VicForests continues to get the balance right
VICFORESTS 2013 Sustainability Report shows the organisation’s ongoing commitment to biodiversity management, safety and sustainability.
“Sustainability drives our operations, from the complex processes used to determine long-term harvest levels, to the selection of trees to be retained during harvesting operations, through to re-growing our forests following harvesting,” said VicForests chief executive officer Robert Green.
“In 2012-13, VicForests submitted 5,726 ha of successfully regenerated forest to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries and during the year spent approximately $4.6 million on regrowing another 3400 hectares of harvested stands.
“The year also saw the announcement of the transition to lower harvest levels in Ash forests with the release of our annual Resource Outlook.
“The change ensures future harvesting will continue at a sustainable level and future timber sales will be based on the reduced volume.
“As a responsible forest manager, it is vital VicForests continues to balance the social, economic and environmental benefits provided by the 6% of native forest in Victoria which is available and suitable for timber production,” he said.
Green said that 2013 was in many ways a year of consolidation, following a number of years dealing with large scale bushfires and the impact of the Global Financial Crisis.
“During the year we were able to focus on how to make the business more sustainable, more profitable and more effective in delivering the outcomes the community expects.
“We finished the year with a net profit after tax of $802,000, our sustainable Forest Management System was recertified to the Australian Forestry Standard, and we refined our method for forecasting future resource availability.”
Green said the Sustainability Report also showed biodiversity management and an improved understanding of the landscape in which it operated was of great importance to VicForests. “We established a biodiversity monitoring project in the ash forests around Powelltown in the Central Highlands. This long-term monitoring project seeks to investigate how local fauna respond to timber harvesting across the highly managed forests of the Central Highlands.
“VicForests has also been an active member of the Leadbeater’s Possum Advisory Group. The group was formed to produce recommendations to Government on ways to ensure the survival of the Possum while maintaining a sustainable timber industry. “Effective engagement with the public remains a high priority for VicForests. “We are committed to building trust in our operations and giving stakeholders the opportunity to have input into our plans,” he said.
This was VicForests’ seventh Sustainability Report and the second prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s guidelines.
VicForests … a growing organisation!