AFPA to represent Australia forest products sector at COP28

by | Dec 5, 2023

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) will represent Australia’s forestry and forest products to combat climate change at COP28 in Dubai in pursuit of finding effective climate solutions.

“AFPA is an official observer to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and we will use our observer status to showcase to Australian and global policy decision-makers the real and tangible climate, social and economic benefits of the forest products value chain and how it can be utilised to meet Australia’s net zero targets and sovereign capability ambitions,” Acting Chief Executive Officer of AFPA Natasa Sikman said.

“Australia’s land sector will play a significant role in reducing and sequestering emissions needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Sustainable forestry management needs to play a larger role in emissions reduction and decision-makers need to better understand that the carbon captured by production trees is transferred into the built environment. Decision-makers and the broader public want the forest products sector’s renewable, sustainable and recyclable paper, packaging and fibre products, and sustainable resource security is critical for these products,” she said.

AFPA Chair Joel Fitzgibbon added that the importance of being on the ground at COP28 cannot be overstated for a sector like forestry as it has greater potential than most to be part of Australia’s climate change solution, which at present he says is often taken for granted.

“We will be on the ground promoting the benefits that forestry and forest products provide to the transition to a low-carbon bioeconomy. In addition to our key events the AFPA team will be participating in bilateral meetings with key stakeholders who want to engage with the sector,” he said.

AFPA will take part in and lead a number of COP28 events, including hosting a panel discussion on Sensitive Afforestation: Winning Solutions for the Climate and Communities on the 9th of December in the Australian Government Pavilion.

AFPA’s official UNFCCC side event Design Thinking, Global Standards, & Integrative Solutions for a Net Zero Built Environment will be held in conjunction with both the American and British Architect Institutes, where they will showcase the real impact forest products have in reducing emissions in the construction sector which currently accounts for approximately 40 per cent of global emissions.

“As demonstrated by the release of [the] UN Environment Programme emissions gap report, the world is still falling short of progress required to meet the Paris Agreement goals,” Ms Sikman said.

“We have a real opportunity here to continue selling the credentials of forestry and forest products as a major solution, showing to governments that we have the tools and the capability required to lead the world on climate change mitigation,” Ms Sikman concluded.

The AFPA delegation will be on the ground at COP28 from 30 November to 12 December 2023.