South African Forestry Industry perspective on Forestry and Forest

The South African Forestry
Industry’s Perspective on
Forestry & Forest Products
Roger Godsmark
Operations Director, Forestry South Africa
Presentation to FAO Workshop on Forest Products Statistics
27th November 2014
Presentation Outline
Background: Forestry South Africa
Overview of the Forestry & FP Industry in South
Forestry and Forest Products Industry Data in
South Africa
Section 1
Background: Forestry South Africa
In Essence FSA is……..
A voluntary Association of timber growers
Whose Overriding Role is ……..
To represent the best interests of its members; and
The interests of the South African Forestry Industry
All 11 Corporate timber companies operating in SA
1 300 commercial timber farmers
20 000 small-scale timber growers
Who Are FSA’s Members?
(1): Corporate Companies
(2): Commercial Enterprises
Timber Farmers
Timber Co-ops
(3): Small-Scale Growers
612 600
143 300
127 700
883 600
1 300
232 780
23 600
1 304
256 379
20 000
45 000
21 318
1 161 380*
FSA’s Main Activities
FSA fulfils its mandate by doing 4 main things
Acts as a Lobby Group
 Government
 NGOs
 Other Bodies
(National, Provincial & Local)
(e.g. Forest Stewardship Council)
(e.g. SETA, Funding, Research, Universities etc.)
Acts as collector & distributor of funding
Acts as the keeper, analyser & distributor of information
Co-ordinates, organises and capacitates small-scale
Lobbying is becoming an ever increasing activity
FSA’s interventions generally high level & at national level
Section 2
Overview of Forestry & FP Industry
in South Africa
Forest Resources in South Africa
There are three “forest types” in South Africa
Woodlands (reported on every 4 years)
Land where more than 10% canopy cover
+/- 40 million hectares
Mainly exploited for fuelwood
Plantations (reported on annually)
1 268 443 hectares of intensively managed exotic tree plantations
Highly regulated
Pine (51%), Eucalyptus (42%) and Wattle (7%)
70% production goes for pulp & paper production
Indigenous forests (reported on every 4 years)
 Comprises thousands of small forest patches + one large one is S. Cape
 Protected by law
 Minimal economic value
Location of Plantations in South Africa
You are
The SA Forestry & Forest Products Industry – An Overview
By any measure, the Forestry and Forest Products Industry is a
major contributor to SA’s economy
1.3 million hectares of plantations. Investment value - $2.6bn
Annual sustainable production 20 million tons
Production in 2011/12 15.8mt (18.2m m3) valued at $672 m
Primary processing plants – 141 (of which 76 sawmills and 17 pulp,
paper & board mills)
Intake in 2011/12 18.8mt (of which pulpwood 73% & sawlogs 20%)
Main products: pulp (2.6mt), woodchips (2.4mt) and lumber (1.4m m3)
Total value of sales in 2011/12 from primary processing plants $1.9bn
Exports of forest products in 2013 amounted to $1.7bn which resulted in
a positive trade balance of $380m.
Employs 170 000 people of which 66 000 in forestry operations
The SA Forest Sector
Key Developments & Characteristics
Commercial plantation forestry is the focus of data collection
Area of commercial forestry plantations has been declining for 20 years
Only areas within SA where new afforestation can take place is Eastern
Cape (100 000 ha) and Zululand (40 000 ha)
Major developments over past 20 years:
 Move towards “outsourcing” of operations (contractors now biggest
 Increased focus on mechanisation of operations
 Increasing focus on developing forestry enterprises in neighbouring
countries (especially Mozambique) given lack of expansion opportunities
Ownership pattern determines ease of data collection
Corporates – easy
Commercial farmers – relatively easy
Small-scale growers – very difficult
Processors – formal plants easy, informal plants difficult
Section 3
Forestry & FP Industry Data in
South Africa
Why is Forestry & Forest Products Data Collected in
South Africa?
Local legal obligations in terms of National Forests Act
– Annual “Commercial Timber Resources and Primary
Roundwood Processing” Report
– Every four years, the “State of the Forests” Report
International reporting obligations
Although there are legal obligations to produce this data,
from a private sector perspective, it is essential that we have
this data for various reasons & uses.
Data Requirements of Industry
Physical stats on Forestry & FP Industries (e.g. areas,
production, intakes etc) (DAFF / Pvt. Sector - FES)
Forestry cost benchmarking data (Pvt. Sector - FES)
Sawmill cost benchmarking data (Pvt. Sector - Crickmay)
Secondary processing stats (Industry Assocs e.g. PAMSA)
Import and export data (quantity, value, origin &
destination) (SA Revenue Service)
Biomass inventory (nobody)
GDP data (Stats SA)
The provision of most of the data we need is available but
not from a central source and in certain cases, at a cost
Data Collection
The main vehicle for the collection of Forestry and Forest
Products data in South Africa is the following…………….
