Forest growing is a long-term venture that is exposed to environmental risks (e.g. pests, fire, climate change). There is ongoing research into pine drought mortality and the economics of managing new and existing biosecurity threats to Australia’s plantation industry.
In addition to wood products, commercial forest crops can produce a wide range of environmental and societal values that may not be currently captured or valued by the forest owner or the community. This includes carbon storage, recreation, water catchment and biodiversity values. FWPA is working with the Australian Bureau of Statistics to undertake a pilot investigation into the Green Triangle forestry region to determine the value of these environmental services through natural capital accounting methodologies.
There is also an opportunity to look at alternative funding mechanisms for these environmental values using mechanisms such as social impact bonds. A scoping study will be commissioned to explore the new mechanisms for funding sustainable forest management.