ECOLOGICAL FOREST MANAGEMENT PROTECTS
NOT THREATENS FLORA AND FAUNA, SAYS IFA

LAND CLEARING SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY IN AUSTRALIA

Sustainable harvesting in Australia’s forests has a very small foot-print and sustainable forest management includes replanting as well as re-establishment of forests after a harvest operation.

PRESENTING hard-hitting facts, the Institute of Foresters says not one industry operation in Australia has been identified as the reason for extinctions of forest-dwelling flora or fauna.

IFA and Australian Forest Growers president and forest scientist Bob Gordon says the overwhelming reason for species extinction of fauna in Australia is feral animals such as cats and foxes.

“Other reasons include land-use change, invasive species and weeds, unsuitable fire regimes, disease and pathogens as well as mortality agents such as hunting and the collection of eggs and plants,” Mr Gordon said.

“Land clearing or land-use change is when forests are converted for example to urban development and agriculture,” he said.

“It is important that land clearing that converts forests to other land uses should not be confused with sustainable forestry – they are two very different activities.”

Mr Gordon said sustainable harvesting in Australia’s forests had a very small foot-print and sustainable forest management included replanting as well as re-establishment of forests after a harvest operation.

He said the forest sector worked very hard to achieve sustainable forest management … “and that’s why it was important to highlight that no forest operations in Australia have been identified as the reason for any extinctions of flora or fauna.”

In a reminder, Mr Gordon added: “Australia’s regional forest agreements are a legal agreement developed 20 years ago to conserve forest biodiversity and provide Australians with a sustainable and ethical timber supply. This is why we are calling for Australians to plant more trees, improve the management of invasive species and feral animals as well as adopt active forest management to respond to our changing climate and bushfire threat.”

Meanwhile, the Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries (ACSFI) highlights that during the pandemic forest products have played a crucial role in keeping people safe and healthy by providing personal protective equipment, and other supplies and services, including hygiene and sanitary products, biomass for heating, ethanol for sanitiser, respirator paper, and packaging for food and other parcels.

“In order to continue the uninterrupted supply of these products, the forest sector has been appropriately recognised in many parts of the world as an essential service,” said ACSFI, a statutory body that guides FAO on issues concerning the sustainable consumption and production of forest products.