24 August 2011
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences has today released key findings about potential impacts of projected climate change on forests and forestry by 2030 and 2050 in major forestry regions of Australia.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Joe Ludwig said the six ABARES regional reports assessed the possible effects of projected climate change on commercial plantations and some native forests that are potentially available for wood production.
“These reports indicate that the reduced rainfall and increased temperatures expected to occur by 2030 and 2050 would affect the growth rates of most commercial forest species to varying degrees across the six study regions,” Minister Ludwig said.
“Some tree species, such as the blue gum and radiata pine, are projected to become much less productive under projected warmer and drier conditions, particularly in south-western Western Australia and the Green Triangle study regions.
“These reports drive home just how important it is that we work to address climate change.
“If we don’t respond to climate change, it will cost this industry jobs.”
The reports project declines in log supply in some regions may result in reduced investment in harvesting, haulage and log-processing capacity and could lead to reductions in the value of production and levels of employment.
“This work, based on collaboration with CSIRO, includes climate modelling, forest growth modelling, economic analysis and community vulnerability assessments,” Minister Ludwig said.
“The reports will be important to the forest industry, informing future investment and industry development in a changing climate, while providing a framework to investigate potential adaptation responses to climate change.”
The study used a range of models with varying reliability and many inputs and assumptions and these factors need to be considered when interpreting the results.
The six regional reports can be downloaded from ABARES Publications.