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AFPA says keep the RFAs

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) called on Government to maintain support for Regional Forest Agreements (RFA), which provide long term wood supply from sustainably managed forests. Source: Timberbiz

“The Regional Forest Agreements have been one of the great success stories of this nation. The reserve system established through the RFAs has delivered significant environmental benefits,” said chief executive officer Ross Hampton.

“They have formed the key plank in the delivery of a world leading sustainable forest management system that achieves substantial environmental outcomes while providing access to resource to meet the needs for the timber products industry.

“The RFAs have been developed and supported by generations of governments, environmentalists, scientists and industry leaders. They underpin why Australia is considered to have among the most environmentally sustainable timber industries anywhere in the world.

“Various reviews such as the Hawke review of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in 2009 have strongly endorsed the RFAs, while noting that there were some areas where there could be improvement.

“Subsequent Government reviews of the forest industry, including the recent House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry (Seeing the Wood through the trees) and the Pulp and Paper Industry Strategy Group also strongly support the continuation of the RFAs

“In areas of managed forests, the data clearly shows that through the sustainable forest management practices applied through the RFAs, the biodiversity objectives are being achieved. It is only where forests have been locked away in conservation areas that there is insufficient information to determine whether the environmental outcomes of the RFAs are being achieved,” said Hampton.