CARBON IN FORESTS
Over the past century, research into almost all aspects of forest management has improved
everything from forest health and biodiversity to the safety and effectiveness of day to day
With the emergence and growth of the carbon economy in recent years, research
has increasingly focussed on the role of forests in carbon sequestration. Carbon research
has ranged from calculating the carbon absorbed and stored by standing forests to
investigating how much carbon continues to be stored in timber and wood products long
after the trees are harvested and quantifying the carbon emissions avoided by using timber
instead of alternative products.
This research has shown that actively managed forests maintain a carbon balance,
emitting, absorbing and storing carbon. With vigorously growing trees acting as carbon
sinks, new plantations on land previously managed for other purposes such as agriculture
have become a new store of carbon and in 2005 the then Forests NSW became the first
body in the world authorised to trade carbon credits arising from forests in a registered
greenhouse gas abatement scheme.
Research continues to improve our understanding of how forestry and the use of timber
contribute to carbon cycles today.