Australian Forestry Standard Goes Global

Australia's $18 billion forestry industry now boasts its own internationally recognized Australian Forestry Standard (AFS), a certification scheme that assures consumers that they are buying wood products from sustainably managed forests and plantations.

One tuned-in reader points out, however, that the AFS may be complicit in greenwashing the logging industry's destructive practices, as evident in its endorsement of Gunns Limited, an AFS-certified company that has been denounced for its illegal logging of old growth forests in Tasmania.

Backing this up is a 2004 World Wildlife Fund report that concludes that the only certification worth giving a hoot about is the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC), which "gives consumers clear assurances and is meaningful and trustworthy." The AFS is now recognized worldwide through its sanction by the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes.

Around 9 million hectares (22 million acres) of Australian forests are now AFS-certified through government forestry operations in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia, and Queensland.

A $200,000 government fund will be disbursed to help small forest growers attain AFS certification, according to Forestry and Conservation Minister Eric Abetz. ::The Age and ::Australian Forestry Standard

Tags: Australia | Greenwashing