Forestry Bureau to promote the use of domestic timber

In December 11, 2017

The Forestry Bureau yesterday announced plans to promote the use of domestic timber to help improve the living conditions of private forest owners and to reduce the carbon emissions produced by timber imports.

About 92.8 percent of the nation’s forests are on government land, while 6.8 percent — or about 136,555 hectares — are privately owned, bureau data released in January showed.

The nation consumes about 6 million cubic meters of timber a year, but local producers can only supply between 40,000 and 50,000 cubic meters per year, Forestry Bureau Director-General Lin Hua-ching (林華慶) told a news conference in Taipei.

The news conference took place at the offices of Metropole Industrial Co in Neihu District (內湖), a venue chosen by the bureau to highlight the firm’s use of local Japanese cedar in the construction industry.

Nearly two-thirds of privately owned forests are not properly managed, partly because owners who could not earn a living turned to growing betel nuts or other produce, Lin said.

The bureau plans to help forest owners set up an alliance and trading platform, Lin said.

This should not be confused with encouraging land owners to cut down more trees without regard to the environmental impact, Reforestation and Production Branch Director Lee Yun-chung (李允中) said.

“Forests should be managed in a reasonable way,” Lee said, adding that overgrown trees in aged forests should be removed.

Nonetheless, cutting down trees grown in conservation areas and environmentally sensitive regions is prohibited, Lee said.

Forests that are suitable for timber production and detailed information about the trade platform would be announced by the end of next month, he said.

The Council of Agriculture has also listed timber as part of its Certified Agricultural Standards system, while suppliers are being encouraged to apply to have their forests certified by the Taiwan Architecture & Building Center, the bureau said.

Certification procedures for quality timber are to start in January, center senior engineer Lee Ming-hsien (李明賢) said.

Forestry Bureau to promote the use of domestic timber by Lin Chia-nan .   Available from <> [Tue, Nov 28, 2017]