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Responsible Wood Zooms into Trans-Tasman standard

Even in these challenging times it’s business as usual for the AS/NZS 4708 Standards Reference Committee as they work towards the Trans-Tasman Sustainable Forest Management Standard due out in the second half of 2020. Source: Timberbiz

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, video conferencing has emerged as an important platform for businesses and communities to connect and this is also the case for Responsible Wood as they zoom into the essential standards development work.

Australian and New Zealand representatives are Zoom meeting on a weekly basis, and with representatives from 26 nominating stakeholder bodies logging on to the conference call, the new format presents significant opportunities and challenges as the committee works towards a public comment release of the first joint Trans-Tasman Sustainable Forest Management Standard in the second half of 2020.

Reflecting on the work to date, Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries, is buoyed by the committee’s willingness to adapt to changing conditions and support each other.

“With so many different stakeholders ‘dialled into’ the conference, from far and wide, the risk of multiple conversations talking over each other is a potential challenge,” he said.

“And yet, the committee is practicing remarkable constraint and patience, discussion is robust, as members work towards meeting our ambitious deadlines.”

The new standard will be developed as a fully recognised joint Australia and New Zealand standard, will be audited for acceptance by PEFC International and will meet the rigorous system requirements of a fully-fledged JAS-ANZ accredited Sustainable Forest Management system.

“As an endorsed Australian and New Zealand Standard, it can be used for PEFC and/or Responsible Wood claims and to meet timber legality requirements for import and export,” Mr Dorries said.