SEFR Press Release 8/2/11South East Forest Rescue have joined with the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) in requesting that the bodies who certify timber sourced from public lands in Upper North East NSW (north from near Coffs Harbour) and the south coast as coming from ecologically sustainable and legal sources, to immediately withdraw their accreditation of Forests NSW. NEFA has today released the report ‘Audit of Compliance of Forestry Operations in the Upper North East NSW Forest Agreement Region’.
NEFA and SEFR audits of logging operations over the past year have revealed frequent and systematic breaches of legal conditions governing logging.
“The NEFA Report so closely mirrors our findings in the Southern and Eden regions we would have to draw the conclusion that these breaches of licence conditions and regulations is systemic across the whole public native forest logging industry in NSW,” said Lisa Stone, spokesperson for South East Forest Rescue.
“Whether it is old growth, rainforest, endangered ecosystems, threatened fauna habitat or stream banks, we have found that they are being illegally logged,” said Dailan Pugh, commenting on the NEFA report released today.
In the report NEFA has identified grossly unsustainable logging rates, non-compliance with 11 conditions of the north-east Regional Forest Agreement and multiple non-conformities with 17 specific criteria of the Australian Forestry Standards.
The Environmental Defenders Office, on NEFA’s behalf, is writing to the company NCS International who accredited Forests NSW’s operations and the government-appointed accreditation body JAS-ANZ (Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand), asking for them to immediately suspend Forests NSW’s accreditation under the Australian Forestry Standards for timber sourced from upper north-east NSW.
The conservationists state that timber is being sourced from illegally-logged Endangered Ecological Communities, illegally-logged rainforest, illegally-logged oldgrowth forest, inadequately reserved forest
ecosystems, illegally-logged feed trees necessary for the survival of threatened fauna species, illegally-logged hollow-bearing trees (hundreds or thousands of years old) required to be retained as nest, roost or den sites for threatened species, illegally-logged trees from exclusion zones implemented around streams and wetlands to protect water quality, and from sick forests in urgent need of rehabilitation due to Bell Miner Associated Dieback.
“Given that the State Government is unwilling to fix up the appalling mismanagement of public forests, we expect that the accreditation agencies will take the urgent action required to remove Forests NSW’s
accreditation, and ensure they fully comply with minimal environmental standards before they are accredited again,” Mr Pugh said.
“Further given that the rate of native forest logging on the south coast has exceeded levels which can be permanently sustained, and current commercial rotation lengths have been severely shortened Forests NSW will not meet the requirements of FSC certification either,” said Ms Stone. “This combined with the amount of breaches that are occurring and Forests NSW appalling record on compliance here on the south coast highlights the need for all native forest operations on public land to be halted immediately and a fully independent scientific inquiry to be undertaken to ascertain whether native forestry can be recommenced on an ecologically sustainable and legal basis.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Lisa Stone 0428640271
Dailan Pugh 66 807063
The report is available for download at:
South East Forest Rescue
'Stoppin the Choppin'
PO Box 899 MORUYA NSW 2537