Despite reports of widespread public apathy and cynicism, the general election offers a rare opportunity for everyone to spread the word about forestry and timber. ConFor is speaking up for the sector and is calling on everyone to have their say.
“Politicians are in listening mode and everyone has the chance to engage with candidates”, said ConFor’s head of policy, Rupert Pigot. “ConFor has put together a suite of resources both to underpin ConFor’s own lobbying activities and to help people in the sector get over key messages to the politicians”.
At the heart of ConFor’s activities is the lobbying document, ‘Forestry: A Fresh Approach’. This explains to politicians how forestry and wood can deliver a low-carbon economy at a time of pressured public finances.
ConFor has no party-political allegiance, but is keen to encourage all those in the sector to participate by speaking or writing to their candidates. To this end, ConFor has collected some useful information at www.confor.org.uk This resource is freely available and includes:
• The Fresh Approach document, which has been sent by ConFor to selected parliamentary candidates in rural constituencies, as well as, to members.
• A factsheet - a miscellaneous collection of facts and information that may be helpful when engaging with parliamentary candidates and other interested people.
• A presentation given to a recent joint ConFor/ICF meeting. It contains simple summaries of recent work and policy context, as well as, useful facts about carbon associated with forestry and wood.
• Links for further information, including one to the BBC to identify parliamentary candidates.
ConFor’s Fresh Approach document, which is part of an ongoing process of influencing politicians, is based on a few key messages:
• Woodland creation is a cost-effective way of locking up carbon.
• Managed and productive woodland is the best for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
• Forestry and wood-using businesses comprise the only sector that locks up more carbon, the more it produces.
Rupert Pigot, said, “At ConFor, we see the general election as a great opportunity for everyone to have their say. We urge everyone involved in the sector to participate. While individuals will each have their own particular issues, there is real value in repeating key messages. In order to help, we have put together some useful information, but if we can be of any further assistance, please let me know. Together, we can make a difference.”