‘Australian, New Zealand representatives meet to discuss Sustainable Forest Management standard’

Responsible Wood buoyed by response

‘Responsible forestry’ was the catch cry as Australian and New Zealand stakeholders attended the first meeting of the AS / NZS 4708 Sustainable Forest Management Standards Reference Committee on the Gold Coast, Australia.

With broad representation across both sides of the Tasman, the committee chaired by Mr Gordon Duff, has the ambitious target of developing a joint Australia and New Zealand Sustainable Forest Management standard (AS 4708).

The joint standard will provide common benchmarks for certified Australian and New Zealand forests.

Speaking out about the meeting Responsible Wood CEO, Simon Dorries, was buoyed by the committee’s enthusiasm; with a range of proposals put to working groups for consideration.

‘Meeting face to face the committee draws on a broad church of forest growers, community and environmental groups, the supply chain, academics and the trade union movement.’

‘Diversity in representation encourages variety in opinion, it is the strength of opinion that is important in achieving a consensus for the new standard.’

‘Ultimately the integrity of the standard, the Sustainable Forest Management standard, is prefixed on achieving agreement between the different stakeholders.’

Discussing the standard development process in detail, Simon Dorries, went to great lengths to stress that the new standard must meet PEFC social, economic and environmental benchmarks.

‘In order to maintain the PEFC international endorsement the new standard must meet a range of international benchmarks for practice.’

‘PEFC international endorsement is critical to ensure that the new standard has mutual recognition with various sustainable forest management standards across the globe,’ Mr Dorries said.

Now the challenge is to craft working proposals ahead of the next committee meeting scheduled for August 2019.

For more information about AS 4708 – Sustainable Forest Management or the Standards Development Process more generally please contact Responsible Wood.