WWF-Australia has welcomed the New South Wales government’s decision to suspend the remapping of old growth forest.
It was feared the remapping plan was a first step towards opening up protected forest in the state’s north east to logging.
“Our wildlife needs forests as safe refuges more than ever after the unprecedented 2019/20 bushfires,” said Stuart Blanch, Senior Manager, Land Clearing and Restoration, WWF-Australia.
“Instead of remapping biodiverse carbon-rich forests to allow more trees be chopped down, the NSW government should transition the logging industry out of native forests and into plantation forestry.
“Any remaining native forest logging should only be permitted if it has been independently certified to be sustainable to the highest standards.
“Forests should not be chopped down to make up for a shortfall in wood supply contracts caused by protection of koala habitat in state forests.
“The economically rational solution is for the government to buy back wood supply contracts for coastal forests, fund new plantations, and transfer state forests to the National Parks system or Indigenous traditional owners.
“The NSW Government should follow the lead of the Victorian Government and fund the transition from deforestation to reforestation to create new jobs and industries in plantation forestry, and protect threatened species,” said Dr Blanch.
Globally, WWF works to end deforestation and forest degradation.
The decision by the NSW Natural Resources Commission is consistent with WWF-Australia’s campaign to save and grow two billion trees across Australia by 2030.