Australian Forest Certification Helps End 1080 Use

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21st June 2010, 10:51pm - Views: 791
Australian Forest Certification Helps End 1080 USE

Australian Forestry Standard Limited (AFSL) has congratulated leading Australian forestry company Gunns Limited on its decision to end the use of 1080 poison as part of its Tasmanian Forestry operations.

AFSL Chief Executive Officer Kayt Watts said, "Australian Forestry Standard Limited welcomes Gunn's decision to end the use of 1080 poison. This important step by Gunns is consistent with AFSL's Standard AS 4708 for forest management and will enhance Gunns' sustainable forest management."

In banning 1080, Gunns has taken a further step mandated by Australian Forestry Standard's key forest management standard which outlines the economic, social, environmental and cultural criteria for sustainable timber production.

In announcing that it will end the use of 1080 immediately, Gunns Chief Executive Officer Greg Lstrange said: "The decrease of our reliance upon chemical usage is an integral part of the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) certification and demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement."

He also said, "We actively encourage community engagement and will continue to consider the views of all stakeholders in determining our forest management policies. We hope that this decision is welcomed by the community."

Gunns decision to end its use of 1080 is evidence of the community and corporate benefits which flow when companies adopt policies which that seek to maximize their performance against Australian Forestry Standard criteria, Ms Watts said.

The Australian forestry standards ensure that companies with AFS certification meet the consumer demand and are recognised as socially responsible corporate citizens who support sustainable forest management.

The poison was previously used to prevent native and feral animals from destroying forest seedlings. To enable it to end the use of 1080, Gunns has developed stronger, hardier seedlings, developed new netting around the seedlings and new strategies for the types and timing of fertiliser they use to ensure a rapid growth of the seedlings, so they are more resistant to browsing animals.

Ms Watts said that AFSL expects that Gunns decision will encourage greater recognition in export timber markets and among domestic users of timber products that that AFS-certified forest product companies are making a positive contribution to the future of Australian native forests through their sustainable harvesting processes, for which the Australian Forest Certification Scheme provides independent certification.

The Australian Forest Certification Scheme provides the only Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and the only Chain of Custody (CoC) certification process that are Australian Standards.

For more information contact:
Kayt Watts, CEO Australian Forestry Standard Limited on (02) 6122-9000

SOURCE: Forestry Standard Limited
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