Paper recycling ensures that this carbon remains out of the atmosphere for longer, while also providing an alternative fibre for paper manufacturers. Formed in 2003, RecyclePaperZA represents companies that process recovered paper and make new paper products. It also represents some manufacturers of liquid board packaging in the form of milk and juice cartons, paper cups and bowls. Earlier this year, the association announced that South Africa’s paper recycling rate tipped the scales at 1.3 million tonnes in 2017. This tonnage represents 70% of the 1.8 million tonnes of paper, board and liquid packaging available . . .
Commercially farmed trees offer a renewable, carbon neutral and versatile fibre for bio-innovation Tall timber buildings was just one of the topics deliberated at the recent annual meeting of the International Council of Forest & Paper Associations (ICFPA) in Tokyo, Japan. Country representatives discussed global priorities around climate change, tree breeding research and the role of the sector in the bio-economy. With Tokyo as the host city, it would be remiss not to have examined plans by Sumitomo Forestry to build a 350-metre high hybrid timber skyscraper to mark the company's 350th anniversary in 2041. Named W350, the ambitious 70-storey tower will be almost four times higher than the 18-storey Brock Commons Student Residence in Vancouver, Canada, which currently holds the record for the tallest timber building in the world. The skyscraper has been designed by Sumitomo's Tsukuba Research Laboratory in collaboration with Tokyo practice Nikken Sekkei. It will be Japan's tallest building. The company says it will be a ‘wood and steel hybrid structure of the right materials in the right places’ with a timber to steel ratio of 9:1. It is expected that 185,000 cubic metres of wood will be used in its construction. But where will it come from? “They will grow the trees,” remarks ICFPA president and executive director of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa Jane Molony. “Tree breeding forms an integral part of the W350 project, and Sumitomo envisages a convergence of materials, biorefinery and tissue culture technologies.” Green shoots of innovation "On the one hand, the sector has seen printing and writing grade production and consumption continue its downward trend with machines either closing or converting to more profitable grades,” explains Molony. “We have seen the death of some grades but now we witness the emergence of so much that is new, that is hopeful; green shoots are everywhere." Like the phoenix rising, Molony . . .
JOHANNESBURG, JULY 12, 2018 - With the world’s attention focused on finding greener solutions and cleaner technologies, opportunity is ripe for young wood and paper scientists and engineers in the forest product and paper sectors to step up to the challenge. The International Council of Forests and Paper Associations (ICFPA) invites students and young researchers to submit their work for the 2018-2019 edition of the Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award. The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) is co-ordinating the local leg of the competition which has now opened for entries. The entry deadline is 31 August 2018. Only three candidates from around the world will have the chance to travel to Canada in May next year to present their ideas to global CEOs in the forestry and paper industry. “In the new age of the bioeconomy, we want to stimulate competition among students and young researchers under the age of 30 who are doing exciting things with wood, paper and the process waste,” says PAMSA executive director and ICFPA president Jane Molony. “The sky is the limit with wood fibre,” she adds. Projects could include a wide range of activities relevant to forest-based science, products using forest-based raw materials, process improvements and other innovations throughout the value chain. Layered theme “The theme for the 2018-2019 award is centred on disruptive technologies that are revolutionising the future for forest-based products and services,” says Molony. The overarching topic has been divided into two categories: ‘future generation forestry’ and ‘innovations in wood-based industries’. “However projects are certainly not limited to these two categories,” she explains. Future generation forestry could encompass forest tree breeding and biotechnology; precision forestry and measurements and inventory. Innovation in wood-based industries could cover the analysis and properties of pulp and paper; facilities, . . .
HIGHLIGHTS 1,3 million tonnes of paper and paper packaging diverted from landfill in 2017. Increased rates driven by industry investment for local beneficiation in mills. An extensive collection network and partnerships essential. Sector challenges the need for paper and paper packaging industry tax – prefers route of public-private partnerships. JOHANNESBURG (5 June, 2018, World Environment Day) -- The Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (PRASA) has announced the 2017 paper recycling rates. Last year the paper recycling industry along with conscientious consumers and thousands of collectors kept 1,3 million tonnes of paper and paper, boxes and liquid packaging out of landfill. This would fill 1,539 Olympic-sized swimming pools. This tonnage represents 70% of the 1,8 million tonnes of paper available for recovery, which excludes books and archived records, and unrecyclable paper like toilet tissue. “We are delighted with our latest statistics as it shows us that people are recycling more,” says Ursula Henneberry, PRASA operations director. In 2015, the association set a target of 70% by the year 2020, and this has been achieved three years early. In the past six years alone, more than seven million tonnes of paper and paper packaging have been recovered for recycling. If baled, this amount would cover the surface of 1,273 soccer fields, one metre deep. “The unsung heroes are our country’s recycling collectors along with industry players who operate collection and drop-off schemes as well as buy back centres,” notes Henneberry. “While our recovery rate has increased, there has been a drop in local consumption particularly in printing and writing grades, so much so that a newsprint paper machine was closed down last year,” remarks Jane Molony, executive director of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA). This has resulted in a slight drop in the actual tonnage from 1,4 million tonnes to 1,3 million tonnes. “This . . .
