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Forest Use & Management
Global Warming and timber
Hardwood & Embodied Energy
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Environmental Guide


Environment - apline ash


Forest Use & Management
Australia’s native forests are sustainably managed to protect and enhance the environment, to ensure the long term supply of timber products, and to provide on-going local employment through value added processing of the timber resource and import substitution.

The total area of Australian native forest is about 163 million hectares (or about 21% of the continent). The most common forest types are those dominated by Eucalyptus and related genera (80%). Today’s distribution of forests in Australia represents about 60 per cent of the cover which existed before the arrival of Europeans in 1788.

The total area of public forest in Australia is approximately 46million hectares. Only 25% percent of this area area is available for timber harvesting according to strict management controls with only 1% of the area harvested annually.

Protection for native forests is provided by Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) between Commonwealth and State governments, which establish a national reserve system (CAR Reserve System). These reserves safeguard biodiversity, old growth, wilderness and other natural and cultural values of forests. Forests outside these reserves are available for wood production, subject to codes of practice (such as Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals), that will ensure their long-term sustainability and contribute to the conservation of their natural and cultural values.

Best Practice Initiatives
Best practice in any industry involves constant improvement. The timber industry plans to certify best practice in forest management through the introduction of the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) and the adoption of green labelling for timber products.

Environmenta - NSW & ACT native forest estate: the facts