The best way to preserve the forest

Commercial forestry is the best way to preserve the forest. That may sound like a contradiction, but the fact is that an efficient and modern forestry that takes place according to both nature's own and the country's laws, is the best way to achieve two important environmental goals; partly the conservation of natural forest, partly to bind more carbon dioxide.

Commercial forestry has been conducted on our planet for hundreds of years and it can be stated that if the commercial forces are allowed to ravage freely, it will lead to deforestation. It was, among other things, this that led to a big forest nation like Sweden in 1859 creating a central forest board and eventually in the early 20th century got a forest legislation that included both the state forest and private forest.

It was then, one might say, that commercial interests and nature conservation interests began to go hand in hand and the amount of forest in Sweden has therefore more than doubled during this time. The more forest volume (cubic meters) there is - the more carbon dioxide is bound. Sweden's surface has not become larger, but Swedish forests thus bind twice as much carbon dioxide today as 100 years ago. This is in contrast to what many who want to call themselves environmentalists claim - namely that it is best to leave the forest completely in peace. Like one big park. From a climate perspective, ie carbon sequestration, this is simply not true.

Anyone who has missed clearing the hedge or flower bed before spring comes knows that if you do not take care of the plant life, it will grow worse. It's exactly the same with forest. It must be taken care of. Thinned, cleared, take down infested trees and so on. However, there is one point in just leaving the forest alone - and that is to preserve the richness of species and bio-diversity. But it is already being done today both at the statutory level and at the voluntary level. As a forest owner, you must leave a certain area protected. All this development that we have had in Sweden has also taken place in Brazil, albeit with a certain delay and on a completely different scale. Only 2% of Brazil's forest is currently planted and for every hectare of forest planted that is added, 0.7 ha will be set aside for conservation.

The forest, the climate and Brazil

Productivity in the brazilian forestry sector

Brazil has the world's second largest forest area, with a total of 497.90 million hectares (ha) of forest (58.47% of its territory), which is more than 10 times the entire land area of ​​Sweden (41 million ha). Of this area, 98% or 488.06 million hectares are occupied by natural forests, while only 9.83 million hectares correspond to planted forests (SFB, 2019). Recently, Brazil has been the focus of heated discussions focusing on the need to maintain Brazilian forests, primarily for its role in global climate change. Deforestation is the country's biggest threat in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Brazilian forest-based sector is a world leader in wood productivity (wood volume per unit area) (Figure 1). Among the most important commodities in the forest sector, we have pulp and paper, wood panels and sawn wood (mostly native species that come mainly from the Amazon and Centro-Oeste, and foreign species such as pine and eucalyptus).

Despite the negative impact that the covid-19 pandemic has had on economic activity in the various industrial segments, development in the forest-based sector has been strong in a long-term perspective. The pulp and paper segments are currently standing out in terms of positive expectations, due to the increased consumption of personal hygiene and cleaning products (VALOR, 2020). Therefore, the Brazilian forestry sector faces the challenge of intensifying its production to meet the growing demand for fiber, wood, energy and several other new applications that are still in the research and development phase.

How does the production of forestrated raw materials effect global climate change?

Climate change is one of humanity's greatest challenges. The world is looking for solutions and alternatives to meet the effects of climate change, which not only refers to global warming but also changes in rainfall intensity and the occurrence of extreme climate events, such as hurricanes and heat waves.

It is currently indisputable that such changes occur mainly due to human activity, especially due to the emission of a large amount of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, into the atmosphere. It is also common knowledge that forest maintenance plays a major role in the discussion of global warming, especially in Brazil, a country known for its forest productivity.

See the graph below how Brazilian forests have worked to calm the threatening effects of climate change.