From the seed through harvest, wood and its by-products are increasingly present in peoples’ daily lives. For instance, it is used for making cribs, toys, doors, windows, furniture, energy generation, not to mention cellulose, paper and its by-products, as well as resins, paints, glues and other products. According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), wood consumption is 3.5 billion m3/year throughout the world, which equates to 875,000 km2 of planted forests or 122 million football pitches.
It is estimated that there will be 9 billion people in the world by 2050, which should double or even triple the demand for timber according to the Brazilian Tree Industry (Ibá). In order to meet such demand in a scenario requiring low carbon footprint, renewable energy sources and zero net deforestation, several studies indicate that more 250 million hectares of planted forests will be needed throughout the world, according to data available on the Ibá website (Several Uses for Wood infographics).
Therefore, growing renewable forests is critical to supply the demand for timber whilst preserving native ones. Today, for each hectare of planted forest there are 0.7 hectares of preserved ones in Brazil, whereas there are 0.25 in Chile and 0.05 in Australia, for instance (source: Ibá). According to the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), 61% of the Brazilian territory is covered with native forests, a figure that surpasses by far those of African, Asian and European countries.
Planted forests play an important role in helping to preserve the native vegetation. In addition to the environmental aspect, the activity is relevant to the economy for it generates employment and income. And Brazil is at the forefront of this segment, developing technologies that make it stand out in the eyes of the world when it comes to productivity and sustainability of planted forests.
It is worth highlighting that the renewable forests grown here have been using the same land for 50 years. Thanks to genetic improvement and handling techniques, the forest-producing companies are seeking − and have been able to − produce more timber in a smaller area.
Technology is an important ally in this process, whether in production or in the management. Technological breakthroughs like genetic improvement and more productive handling techniques, besides the latest technologies, such as precision agriculture, virtual reality and other gadgets increasingly present in peoples’ lives have allowed the development of management software with built-in state-of-the-art solutions for the sector.
That is how the growing of renewable forests in Brazil has been contributing to preserve almost 6 million hectares of natural ones as well as to put Brazil at the forefront of this segment. INFLOR, the market leader in forest management systems in Latin America keeps up to date to the latest technological advances and contributes to the strengthening of the sector.