CEFE Forest Policy

Across Australia and the globe CEFE recognises that a substantial areas of native forest ecosystems have been lost or are under threat or have become heavily depleted or degraded over time.

Forest protection and a wise balance of plantation sector and farm forestry, when appropriately managed, can play a crucial role that in the long term capture and sequestration of atmospheric carbon. This will have the beneficial effect of significantly drawing down carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Integral to climate change mitigation is the management of the hydrological cycle and water catchment conservation is thus an important aspect of reducing impacts of climate change. To this end, we support the conservation of diverse, natural or native ecosystems, especially OLD growth forests with mature soil types and structures that better retain moisture. Clear felling and monoculture forestry does not have the same water conservation capacity as mixed, natural ecosystems.

CEFE Recognises and supports the foundational and primary role Native forest and other natural ecosystems play in the Australian landscape for their ability to :
• store carbon,
• moderate climate,
• maintain and enhance biodiversity,
• maintain the water cycle and
• develop and maintain soils.

CEFE recognizes and supports the significance of the role mixed native species and exotic plantations can play in climate moderation. The development and expansion of these plantations can make a positive contribution to drawing down atmospheric carbon dioxide and provide opportunities for the long term storing of carbon. These plantations when managed for genuine sustainability should not detract from the functioning of the natural hydrological cycle and may provide for improved biodiversity outcomes in these landscapes however should not unnecessarily replace native forests or capture water otherwise dedicated for productive farming.

We recognize and support the job creation and economic opportunities afforded by existing plantation resources and similarly the creation and development of new plantations however these opportunities need to be carefully weighed by existing opportunities in the farming or agricultural sector including impacts on soil health, soil moisture and catchment management.

CEFE recognizes and supports the need for a socially responsible ‘Just Transition’ to a genuinely sustainable plantation based timber production industry, including smaller scale, sustainable farm forestry.

CEFE promotes and supports the conservation, protection, enhancement and rehabilitation, of Australia’s native forest and non – forest natural ecosystems.

We acknowledge the ability of a native forest ecosystem south east Australia to store at least four to six times more carbon per hectare than a logged native forest. Accordingly, in terms of a native forest ecosystem there is no such thing as ‘forest waste’, at every level in a forest ecosystem, everything as a function.

CEFE does not support the use of forests as a source of material for biomass and the downstream conversion of this biomass to produce energy. We believe, based on available research, that this is not the most advantageous use of this material, which provides greater value by sequestering carbon, maintaining the water cycle and supporting biodiversity functioning.

The use of genuine sawmill waste as an energy source to augment the energy requirements of a sawmill is supported.