Daily Forestry and Forest Industry News

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.... breaking Forestry and Forest Industry News from Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the European Union, China and around the world.

Forestry and Forest Industry News from Canada

"Sino-Forest Confirms Probe by Canadian Police Amid Allegations of Fraud"

Nov. 11, 2011; Bloomberg: TORONTO -- "Sino-Forest Corp. (TRE), the Chinese timber company whose shares were suspended in Toronto in August amid allegations of fraud, confirmed that it’s being investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The company is cooperating with probes by the Ontario Securities Commission and the RCMP, Mississauga, Ontario- and Hong Kong-based Sino-Forest said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

Sino-Forest shares fell 74 percent since June 1, the day before short seller Carson Block’s Muddy Waters LLC research firm published a report that said the company was overstating its assets. The stock’s plunge cost investors including hedge fund firm Paulson & Co. at least C$3.3 billion ($3.25 billion).

Officers and directors at Sino-Forest may have engaged in acts 'related to its securities' that they 'knew or should have known' perpetuated a fraud, the OSC said Aug. 26. The shares were halted by the OSC that day. The company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Allen Chan resigned two days later." Read more... . external_link

Forestry and Forest Industry News from the United States

Nov. 10, 2011; Furniture Today: By Thomas Russell. "WASHINGTON -- The U.S. International Trade Commission voted Wednesday that the U.S. wood flooring industry has been injured due to imports of unfairly priced Chinese-made wood flooring.

The 4-2 vote means that the U.S. Department of Commerce can begin issuing both antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese wood flooring imports.

Antidumping duties are assigned based on charges that the foreign industry is selling product at less than fair market values. Countervailing duties are based on charges that a foreign manufacturer receives direct financial support from its government.

Such duties are assigned to foreign manufacturers, but paid by U.S. importers of record of the merchandise. Read more... . external_link

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Forestry and Forest Industry News from Australia

"Hope For Timber Workers"

Feb. 11, 2010; Adelaide Now: "INDEPENDENT Senator Nick Xenophon has given embattled South-East timber industry workers a glimmer of hope. Senator Xenophon yesterday secured a federal inquiry into a State Government decision to sell off forests.

The Senate inquiry will report by April but any recommendations will not be binding on the Rann Government.

'I believe the decision by the South Australian Government to forward sell over 100 years of timber harvests needs to be thoroughly reviewed because it will have a significant impact on the south-east,' Senator Xenophon said. 'There is a strong likelihood of regional job losses as a result of this decision'." Read more... . external_link

Forestry and Forest Industry News from New Zealand

"Call For Vigilance Over Green Image"

Feb. 11, 2011; Rotorua Daily Post: "A forestry leader is calling on the country and the industry to more proactively defend its environmental record.

Following last week's mix-up that saw Conservation International mistakenly claim New Zealand was second on its list of deforestation 'hotspots', instead of 22nd, Forest Industry Contractors Association chief executive John Stulen said New Zealanders failed to check the facts and 'vigourously defend our rightful green reputation'.

He claimed the error did not match this country's long-standing, proactive approach towards sustainable forestry and could have damaged New Zealand's green reputation." Read more... . external_link

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Forestry and Forest Industry News from the United Kingdom

"The Forest Sell-Off Is Not Radical Enough: The Forestry Commission Benefits Neither The Environment Nor The Public. It's A Shame It's Only English Forestry Being Shaken Up"

Feb. 10, 2011; The Guardian: "COMMENT -- It is either ignorance or malice that has motivated the fuss over the government's forestry plans. The publicly outraged celebrities seem to know nothing about forestry, nor understand what is proposed. Perhaps they, and many others, are simply being gulled by spinmeisters who want to attack the coalition and prevent any diminution of the state.

But these are pussycat proposals. They do not threaten the UK's broadleaf forests at all, and they are nothing like radical enough. The present system fails the public and the taxpayer on all counts. It's time it went.

When people think of forests, they think of the heritage woodlands and open parklands of oak, birch and ash. In fact, such woods comprise just 8% of the Forestry Commission's land." Read more... . external_link

Forestry and Forest Industry News from the European Union

"Botnia To Invest In Gasification Plant At Its Joutseno Pulp Mill In Finland"

Feb. 10, 2011; Lesprom: "MOSCOW -- The Board of Directors of Metsä Botnia has decided to invest in a gasification plant at the Joutseno pulp mill in Finland. The investment will intensify the use of renewable energy at the mill, as the company said in a press release received by Lesprom Network.

The investment will replace fossil fuel used in lime kiln with biofuel, which is manufactured of bark. The mill will become a carbon dioxide neutral plant during its standard production. The gasification plant will utilise the mill’s excess heat during drying of the bark.

