CONTEXT: In Australia, forested landscapes are likely to have been actively and adaptively managed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for over 60,000 years. The 1992 National Forest Policy Statement established the vision of achieving ecologically sustainable forest management of all of Australia’s forests: public and private native forests and plantations; which requires maintaining ecological processes and biodiversity within forests and optimising the benefits to the community from all forest uses within ecological constraints.
The United Nations Forest Instrument defines sustainable forest management as a dynamic and evolving concept that aims to maintain and enhance the economic, social and environmental values of all types of forests, for the benefit of present and future generations. This requires analysis of data on all forest uses and values to determine a balanced but sustainable management regime for forests. At the national level, Australia uses the international Montréal Process Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management to measure how well our forests are being managed. At the local level, production forest managers can demonstrate sustainable forest management through accreditation and regular audits under independent internationally recognised forest certification systems.
Likewise, the managers of protected and conserved forests can become certified under the IUCN Green List Standard thereby recognising that these areas are managed for people and nature in a fair and effective way.
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