Sustainable Forest Management Certification – Enabling sustainability of Australia’s forests

Sustainable Forest Management certification provides assurances that forests are conserved and managed responsibly to ensure they deliver social, environmental and economic benefits now and in the future – balancing people, planet and profit.

Sustainable Forest Management focuses on conserving the natural habitats of plants and animals and respecting the rights of forestry workers and local communities. Growing and harvesting timber sustainably provides valuable income and work opportunities whilst conserving the forest for future generations. This means that there is an ongoing incentive to manage the forest responsibly, with equal emphasis on the social, environmental and economic aspects. More and more forest owners are opting for certification to demonstrate responsible forest management practices.

The Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management defines sustainable forest management according to a set of nine criteria which are:

1. Systematic Management

Forest management shall be undertaken in a systematic manner appropriate to the nature and scale of the enterprise and provide for continual improvement.

2. Stakeholder Engagement

Forest management shall demonstrate proactive stakeholder engagement.

3. Biodiversity

Forest management shall maintain or enhance biodiversity.

4. Forest Productive Capacity

Forest management shall maintain the productive capacity of forests and land.

5. Forest Ecosystem Health

Forest management shall maintain forest ecosystem health and vitality.

6. Soil and Water Resources

Forest management shall protect soil and water resources

7. Forest Carbon

Forest management shall maintain or enhance forests’ contribution to the carbon cycle

8. Cultural Values

Forest management shall protect and maintain, for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, their natural, cultural, social, recreational, religious and spiritual heritage values.

9. Social and Economic Benefits

Forest management shall maintain and enhance long-term social and economic benefits.

Certified forest managers have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability. They have devoted substantial effort to  ensuring that their forest management meets the requirements of the Australian Standard® for Sustainable Forest Management, and they have been independently audited by an accredited certification body.