The “Green Mamba”
Data Collection
“Commercial Timber Resources and Primary Roundwood
Processing” Report
Data collected via “Green Mamba” census forms which are posted to
By law all forest owners and owners of primary processing plants have to
compete the forms
Focuses specifically on “Commercial” timber plantations and “Primary”
roundwood processors
Process from sending out census forms and printing Report takes a year.
 1 900 census forms sent out in July each year
 Recipients have till end of February in following year to complete
 1st draft produced in March and final Report published in June.
In order to improve response levels, DAFF outsourced collection, compilation
and publication of data to well respected private company linked to the
Forestry Industry (Forestry Economics Services – FES)
Census form long and complicated to fill in.
Data Content (1)
“Commercial Timber Resources and Primary Roundwood
Processing” Report
This Report is comprehensive and provides the Industry with a lot
of the data that it needs. It covers the following areas.
Plantation areas per region by:
 Species
 Management objectives
 Age class & mean annual increment (MAI)
Production from plantations per region by:
 Species
 Product
 Value
Data Content (2)
“Commercial Timber Resources and Primary Roundwood
Processing” Report
Forestry (continued)
New afforestation & land converted out of timber production
per region by:
 Species
 Management objectives
Damage caused to plantations per region by:
 Genus (softwood & hardwood)
 Fire
 Pests and Diseases
 Weather
 Animals
Data Content (3)
“Commercial Timber Resources and Primary Roundwood
Processing” Report
Primary Processing
Number of primary processing plants by:
 Type
 Intake
 Investment (book value)
Intake per region by:
 Product
 Species
Production and sales of forest products from primary processing
plants by:
 Product
 Value
DAFF has lost internal capacity to collect data (although by outsourcing the
function, the quality of data has improved).
By the time the data is published it is already a year out of date. Currently
two years out of date as DAFF delayed the signing of the outsourcing
contract for over a year three years ago.
Only “Commercial” timber plantations and “Primary” roundwood processors
are covered (e.g. nothing on woodlands, indigenous forests or secondary
Coverage is nowhere near 100%
– Most of 25 000 small-scale timber growers’ data not collected
– Many informal processing plants (e.g. sawmills) excluded
Verification system (via remote sensing), not in place.
Total Biomass inventory is not reported on (this is important (a) for the
Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) process as do
not have baseline data and (b) for carbon trading purposes)
Non-timber forest products data not recorded.
What Does the Industry Use the Data For?
The Industry regards having sound baseline data as essential for
the development of the Industry. Amongst others, the Industry
uses the data for the following purposes……….
To establish trends so that Industry can initiate corrective action
(e.g. fire damage) or to initiate lobbying to change policy (e.g. new
To assist with the production of timber supply and demand
To determine what forest resources there are in a particular area
to determine investment opportunities for industrial development
To determine areas where new afforestation could take place
To determine where new export markets could exist
Regarding cost benchmarking data, to determine the feasibility of
potential investment opportunities
To produce its own analysis of the Industry
New Afforestation
1980 to 2012
Economy good
good but
Economy good
but policy bad
Economy bad
& policy bad
RESULT: FSA engaged with DAFF to try and make it easier for timber
growers to obtain water use licences to plant trees
Damage to Plantations by Fires
1980 to 2012
RESULT: After loosing 70 000 ha in 2007 and the following year,
Industry put in place more effective fire fighting resources
Average Productivity per Hectare
1980 - 2012
Total increase in productivity over period – 4.1 m3 per ha p.a. (40%)
The Data Itself
In order to be able to use the data produced
effectively, we need to ensure the following……
1. It needs to be relevant to our needs
2. Its integrity needs to be sound (i.e. accurate as
3. It needs to be produced on time & at set intervals
We would also like to have assess to data from our
neighbouring countries
Section 4
Overall Thoughts (1)
Although the South African Forestry Industry is generally well
served by the Industry statistics produced by the SA Government
and other bodies, there are some issues from an African
perspective that we feel need addressing. These are…
Standardisation of data collected:
 What data is collected and reported upon
 Synchronisation of reporting periods (calendar year vs split year)
 Standardisation of reporting units (e.g. tons vs m3)
 Language policy (English & Portuguese i.r.o. SADC)
 Synchronisation of rebasing of data i.r.o contribution to GDP
(New international System of National Accounts (SNA) System)
Data collection: Given the challenges that this poses, it may be an
idea to look at the following:
– Remote sensing i.r.o. forestry inventory
– Verbal reporting rather than written reporting
Overall Thoughts (2)
Communication: There is a need to improve the dissemination of
forestry and forest products data between African countries.
Communication between countries thus far in this respect has been
poor. Communication should not be just between Governments but
should involve the private sector.
Co-operation between countries: There is no need to re-invent
the wheel. I am sure that constructive dialogue between countries
in the region and with the assistance of the FAO, will be able to
come up with a workable solution which will provide accurate and
timely data which will be of benefit to both the respective
Government’s and Private Sectors involved.
Although Forestry South Africa cannot speak on behalf of the South
African Government, we would be willing to assist in this process
should we be called upon to do so.
Thank You

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