Declaration a sustainable way forward

3 November 2021

Australia is committed to halting and reversing the net loss of forests globally by 2030, according to an address by the Prime Minister to the Glasgow Forest and Land Use Event.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said that the declaration did not amount to a ban on native forestry, but quite the opposite. Australia's sustainable native forestry practices were consistent with the aspirations of the declaration.

“The declaration supports forest management that is both sustainable and has multiple outcomes, including timber production, and backs in the Morrison Government’s continued support for forestry in all of its forms,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“Sustainably harvested forest products will play a strong role in meeting our global climate challenges through the carbon they capture and store, and this is consistent with the Glasgow Declaration.

“Timber products used in building and infrastructure projects displace carbon intensive materials such as cement and steel, and actually store carbon over their time in use.

“Australia’s sustainable native forestry practices, where our native forests are regenerated after each harvest event, are consistent with the aspirations of the UN Global Forest Goals and Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

“Shutting down forestry, as the West Australian and Victorian Labor governments have done, will only lead to the importation of unsustainable timber to Australia.

“These decisions need to be based on common-sense and science, and the evidence suggests that sustainable forest management is the way to go. 

"Sustainable management practices – rather than the lock-it-up approach – ultimately lead to better carbon abatement outcomes over the long-term, according to the IPCC.

“Australia is already delivering on our commitment to reverse the net loss of forests and was one of three APEC economies to actually grow our forest area from 2007-2020.

“Initiatives in Australia, such as the forests projects supported under the Emissions Reduction Fund and our National Forest Industries Plan will help continue to grow forest extent in Australia to 2030 and reduce emissions.

“I am proud to be part of a government that has committed to sustainable, practical solutions to forestry management.”

The recent ‘Achieving the 2020 APEC Forest Cover Goal Report’ noted that Australia added 5 million hectares of new forests over the period from 2007-2020.