Significant biodiversity values and koala habitat at imminent threat of destruction by NSW Forestry Corporation under the current and outdated timber certification schemes
Bob Brown Foundation is today warning timber retailers and customers that timber from critical areas of koala habitat, old growth and rainforest is about to enter national and international timber markets. The Foundation is calling for a nationwide end to native forest logging.
A critical area of koala habitat would be protected if the proposal for the Great Koala National Park became reality.
“Citizen scientists have been monitoring these areas, and assisting local residents, but calls for consultation have fallen on deaf ears. FCNSW will begin clearing Tuckers Nob this week.
The area is inside the proposed Great Koala National Park, and is part of a ‘Forest Bridge’, linking koala habitat on the coasts, to the Great Dividing Range,” said Doro Babeck, NSW Campaign Organiser for the Bob Brown Foundation.
“Leaving these forests intact and connected is absolutely critical for the survival of koalas, particular now that private logging rules also have been changed to allow the increasing intensity of logging.”
“This will no doubt lead to even more clearing and therefore must mean that logging in the State’s Forests, which are publicly owned, should cease altogether. We ask the government to protect forests that are providing habitat for the endangered koala. We can’t continue to increase logging and expect their numbers to double. This is not going to happen.”
“Koalas need interconnected habitats to ensure the survival of the species, they can’t just be ‘locked’ in one area as they continuously move around, especially when young koalas find new habitat.
Notorious Forestry Corporation NSW is therefore responsible for threatening the loss of Koala habitat. Investigations by Citizen Scientists in the forests on the Mid North Coast in Tuckers Nob State Forest and throughout the North Coast have revealed that native forests, including threatened rainforest and koala habitat, will be clear-felled and replaced by plantations."
Conversion to plantations is not permitted under environmental labelling standards.
Research has revealed that despite being certified as 'sustainable' by both Responsible Wood Australia and the Forest Stewardship Council, FCNSW is logging native forest and calling it plantation timber. Areas investigated include Conglomerate, Orara East, Boambee, Tuckers Nob, and many other State Forests across the NSW north coast public plantation estate.
“Logging companies and certifiers are working together and converting native forests to plantations. Certifiers are guilty of ignoring these practises, done by Forestry Corporation NSW, so more timber enters the plantation estate and buyers are being misled thinking they are buying sustainable timber,” said BBF Foundation NSW campaigner Doro Babeck. “It is ‘greenwashing’ of the worst kind, and yet the certification schemes to which FCNSW is accredited seem powerless to do anything about it, despite logging occurring in koala habitat.”
Earlier this year allegations were made by researcher Dr Tim Cadman from Griffith University on behalf of stakeholders that NSW high conservation value forest areas inside hardwood plantations managed by FCNSW were at risk. Despite this, the Forestry Corporation will begin logging inside potential koala habitat and watercourses under both schemes.
“These remnant forests and creek areas are critical for the survival of threatened species, including the koala,” said Dr Cadman. “They are the key connections between the managed plantations and the adjacent natural forest. Without them, the biodiversity values meant to be protected under certification will be gone. There should be no logging of these remnant forests and watercourses.”