Many of our supporters who recently wrote to Planet Ark about its support of logging native forests http://environmentaledge.com.au/wood/ received a fairly patronizing response.
Planet Ark has been sucked in to the logging lobby groups’ spin and regurgitated this back at us. It was unfortunate they never asked for a briefing from green groups or forest campaigners, but simply swallowed the logging industry spin. Planet Ark claims that if HCV and old growth are protected the rest can be logged, if it’s done under some certification scheme. Well, actually, it can’t be. That’s been the whole issue for years! Here are some points they need to be made aware of if you want to email them or reply (please don’t just cut and paste but choose a few points and reword them).
1. The only truly certified wood will come from well managed plantations – these can be hardwood and softwood.
2. The protection of only HCV and old growth is inadequate. All forests are important particularly now we desperately need to protect our land carbon stocks.
3. Half of Australia’s forests have been destroyed since Europeans arrived and about 80% of what remains has been altered and degraded. Every native forest stand is now valuable with potential to be restored.
4. Logging and land clearing accounts for almost 20% of Australia’s total carbon emissions.
5. Hancocks FSC certification is highly controversial and being challenged now. The controlled wood certification of Australian Paper is also being reconsidered after the process was shown to have failings. There are currently concerns over FSC certification, globally, not just in Australia.
6. When a forest is logged there is about 3-5% of its total biomass which ends up as sawn timber. The rest is burnt or woodchipped and soon ends up as carbon pollution. This doesn’t take into account carbon lost from soil disturbance. The massive pulse of carbon released into the atmosphere can never be recaptured in a logging cycle, let alone the ecological complexity or biodiversity.
7. Plantations can supply most of our timber and paper needs – but we don’t need more established. Australia currently has a plantation glut and many are controversial.
8. Plantation wood now accounts for about 85% of all sawn timber and wood panels used in Australia.
9. The only way to sustainably manage forests is to remove all industrial logging and return their function to that of providing water, clean air and habitat, carbon sequestration and storage.
10. We agree that consumer education on environmentally-friendly timber is needed and we believe this can be done primarily by promoting plantation wood products, not the continued destruction of native forest.