WA’s peak community conservation and forest protection groups have forced an independent audit of the WA Forest Products Commission’s logging operations after uncovering evidence that the agency is failing to comply with the recently issued Forest Stewardship Council accreditation.
Continued logging of old growth forests and destruction of critical habitat for endangered wildlife place the FPC’s logging operations in breach of the standard according to a complaint lodged with the auditing body, Accredited Services International, by the WA Forest Alliance.
WA Forest Alliance convenor Jess Beckerling said, “Once clear-felled these ancient ecosystems can never be replaced. The FPC plans to clear-fell them again 100 years after the first logging, so the very old trees and the ecosystems they support will never return.
“The FPC has manipulated the definition of old growth forest in order to be able to log these areas.
“The auditor should never have allowed FPC’s self-policing system for the protection of old-growth. Recently uncovered evidence shows that expecting FPC to voluntarily protect forests from logging is not working and old growth forests are being destroyed.
CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said “As consumers, we all rely on having a credible certification process so we can select paper and timber products from responsible sources. The credibility of that certification goes out the window as soon as dodgy practices are allowed to get a green tick.
“It’s clear that the FPC has manipulated the certification scheme and misrepresented its forest logging methods. We are confident that the investigation will show that it was a mistake to award FSC certification for these practices.
“Not only does this certification trick consumers into thinking they are supporting a responsible industry, but it destroys the credibility of the certification process for all those operations that are doing the right thing,” said Mr Verstegen.
For more information visit http://waforestalliance.org/