Media Release: Tasmanian logging damned by FSC audit; certification should be doomed to failure. Immediate cessation of native forest logging is urgent

A coalition of environment groups has welcomed Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s (STT) disastrous FSC (Forestry Stewardship Certification) audit result because of its ongoing destruction of critically endangered Swift Parrot habitat and old growth forests.  

Bob Brown Foundation, The Wilderness Society, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, BirdLife Tasmania, Forestry Watch, The Tree Projects and XR Tasmania have called the audit report damning for Tasmania’s Government as STT continues to destroy Tasmania’s climate and wildlife storehouses.

“STT fails on many accounts including its ongoing removal of the critically endangered Swift Parrot’s habitat, failing to update their old growth mapping after fire, and continuing to log old growth forests.  The audit shows major deficiencies and proves old growth forests and threatened species are not safe under STT,”  Bob Brown Foundation’s Jenny Weber said.

“The audit stated the STT has improperly logged old growth under FSC rules. The Gutwein government must recognise that logging of old growth forests has no place in the 21st century,” The Wilderness Society Tasmania’s Campaign Manager Tom Allen said.

“The vague agreement between DPIPWE and STT that the government claims will protect 10,000ha of forest for the Swift Parrot was heavily criticized by the auditors as being insufficient to protect Swift Parrot and satisfy FSC requirements. To meet the requirements of FSC, the Gutwein government must develop a plan to protect all Swift Parrot habitats across the state,” Tom Allen said. 

“Tasmania’s government have had 15 years since the Wielangta case to transition out of Swift Parrot habitat. The fact is, they are unable and unwilling to transition out of those forests.  Time is up for the critically endangered Swift Parrots and immediate cessation of logging in Tasmania’s endangered species’ forests is urgent,” Jenny Weber said.

The groups point to a growing list of other endangered species dependent on native forests including the world’s largest freshwater crayfish (Astacopsis gouldi), the Tasmanian Devil, Masked Owl, Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle and Grey Goshawk.  Sus Timber Tasmania’s logging also adversely impacts these rare and endangered species’ habitats,”  BirdLife Tasmania’s Eric Woehler said.

“The audit results should be a wake-up call to the Gutwein government to permanently protect Tasmania’s unique native forests including the Future Potential Production Forests and all Swift Parrot habitat and old growth forests across the state.  There is enough wood available from existing plantations to meet our wood needs, without establishing any new plantations,” Jenny Weber said.

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