Australian environmental group Markets for Change issues three-point checklist of concerns that need addressing before it will accept a Tasmanian forest peace deal

SYDNEY , July 13, 2012 (press release) – It is vital for forest negotiators and governments to bear in mind that any deal over the future of Tasmanian forests must be acceptable to the markets, and thus to ordinary consumers, Markets for Change reminded participants today.

“We are issuing a three point checklist of concerns in the market place to those discussing the future of Tasmania’s forests and forest industry, to ensure we don’t get a domestic deal that aims to settle local forest politics but fails to adequately deal with concerns in the market place, ” said Peg Putt on behalf of Markets for Change.

The 3 point checklist for peace in the marketplace comprises:

Securely protect the high conservation value forests;
Reduce logging volumes so they become sustainable and make a transition out of heavy reliance on native forests;
Apply the biodiversity upgrade to the Forest Practices Code and ensure the Code is fully applied to logging of forests that do not receive protection.

“Tasmanian forest products have struck market resistance because of unacceptable logging of outstanding places worthy of protection, so the creation of secure reserves recognising World Heritage and National Heritage values is vital.”

“Importantly, consumers also want sustainability to be guaranteed and this can be achieved through reduced logging volumes, a transition to plantations, and improved forest practices.”

Markets for Change is issuing a reminder that the manner in which logging is conducted in forests that remain open to logging will be important in the marketplace. A biodiversity upgrade to the Forest Practices Code in Tasmania has been awaiting adoption since 2010 and must be accepted and the code fully applied, without exception, for credible claims to acceptable practice to be made.

“We hope that securing forest protection and genuine ecological sustainability are both borne in the mind during the remaining scheduled hours of negotiations in order to ensure the long term viability of Tasmanian products in the international market place,” Ms Putt concluded.

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