The Forest Products Commission (FPC) has reached a crucial milestone in a major tree planting project to deliver carbon permits to energy retailer, Synergy.
Acting General Manager Paul Tzaikos confirmed that FPC had acquired more than 5,000 hectares of land for its tree planting contract with Synergy.
The Forest Products Commission was awarded the contract in October after the agency successfully demonstrated technical expertise, operational capacity and long-term commitment to managing the project.
“When Synergy announced FPC as the successful tender, we estimated sowing more than six million seedlings during the 2009 planting season. Our estimate now is that the number of trees planted will exceed ten million by the end of August 2009.
“As they grow, those eucalypts are expected to reduce the State’s carbon footprint by absorbing greenhouse gases estimated to be the equivalent of taking 73 per cent of WA's cars off the road for a period of 12 months,” Mr Tzaikos said.
He said the plantings would also deliver supplementary farm benefits such as shelter for livestock, ongoing support for efforts to address land degradation, a reduction in soil salinity and assist natural resource management issues.
“FPC’s contract is part of Synergy’s carbon preparedness and it shows how Western Australia is responding to the challenges of global warming. The program is also an important additional source of income for Western Australian farming communities,” Mr Tzaikos said.
He said it was within the realms of possibility that FPC would plant more than 200 million trees as part of the 30-year Synergy contract which would represent a significant reduction in WA’s overall greenhouse footprint.