State and commonwealth ministers were lured in to launch a new “Australian Forestry Standard” (AFS) rubber stamp last October. The stamp certifies plundered native forest products. The tick of approval tries to reassure buyers that their timber is environmentally ticketty – boo.
No logging operation anywhere will have to change its plunderous ways to get this tick either. It will approve logging old growth forests and rainforests, endangered species habitat, logging that causes soil erosion, stream turbidity and weed invasion.
Hopefully concerned buyers won’t be conned. The international markets are already wanting genuine certification/labelling schemes such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
And in Victoria we have “ECOSELECT”
At about the same time as the AFS had a launch, the Victorian Timber Promotion Council launched its own version called EcoSelect.
According to the ads, a cello player sings the forest to sleep at night, and in the morning the loggers pat the trees before they hack them off at ground level. They say this self-accredited timber must be harvested in accordance with a gazillion government regulations and Acts. Now that’s a reassuring claim!