The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has received several enquiries and correspondence over the last fortnight asking for the Montreal Process Working Group (MPWG) to call for certain Australian jurisdictions to ‘uphold’ sustainable forest management, or the criteria and indicators that underpin reporting on it.
The MPWG was formed to advance the development of internationally agreed criteria and indicators for the conservation and sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests. Jurisdictions may elect to use the criteria and indicators to report on sustainable forest management, such as undertaken through Australia’s State of the Forests Report.
The MPWG does not operate to assess performance of jurisdictions that have optionally elected to report using the criteria and indicators. This would be outside the scope of the MPWG that is articulated in its Terms of Reference.
During the decade to 2020, Australia recorded an increase in forested area of 4.4 million hectares – the second largest increase of any nation recorded in that period according the to the FAO Global Forest Resource Assessment.
Australia’s sustainable forest management practices, where our native forests are regenerated after each harvest event and vegetation is managed under strict controls, are consistent with the aspirations of the UN Global Forest Goals and Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
The Australian Government remains committed to transparent and consistent sustainable forest management criteria and indicator reporting, and will release a State of the Forests Synthesis Report in 2024, which will indicate that the forested area in Australia has continued to increase.