FSC Aus­tralia in­vest­ing $1.3m to reach a con­sen­sus on for­est man­age­ment

Australian Forests and Timber - - CERTIFICATION -

FOR­EST STEW­ARD­SHIP Coun­cil Aus­tralia (FSC Aus­tralia) has taken a step closer to launch­ing an FSC Aus­tralia – For­est Stew­ard­ship Stan­dard by re­veal­ing a first draft of new guide­lines to mem­bers.

The For­est Stew­ard­ship Stan­dard is be­ing de­vel­oped by the Stan­dards Devel­op­ment Group (SDG)*, elected by FSC Aus­tralia’s mem­bers in Septem­ber last year. The group of nine rep­re­sen­ta­tives is tasked with com­ing to a con­sen­sus on be­half of the FSC’s mem­ber­ship about how Aus­tralian forests should be man­aged.

FSC Aus­tralia CEO, Natalie Reynolds, said this was a ma­jor mile­stone for Aus­tralia in re­spon­si­ble for­est man­age­ment. “There is no bet­ter way to come to con­sen­sus on highly con­tentious is­sues than to bring a group of peo­ple with dif­fer­ing views to­gether in a room un­der FSC’s In­ter­na­tional frame­work,” she said.

The SDG rep­re­sen­ta­tives have an even bal­ance of so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic back­grounds – in­clud­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the union move­ment, spe­cial­ists on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues and foresters. They will reach a con­sen­sus on more than 30 key for­est man­age­ment is­sues, in­clud­ing: • Work­ers’ rights and em­ploy­ment con­di­tions • Pro­tect­ing the in­ter­ests of and cre­at­ing ben­e­fits for

In­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties • Main­te­nance and con­ser­va­tion of ecosys­tems and en­vi­ron­men­tal val­ues where lands are sub­ject to har­vest­ing ac­tiv­i­ties • Wa­ter catch­ment man­age­ment prac­tices • The pro­tec­tion of rare, threat­ened and en­dan­gered

species. • En­hanc­ing the so­cial and eco­nomic well­be­ing of lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties All nine par­ties must agree on each and ev­ery is­sue be­fore the stan­dard is fi­nalised. A fi­nal ver­sion is ex­pected by the end of next year. FSC Aus­tralia needs to in­vest a bud­geted $1.3m over two years to take the FSC’s global stan­dards and cre­ate some­thing lo­cally rel­e­vant and lo­cally owned. At this stage more than half the money has been ob­tained or promised to make this pos­si­ble.

“Aus­tralia has a very spe­cific set of en­vi­ron­men­tal so­cial and eco­nomic cir­cum­stances to con­sider so it’s im­por­tant that we make the In­ter­na­tional stan­dard lo­cally ap­pro­pri­ate,” Natalie said.

The process is be­ing over­seen by In­de­pen­dent Chair, Dr Eve­lyne Meier who said the Stan­dards Devel­op­ment Group had worked tire­lessly on the first draft. “We’re look­ing for­ward to en­gag­ing with mem­bers to gather vi­tal feed­back and in­put as we progress to­wards a fi­nal con­sen­sus po­si­tion,” she said.

Stan­dards Devel­op­ment Group

In­de­pen­dent Chair­per­son - Dr Eve­lyne Meier has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in high-level pol­icy re­lated roles across govern­ment, the pri­vate sec­tor and a num­ber of multi-stake­holder ini­tia­tives. She is an ex­pe­ri­enced chair­per­son and direc­tor with a strong record of guid­ing pol­icy pro­cesses in nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment and stake­holder en­gage­ment.

So­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tives: • Ai­dan Flana­gan - In­sti­tute of Foresters Aus­tralia • Tim An­der­son - Re­gional For­rest Com­mu­ni­ties

(In­di­vid­ual Mem­ber) • Travis Wacey - Union Move­ment Mem­ber) En­vi­ron­men­tal rep­re­sen­ta­tives: • War­rick Jor­dan - The Wilder­ness So­ci­ety • Paul Winn - Hunter Com­mu­nity En­vi­ron­ment

Cen­tre • David Blair – For­est Ecol­o­gist (In­di­vid­ual Mem­ber)

Eco­nomic rep­re­sen­ta­tives: • Suzette Weed­ing - Forestry Tas­ma­nia • Amanda Nai­smith - New Forests As­set Man­age­ment • Peter Grist - Aus­tralian For­est Prod­ucts As­so­ci­a­tion

(In­di­vid­ual

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