The public comment period ends 23 October 2020
'Sustainable' forestry endorsements are important to forest enterprises because it is now difficult to sell timber through normal retail channels unless it comes with some sort of environmental credential.
The committee that revised the old standard has no consumer representatives and only one retail representative (Bunnings). Yet these schemes depend upon the consumer, who assumes that endorsement guarantees at least minimal standards of environmental management. Nor did the committee have any representatives from conservation or ecological organisations (with the possible exception of the Environmental Farmers Network). The manager of the standard (Responsible Wood) retained 'an independent biodiversity expert' from Tasmania to fill this gap. She and EFN were the only committee members primarily interested in environment/biodiversity.
Why make a comment?
Notices and advertising about the public comment period is directed to industry groups. As such it may pass under the radar of consumer and environmental organisations. It is important for consumer and environmental organisations to review at least parts of the document and to demonstrate interest by making comment.
To comment you do not need to read the whole report - just pick a section and see if it makes sense, and is sufficient.
You can get these documents from the Responsible Wood