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Forest Stewardship Certification

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Tags: Forests, Forest Stewardship Council, Threatened Species, Swift Parrot, Environment

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson

The long-awaited Forest Stewardship Council audit report on Forestry Tasmania reveals the GBE has a long way to go before it achieves FSC certification.

FT still has numerous major 'non-conformities' to address including its ongoing logging of old growth forests, its approach to managing rare, threatened and endangered species and its monitoring and assessment regime.

Forestry Tasmania will need to abandon its practice of clearfell, burn and sowing high conservation value and mature forests as well as get completely out of Swift Parrot and Masked Owl habitat if it's to secure FSC approval.

If Forests Minister, Peter Gutwein, is serious about FSC approval for Forestry Tasmania he will rule out any future logging in the nearly 400 000 hectares set aside under the Labor Green government, and he will bring legislation in to Parliament to get rid of the minimum legislated sawlog quota.

While FT may meet 91% of FSC indicators - many of which are clearly designed to target corruption and bad governance in poorly regulated countries - the GBE fails to meet 30% of the FSC principles and has minor non-compliances with 20% of the principles.

The road to sustainability and wider access to global markets through FSC certification remains long and winding for Forestry Tasmania.  The anti-green, anti-environment rhetoric spouted by the previous Forests' Minister and all the Liberals in government sure hasn't helped.

The GBE is paying the price for decades of environmental harm, capitulation to Gunns and other corporate interests and divisive politics.  This damage cannot be undone overnight and it will require a legislative fix on the part of the Hodgman Government.