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FSC Fail Shows Need For Tasmanian Forestry Reform

 
Forestry Tasmania’s failure to pass its first Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) assessment clearly demonstrates the need to reform logging and conservation policy in Tasmania, the Wilderness Society said yesterday.
 
“Former Forests Minister Paul Harriss pursued a failed strategy of trying to achieve FSC’s world-leading certification while taking the axe to forest conservation and watering down protection for endangered species,” said
Wilderness Society Tasmania Campaign Manager, Vica Bayley.
 
“Now FSC’s rejection has shown that Forestry Tasmania needs major improvements to meet world’s best practice. New Forests Minister Peter Gutwein now has an opportunity to leave the adversarial approach behind,
build community support for forestry, and genuinely recognise the importance of conservation to buyers of Tasmanian timber.”
 
Wilderness Society National Forest Campaign Manager, Warrick Jordan, says, “The report by international auditor SCS has identified major problems, that the Wilderness Society has been raising for many years. Serious issues that need to be addressed include protection of old growth forests and hollow-bearing trees that provide habitat for species such as swift parrots and masked owls, well-resourced monitoring so we have strong evidence of the health of our forests and endangered species, and correctly identifying habitat for threatened species that should be considered high conservation value.
 
“The Tasmanian Government’s policy has clearly failed, and needs real attention if FSC is to be achieved. The Government’s approach to swift parrot protection is a shambles – with recent revelations that the
Commonwealth paid Tasmania $300,000 for a ‘strategic species plan’ for swift parrots that has never been delivered, and the announcement of an 'evidence-based study’ in November last year with no apparent progress.
 
“The challenge for Forestry Tasmania is to address these issues, in a transparent and scientific way, that provides real and substantial opportunities for feedback from the Tasmanian community.”
 
For further comment, contact:
Wilderness Society Tasmania Campaign Manager Vica Bayley on 0400 644 939
Wilderness Society Forest Campaign Manager Warrick Jordan on 0451 633 197
 
For more information, contact:
Wilderness Society media adviser Alex Tibbitts on 0416 420 168
 
comms team