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Library Welsh Assembly Government’s Strategy for Woodlands and Trees.

Welsh Assembly Government’s Strategy for Woodlands and Trees.

Welsh Assembly Government’s Strategy for Woodlands and Trees.

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The vision of the present Strategy is that Wales will be known for its high-quality woodlands that enhance the landscape, are appropriate to local conditions and have a diverse mixture of species and habitats. These will: i) provide real social and community benefits, both locally and nationally; ii) support thriving woodland-based industries and iii) contribute to a better quality environment throughout Wales. To deliver this vision, «Woodlands for Wales» is framed around Welsh woodlands and trees as a foundation from which to deliver four strategic themes: 1) Responding to climate change – coping with climate change, and helping to reduce the carbon footprint; 2) Woodlands for people – serving local needs for health, education, and jobs; 3) A competitive and integrated forest sector – innovative, skilled industries supplying renewable products from Wales; 4) Environmental quality – making a positive contribution to biodiversity, landscapes and heritage, and reducing other environmental pressures.In particular, the Strategy aims at: 1) More woodlands and trees are managed sustainably; 2) Woodland ecosystems are healthy and resilient; 3) Woodlands are better adapted to deliver a full range of benefits; 4) Woodland cover in Wales increases; 5) The management of woodland and trees is more closely related to that of other land uses; 6) Urban woodlands and trees deliver a full range of benefits.Chapter 5 on «A competitive and integrated forest sector» highlights the importance of partnership. The objectives are to ensure that Welsh wood-based industries are able to compete with the best in the world; to expand and develop the market for higher value products and services; to encourage a wood-using culture in Wales and the UK; to build an innovative industry that understands and responds to customers’ needs; and for woodland to be recognised as a sector that makes major contributions to the Welsh economy, the environment and to communities. One of the Partnership’s projects, Woodsource Wales, is a marketing initiative led by businesses in the forestry and wood products sectors. It offers support throughout the timber supply chain, from the one person operation to the multi-national corporation, with many products ranging from paper to kitchens, and flooring to timber framing.Chapter 6 deals with «Environmental Quality». Five key outcomes have been identified to safeguard and improve the environmental quality of woodlands and trees in Wales, and to extend the range of ecosystem services they provide: 1) Woodland management achieves high standards of environmental stewardship; 2) Woodlands and trees of special conservation value are in favourable management; 3) Woodland biodiversity is supported and native woodland is in favourable management; 4) Woodlands and trees make a positive contribution to the special landscape character of Wales and to sites of heritage and cultural importance; 5) New and existing trees and woodland contribute to water and soil management.Chapter 8 lays down indicators to monitor the progress of the woodlands and trees themselves (for example, Farm woodland - Area of farm woodland actively managed) and the others relate to the goods and services that Welsh woodlands and trees provide across the four strategic themes, for example, Carbon balance -Carbon stocks in woodland soil, biomass and wood products, and carbon offset due to product and fuel substitution.Chapter 3 concerns issues on climate change. The targets are described as follows: 1) New woodlands are created and existing woodlands are managed in a way which balances the achievement of other objectives of this strategy and the yield of usable timber and wood products, whilst also helping to sequester carbon in living biomass. 2) Where short rotation forestry is grown with the objective of maximising woodfuel for energy purposes, then this site-based objective is pursued within a wider sustainable forest management framework that conforms to the UK Forestry Standard; 3) The carbon storage capacity of woodlands is protected by balancing the potential damage from operational management against the carbon benefits of both the harvested material and the biomass which remains (above ground and in the soil). To get there the following steps shall be taken: 1) Encourage the production of timber and woodfuel from woodlands managed in a more sustainable way; 2) Encourage co-operative action by groups of farmers and owners of small woodlands to bring their woodlands into sustainable management; 3) Promote the use of home-grown wood as a sustainable building and manufacturing material, and a source of renewable energy; 4) Taking into account the objectives of our Bioenergy Strategy we will support the planting of new short rotation forestry to produce woodfuel where there is local demand, provided the size, location, species and management regime of the proposed planting poses no threat to the environment, and meets the UK Forestry Standard; 5) Contribute to developing a UK code of good practice for forest carbon management projects that is relevant to Wales; 6) Provide advice on woodland management techniques to minimise carbon loss.The text consists of 9 chapters as follows: Introduction (1); Welsh Woodlands and Trees (2); Responding to Climate Change (3); Woodlands for People (4); A Competitive and Integrated Forest Sector (5); Environmental Quality (6); Delivering Woodlands for Wales (7); Monitoring Progress (8); Glossary (9).

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