Johannesburg, April, 19, 2018 - We are well into the age of technology, living an always-on, always-connected lifestyle. But just as we still have bicycles among motor vehicles and pencils in our pen holder, paper will always be close to our computers and smart phones. With Earth Day on 22 April and World Book Day on 23 April, the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) is highlighting the importance of paper in our lives and environment, and calling on us to put down our phones and pick up a book. Imagine a world without paper Can you think about what that would mean? Think about your bedside table, the doctor’s waiting room or your handbag. There would be no books, magazines and to-do lists on the back of old envelopes. Open your kitchen cupboard – there would be no paper packaging nor labels, no kitchen towel, no milk and juice cartons. A world without paper would also mean no toilet paper or tissues. If you’re a teacher, look around your classroom. Take note of everything that is there from posters to artwork and assessments; egg boxes and cereal boxes waiting to be transformed into something creative; tissue boxes too. These would not be there if it were not for paper. Paper serves many needs Paper is essential, and often hidden in plain sight. It cleans, wipes and mops up spills. It protects goods on their journey from A to B, from cornflakes to computers. It preserves our words and memories when we print photos, write a birthday card or proudly display our child’s first stick man painting for all to see. It conveys and communicates. Paper is tactile and stimulates our senses. The act of turning pages and taking in the words without the distraction of pop-ads and fake news cannot be undervalued. Paper is better for our brains too Researchers and neuroscientists are discovering that our brains prefer paper. We are able to navigate the content more easily. We understand and remember things better if we . . .
FACTS Wetlands are the most threatened of all South African ecosystems. Despite only making up 2.4% of the country’s landmass, wetlands play a big role in natural and urban areas, 50% of South Africa’s wetlands have been lost to human and urban impact. World Wetlands Day takes place on 2 February under the theme Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future. Wetlands, dubbed ‘water factories’, are the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems. With World Wetlands Day 2018 taking place on 2 February, it is important to recognise the contribution they make to human well-being and economic growth through farming, fishing, tourism and water provision, and how they are being protected. According to the National Water Act, wetlands are defined as “land which is transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is at or near the surface, or the land is periodically covered with shallow water, or would support vegetation typically adapted to life in water saturated soils”. By linking land and water bodies, wetlands protect coastlines, prevent flooding, filter pollutants and act as giant sponges – soaking up rainwater and releasing it slowly over time. This makes them one of the most important freshwater storage systems on Earth. Wetlands also store carbon dioxide (between 10 and 20 times faster than terrestrial ecosystems), thus slowing the impact of climate change. Looking after the world’s water factories “Sadly, 50% of South Africa’s wetlands have been lost as a result of human and urban impact, and only a fraction of those that remain are being conserved,” says Jane Molony, president of the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) and executive director of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA). “For decades, the forestry and forest product sector has been working alongside scientists and conservationists to rehabilitate and conserve wetlands on forestry-owned land.” “Tissue, tables, . . .
JOHANNESBURG, September 14, 2017: Ahead of National Recycling Day on September 15, the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (PRASA) shares the story about Mary Phillips, an entrepreneur who saw value in paper waste and old telephone directories. Mary Phillips got involved in the recycling industry in September 2012, and after what has been a long and sometimes times difficult haul, she is beginning to see the fruits of her labour. It all began when she decided that she had had enough of the corporate world and chose to go into business on her own account. The avenue she selected was recycling and her product of choice was paper. “It’s a clean material and I could transport greater values by volume in my little car than if I went around collecting bottles and cans,” says Mary, who participated in the PRASA's entrepreneurship training course in August 2016. She has made things happen in the Eastern Cape and while she believes that her best days are still to come, her start-up business currently provides employment for three permanent staff members, pays 10 collectors on a regular basis and is a source of income for up to 18 casual workers, as and when required. Determined “Recycling is much more profitable in Johannesburg and Cape Town where collectors can earn several times more that our people in the region; on the other hand, it does provide them with some form of income. “Another problem is that local financial institutions see recycling as a high-risk business which makes it difficult to finance the purchase of vehicles and specialised equipment necessary to make our business grow.” Less determined people than Mary might have given up long ago but she persevered, investigating business opportunities in and out of her home province. An association with Trudon Publishing, which produces the Yellow Pages, has resulted in the staging a highly successful school competition in the Eastern and Western Cape which sees learners collect and return . . .