The Forest Products Commission (FPC) has reached a crucial milestone in a major tree planting project to deliver carbon permits to energy retailer, Synergy.
Acting General Manager Paul Tzaikos confirmed that FPC had acquired more than 5,000 hectares of land for its tree planting contract with Synergy.
The Forest Products Commission was awarded the contract in October after the agency successfully demonstrated technical expertise, operational capacity and long-term commitment to managing the project.
“When Synergy announced FPC as the successful tender, we estimated sowing more than six million seedlings during the 2009 planting season. Our estimate now is that the number of trees planted will exceed ten million by the end of August 2009.
“As they grow, those eucalypts are expected to reduce the State’s carbon footprint by absorbing greenhouse gases estimated to be the equivalent of taking 73 per cent of WA's cars off the road for a period of 12 months,” Mr Tzaikos said.
He said the plantings would also deliver supplementary farm benefits such as shelter for livestock, ongoing support for efforts to address land degradation, a reduction in soil salinity and assist natural resource management issues.
“FPC’s contract is part of Synergy’s carbon preparedness and it shows how Western Australia is responding to the challenges of global warming. The program is also an important additional source of income for Western Australian farming communities,” Mr Tzaikos said.
He said it was within the realms of possibility that FPC would plant more than 200 million trees as part of the 30-year Synergy contract which would represent a significant reduction in WA’s overall greenhouse footprint.
Forest Products Commission
The Forest Products Commission (FPC) is a Government trading enterprise established to develop and market Western Australia's renewable timber resources.
In addition to growing millions of seedlings every year, we are investing in research and development - to secure the greatest possible returns on a variety of commercial species including eucalypt sawlogs, maritime pine, sandalwood, jarrah and marri. We are identifying ways and means in which we can extend the traditional uses of our timbers, so that we can provide value-added commercial opportunities.
The FPC is also working closely with local industry and Western Australian landowners and farmers, to ensure land is readily available for future tree crops and plantations. To ensure the long-term sustainability of our unique timbers, we carefully match selected tree species with the soil, water and climate of an area, prior to seeding.