The very issues that Markets For Change, the Bob Brown Foundation and the Tasmanian Conservation Trust documented and took FSC auditors to see in the field are those that have been identified as the key impediments to Forestry Tasmania achieving FSC certification, revealed today in a Government Business Enterprises Estimates Committee hearing in Hobart.
Forestry Tasmania has not gained FSC certification due to their ongoing clearfelling of old growth forests, logging of threatened species habitat including that of the Swift Parrot, and failing to identify high conservation values.
“Markets for Change, Bob Brown Foundation and Tasmanian Conservation Trust surveyed and documented the scientific and technical shortcomings of Forestry Tasmania’s logging when measured against the FSC standard for forest management and identified to the auditors the exact failings outlined to MPs by Managing Director Bob Annells,” said Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager of the Bob Brown Foundation.
“In Tasmania we have logging of habitat of critically endangered species Swift Parrot, endangered species Wedge Tailed Eagles, Tasmanian Masked Owl, and Tasmanian Devil as well as the rare and vulnerable Spotted-tail Quoll to name just a small number, and ongoing clearfelling of old growth forests and logging of rainforests. These are not the type of logging operations that deserve accreditation.”
“There is a choice, continue logging threatened species habitat or witness their extinction,” Ms Weber concluded.
“An FSC certificate should not be granted to Forestry Tasmania unless and until Forestry Tasmania meet the criteria, which they still do not,” CEO of Markets for Change Peg Putt said.
“It is a full year since FSC auditors came to Tasmania and quite rapidly told Forestry Tasmania of these major non-conformances, but much change is required and Forestry Tasmania is seeking to limit such changes by imposing limits on action they will take,” Ms Putt explained.
“They insist on prioritising maintenance of wood volumes over protecting threatened species and old growth so as to avoid reduction of logged volumes. This is not an acceptable approach for a modern, environmentally responsible company.”
“Telling the world that they will continue to inflict damage on old growth forests that conflicts with FSC requirements for another six months is not good news, its evidence that Forestry Tasmania is intending to wilfully continue the damage identified as unacceptable a year ago,” Ms Putt concluded.