WA adopts Wood Encouragement Policy

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Planet Ark is celebrating the introduction of a Wood Encouragement Policy in Western Australia after playing a key role in the policy’s adoption.

The environmental not for profit’s Make It Wood campaign encourages the use of responsibly sourced wood as a building material. A key part of this initiative is the promotion and advocacy of Wood Encouragement Policies (WEPs) throughout Australia, which encourage the use of responsibly sourced wood in construction.

“Responsibly sourced, certified wood is the only major building material that helps tackle climate change,” said Make It Wood campaign manager David Rowlinson.

“It’s renewable, it stores carbon for the life of the building, and it has much lower embodied energy than conventional, more carbon-intensive building materials.”

The state-wide WEP is part of the state government’s introduction of The Djarlma Plan for the Western Australian Forestry Industry. The plan was inspired by the indigenous Noongar people’s concept of Djarlma, which reflects the interconnected relationship of people, forests and woodlands.

A WEP generally requires responsibly sourced wood to be considered, where feasible, as the primary construction material in all new-build and refurbishment projects.

As well as the environmental benefits of sustainable timber, the use of wood in the interior of a building has clear physiological and psychological benefits that mimic the effect of spending time outside in nature.

Western Australia Forest Products Commission spokesperson Annelies de Ruiter, Manager of Policy and Corporate Support, said Planet Ark’s advocacy of a WEP played a key role in getting the policy released alongside the Djarlma Plan.

“The Make It Wood team made the policy easy to commit to by highlighting the benefits of building with wood, which is natural, renewable and stores carbon. This makes it an important tool for fighting climate change.”

Learn more at makeitwood.org

Image: Pingelly Recreation and Cultural Centre, WA, winner of 2019 Architecture of Necessity Award

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