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Australia’s FSC Standard Released for Community Input

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Earlier this week, the Australian Broadcasting Corp., Sydney, Australia, reported that the second draft of the Australia Forest Stewardship Standard has been released. It covers high conservation value native forests across Australia and addresses scale, intensity, and risk for forest activities. Forest Stewardship Council Australia CEO Adam Beaumont was interviewed and said the draft also dealt with workers rights, Indigenous rights, assessing environmental impacts, and protection of waterways. 

"What is good and responsible management is codified at a general level globally," he said.

"But locally there are some differences in different forests, so our job is to set the local standard. For the past year we've been working with a group of the community which represents our three different chambers—economic interests, social interests, and environmental interests... And they've been developing the FSC local specifics for the Australian standard," Beaumont added.

He also told the network that almost one million hectares of Australian forests were already certified across Australia and that hundreds of millions of hectares globally were certified to meet FSC standards. More than 25,000 different products were FSC-certified. Beaumont said products included toilet paper, glasses, condoms, and bike tires, because forests produce rubber and other materials as much as they produced pulp and paper.

"A big part of the standard, it basically sets the ruler for independent auditors to go and measure up forest managers," he said.

"So what are the things the community really values and wants to protect? Not just the age structure like old growth, but Indigenous sites, and cultural heritage. High conservation values HCVs represent a broad range of things at a landscape level right down to individual species that are threatened or rare," he concluded.

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