Forest certification is emerging internationally as the main tool to assess whether forests and plantations are being managed sustainably in developed countries, or to assess progress towards sustainability in developing countries. Certification provides users of forest products with a statement of how the forest is managed relative to a benchmark standard, and provides a market advantage to products derived from certified defined forest areas. Certification relies on the use of broadly accepted standards, the use of independent auditors to verify and monitor compliance with the defined standards of forest management, and the use of product labelling systems to identify that the purchased timber product has been sourced from a sustainably managed forest and tracked through the supply chain to ensure it maintains an unbroken chain of custody. The Australian Forestry Standard is currently the only nationally developed forest management standard for native forest and plantations and is now widely applied by forest owners, State forest agencies and forest companies. The ESA has been closely associated with the revision of the Interim Standard since 2004 and has been asked to formally vote on the proposed revised criteria and requirements. This status report summarises the last three years’ activities by the Society on the Australian Forestry Standard Technical Reference Committee and describes the process for the ESA to engage in the ballot on the proposed revised Standard. The major ecological developments promoted during the review process by the Society include an expanded definition of significant biological diversity values, the cessation of broad scale land clearing for plantation conversion, an offset regime for small scale conversion and criteria for identifying altered or degraded land.
|Number of pages
|Bulletin of the Ecological Society of Australia
|Published - 2007