The total value of the investment is approximately Euro 20 million, and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy has granted the investment energy support for Euro 4.2 million. Negotiations regarding the main equipment suppliers are currently ongoing. Construction work will begin in June 2011, and the new plant will be commissioned at the end of 2012. At the construction stage, the employing impact of the investment is approximately 120 person-workyears." Read more... . external_link

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Forestry and Forest Industry News from China

"Sino-Forest Confirms Probe by Canadian Police Amid Allegations of Fraud"

Nov. 11, 2011; Bloomberg: TORONTO -- "Sino-Forest Corp. (TRE), the Chinese timber company whose shares were suspended in Toronto in August amid allegations of fraud, confirmed that it’s being investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The company is cooperating with probes by the Ontario Securities Commission and the RCMP, Mississauga, Ontario- and Hong Kong-based Sino-Forest said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

Sino-Forest shares fell 74 percent since June 1, the day before short seller Carson Block’s Muddy Waters LLC research firm published a report that said the company was overstating its assets. The stock’s plunge cost investors including hedge fund firm Paulson & Co. at least C$3.3 billion ($3.25 billion).

Officers and directors at Sino-Forest may have engaged in acts 'related to its securities' that they 'knew or should have known' perpetuated a fraud, the OSC said Aug. 26. The shares were halted by the OSC that day. The company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Allen Chan resigned two days later." Read more... . external_link

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Forestry and Forest Industry News from The Rest of the World

Nov. 22, 2011; Eco-Business.com: By Jenny Marusiak. "Major retailers and manufacturers need to take urgent action to ensure they only buy palm oil that is certified to be green or sustainable, according to a report released on Tuesday by non-governmental organisation WWF International.

The NGO’s Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard for 2011 found that while many companies with commitments to purchasing sustainable palm oil have made progress since the last assessment in 2009, a significant number will fall short of their targets if they do not pick up the pace.

'There are options available for almost any company to buy certified sustainable palm oil. Yet the WWF Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard shows that only half of the palm oil used by the companies we assessed is sustainable,' said WWF policy officer Adam Harrison in a statement.

Palm oil, produced primarily in the tropical regions of Asia and Africa, is widely used as a vegetable oil and in making packaged foods and healthcare products. Read more... . external_link

Nov. 10, 2011; Monsters and Critics.com: By Ahmad Pathoni. "JAKARTA -- An Indonesian pulp and paper company accused by Greenpeace of helping destroy the country's rainforests has been on the defensive after the global environmental group announced more companies were cutting ties with it.

Greenpeace said last week that seven major companies, including toymaker Hasbro Inc, New Zealand's largest group of department stores The Warehouse Group Ltd and luxury pen maker Montblanc International GmbH had decided to stop buying from Asia Pulp & Paper Co (APP).

Greenpeace said it had found extensive clearance of rainforests inside APP plantations on Sumatra island, including areas mapped as habitat for the endangered Sumatran tiger.

'APP must stop the destruction of natural forests and peatland conversions,' said Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace South-East Asia forest campaigner. 'From the perspective of climate change, what APP is doing is far from being sustainable forest management.' Read more... . external_link

"Controversial Pulping Industry Expands: Lands For Pine And Eucalyptus Trees Increase As Country Grows Cellulose Business"

Feb. 10, 2011; Latin America Press: "URUGUAY -- The diplomatic dispute between Uruguay and its neighbor Argentina over a large paper pulping plant along the shared border not only did not derail the business, but Uruguay is taking steps to expand the controversial cellulose industry, a move that could put in jeopardy one of the country´s main resources: land.

On Jan. 18, Montes del Plata de Uruguay, a consortium of forestry companies Arauco of Chile and the Swedish-Finnish Stora Enso, signed a US$1.9 billion - the largest single private investment in Uruguay´s history — contract to build a pulping complex in Conchillas in the southeastern Colonia department.

The project, which includes a pulping mill and a port for cellulose exports, would produce 1.3 million metric tons a year from its estimated start date in 2013." Read more... . external_link

"Cut Down To Size: Forestry - Timber Production Threatened"

Feb. 10, 2011; Financial Mail: "South Africa is near the limit of its timber production capacity, warn forestry experts. It is a looming problem masked by lower demand, especially from the construction industry, says Cori Ham, a lecturer at Stellenbosch University’s department of forest & wood science.

The forestry industry wants to expand, says Roy Southey, chairman of industry body Forestry South Africa’s marketing arm, the Wood Foundation. But the number of trees that can be planted is limited by climatic conditions.

Constraints include other land uses such as crop farming and conservation. These have helped drive the area under commercial forests down from a peak of over 1,5mha in the late 1990s to 1,28mha in 2009, or about 1% of SA’s total land area. All indigenous forests - 300000ha in total - are now conservation areas, says Southey." Read more... . external_link

Breaking News

.... breaking Forestry and Forest Industry News from Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the European Union, China and around the world.

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