We all know that forests are wonderful places. They are a precious living resource that provides food, heat, energy, medicine, timber, paper and a variety of products; they promote biodiversity by giving habitats and shelter; they are an integral part of the water and carbon cycles; and they have a fundamental role in regulating the climate.
More than one in five people worldwide – an estimated two billion people – are believed to depend on forests and the services they provide for their livelihoods, yet forests are among the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems.
Forests are rich in species compared to other ecosystems, providing habitats for more than half of terrestrial species, including our own unique Australian fauna. They also provide water for many of our rivers, helping to secure the quality and purity of what we drink and use every day.
Culturally and historically, the intrinsic value of forests, and the spiritual and sacred use of forests, is of great importance to local communities and our cultural identity.
Forests are also of significant economic importance; the forest sector contributes more than AUD$580 billion to the global economy. In Australia, the forest and wood manufacturing industries generate more than AU$23.5 billion a year and employ an estimated 64,000 Australians*.
If forests are to continue to deliver the full range of benefits that people and nature are dependent on, they need to be conserved and managed responsibly.
Sustainability is at the core of this approach, which is a continuation of the unique, millennia long relationship which has shaped the Australian landscape and its inhabitants.
Source: Australian Dept. of Agriculture and Water Resources, 2017
Total forest area
Native forests available & suitable for commercial wood production
Area of commercial plantation forest
An enabler of sustainability
Certification is the tool to verify that a forest is sustainably managed and to connect the consumer with the sustainable origins of their products.
As well as providing assurance of sustainable practices, forest certification also acts as an enabler of sustainability. It empowers consumers and companies to choose sustainably-sourced products, thereby allowing us to reward responsible forest owners and creating an incentive for uncertified forest owners to obtain certification.
This means all of us interested in safeguarding forests – responsible businesses, public authorities, organisations and consumers alike – can use our purchasing power to support the sustainable management of Australia’s forests.
million hectares of forest
individual sites operating Chain of Custody systems