07 September, 2012

'Appalling logging' exposed: green groups

Leslie White
Weekly Times Now, 7 September 2012 

ENVIRONMENT groups have launched a website mocking one of Australia's logging certification schemes.

A website showing photos of logging operations certified by the Australian Forestry Standard was launched this week.

The groups say the AFS approves "the most appalling logging practices like we see in Indonesia and Malaysia" - they prefer the rival Forest Stewardship Certification.

The website http://australianforestrystandard.com/ carries the words "Australian Forestry Standard: Certifying Australian Forest Destruction since 2003".

"We have created a brand new poster series to showcase some of the best standard-setting work right across Australia," the website says.

"The Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) is endorsed by the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). PEFC has been condemned by environmental organisations across the world for endorsing the certification of forest operations that destroy biodiversity, revoke human and community rights, and fail to undertake adequate engagement with key stakeholders."

It displays pictures of logged areas being burned (which logging companies do to aid regeneration after clear-felling) at AFS approved sites; of clear-felled areas approved by the AFS and of logs apparently left in the forest after AFS coupes were felled.

AFS national secretary Richard Stanton declined to comment.

Reflex Copy paper has lost its FSC over its use of native forest timber supplied by Victorian Government logging company VicForests, but has AFS certification.

Auditors under AFS have never raised a breach against VicForests - an AFS board member - despite it being fined more than $200,000 by the Department of Sustainability and Environment for logging over allocation, losing a court case for planning to log threatened species habitat and being taken to court this year over alleged rainforest logging.

AFS also renewed its certification of Forestry Tasmania in July, to howls from environment groups.

No comments: