VicForests is pursuing Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for the third time in decade. The internationally recognised certification label regards itself as having strict environmental standards.
Today we joined FSC's independent auditors from SCS Global to show them the impacts of logging on threatened wildlife and old growth forest that is non compliant to the FSC standards.
In September we launched the Lawless logging report that documented 27 cases of logging that breached legal protection for rare wildlife and rainforest.
The FSC standards require logging to be compliant with local laws and management and planning requirements, our Lawless logging report shows they are not, so we submitted an appendix to this report detailing how each case is relevant to the FSC standards.
Old growth logging continues in East Gippsland. Proceedings are currently underway in the Supreme Court, after it granted an injunction to stop logging in the ancient Kuark Forest. Conservation research group, the Flora and Fauna Research Collective (FFRC), is arguing that the Andrews government has not set aside the required amount of old-growth forest from logging.
The lawfulness of VicForests’ logging is continually being tested in court. There are systemic problems with VicForests complying with Victorian and Australian laws applicable to forests and logging
Protected rainforest areas are repeatedly logged by VicForests, in breach of Victorian laws. Several rainforest logging operations have been forced to a halt after public complaints were lodged. These high profile operations are under active investigation by forestry regulator Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
If VicForests cannot meet their state based obligations to protect rainforest, they cannot expect to be given the international green tick of approval.
Protecting wildlife is critical to getting FSC’s gold standard. Given the importance of the forests of the Central Highlands and East Gippsland as habitat for threatened animals—like the Greater Glider and large forest owls—we expect SCS Global to undertake independent assessments of threatened species likely to occur in VicForests logging zones.