4 September, 2019
Forestry South Africa launches new infographic for Arbor Month
New infographic shows how forestry plays a role in sustaining the planet, its people and their prosperity
The South African forestry sector - comprising large-scale corporate growers, around 1,300 commercial timber farmers and more than 20,000 small-scale timber growers - contributes R69 billion per year to the GDP.
Johannesburg, September 3, 2019 -- Sunday, September 1st saw
the launch of National Arbor Month by Deputy Minister of Environment,
Forestry and Fisheries Ms Maggie Sotyu in Port Elizabeth. This year's
theme is Forests and Sustainable Cities.
Against this year's theme of Forests and Sustainable Cities, Forestry South Africa (FSA) has compiled an infographic
showcasing key areas in which the South African forestry sector and its
1.2 million hectares of commercially farmed trees not only play an
important role in South Africa's economy, but in society and our natural
Plantations and prosperity
The forestry and forest products sector recently pledged its support
to the Public-Private Growth Initiative's (PPGI) five-year business plan
which will see close to R19 billion be unlocked for investment in
forests and forestry products and services across the value chain.
Plantations and the planet
The R19 billion commitment includes a R1.8 billion investment in
plantation forestry and R17 billion in infrastructure development that
will enable the sector to increase wood fibre production. This will be
done through the sustainable planting and farming of trees for
processing into renewable and sustainable wood, pulp and paper-based
products. This in turn will create jobs and foster economic growth in
rural and urban areas.
Guided by industry associations FSA, Sawmilling South Africa and the
Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa, the PPGI programmes
will create significant new employment opportunities for women and youth
in rural areas through new afforestation, replanting programmes and
artisanal and apprenticeship opportunities in sawmilling, pulp, paper,
bio-refinery and renewable energy production.
The South African forestry sector - comprising large-scale corporate
growers, around 1,300 commercial timber farmers and more than 20,000
small-scale timber growers - contributes R69 billion per year to the
GDP. From trees to timber, pulp, paper and recycling, the
forestry-to-paper value chain employs more than 156,000 people - with a
further 690,000 people dependent on forestry for their livelihoods.
Further to this, forestry companies are active corporate citizens,
investing in education, health, community and enterprise development and
food security, at a local level, mostly in rural areas where the need
Saplings being prepared for planting - Mondi South Africa Richards Bay
Trees - in both indigenous forests and commercial plantations - are
nature's greatest recyclers. They take in carbon dioxide, keep the
carbon for their growth and release oxygen. The carbon remains in the
wood, even when it is converted into other products, helping to mitigate
Plantations that are sustainably managed in line with international
best practice reduce soil erosion and the subsequent silting of valuable
water resources. They also provide habitats for a diversity of animals,
birds and plants. South Africa prides itself on a responsible and
sustainably-managed forestry sector that balances productive plantations
with sound conservation management and social responsibility.
Plantations and people
Plantations represent 7% of the earth's forested areas[i]
but provide for more than half of the wood used for industrial
purposes. From the moment we rise in the morning, we make use of
products derived from trees: the label on the coffee jar, toilet paper
and the kitchen table. Wooden trusses support the roofs above our heads
while paper makes it possible to be productive at work. Even the
vitamins we take or the low-fat yoghurt we eat contains wood - as a
purified powder called microcrystalline cellulose.
Forestry can also be fun. It is a treasure trove for eco-tourism and
provides the perfect playground for mountain bikers, hikers, trail
runners and nature lovers.
Forestry provides a treasure trove for mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners and nature lovers.
Fascinated by forestry? Visit www.forestryexplained.co.za
or follow @forestry_explained
National Arbor Month is an annual campaign
coordinated by the national Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries and Environmental Affairs in partnership with Total South
Africa, Food and Trees for Africa and Good Green Deeds.
Small scale timber farming supports rural communities around South Africa