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WA Gov’t should look at science for ending native forestry

Forestry Australia wants the Western Australian Government to release scientific evidence in justification of its decision to end native forest harvesting. Source: Timberbiz

Forestry Australia President Bob Gordon said the association was concerned the decision to end native harvesting by 2023 was not based on science demonstrated poor understanding of WA’s world-class forest management practices and would result in increased imports of wood products from countries with lower management standards.

“We are calling on the government to publish the scientific evidence that it used as a basis for the decision and its claim that halting native harvesting in WA will protect native forests,” Mr Gordon said.

“This thought-bubble policy is out of step with the rest of the world, which views well-regulated, sustainable native forest management and biodiverse plantings as the preferred source of timber, because of their positive contribution to climate change mitigation, biodiversity and forest resilience.

“Forestry should be viewed as a key part of the solution, not as a problem,” he said.

Mr Gordon said that sustainable and science-based forest management can help address many of the challenges of our modern world including addressing climate change, mitigating catastrophic fire, supporting biodiversity, supporting Traditional Owner self-determination and providing timber and other forest products, which are renewable and climate friendly resources that are in increasingly short supply and high demand.

“The decision by the Western Australian Government ignores these facts and will instead force WA to rely on timber imports from other countries, with associated high carbon miles and risks of illegal logging and unsustainable harvesting,” he said.

“At the time of the announcement to end native forest harvesting in WA, the Government claimed that, ‘the ever increasing impacts of climate change, the importance of maintaining biodiversity and forest health, the need for carbon capture and storage, and declining timber yields mean that it is essential that we act now to protect WA’s forests’.