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Tasmanian forests being harvested sustainably: Green
05/07/2012 - Embattled Forestry Tasmania has been cleared of claims it has been over-harvesting native forests, the state government says. David Beniuk
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Deputy Premier Bryan Green says a process that has recertified the controversial government business for three more years under the Australian Forestry Standard proves it is harvesting sustainably.
An independent report produced by Professor Jonathan West as part of the state's forests peace negotiations had suggested native forests were being harvested at double the sustainable yield.
But Green says an investigation requested by an international certifier and headed by the University of Melbourne's Professor Ian Ferguson found that picture was incomplete.
"In my view, comments made by ... Professor West had been misunderstood," Green said.
"Professor West had not included plantations in his assessment of sustainable yield because he and the independent verification group had only been asked to look at native forests.
"The entire forest estate, including native forest and plantations, needed to be taken into account in assessing sustainable yield."
Tasmania's Greens said the endorsement of the international certifier, the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), was worth little.
"The PEFC accreditation system is commonly regarded as industry green-wash for bad forestry practices, and in that regard it suits Forestry Tasmania perfectly," spokesperson Kim Booth said.
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