The department is involved in international efforts to foster the sustainable management of forests globally and combat illegal logging and associated trade. Our department aims to assist our forest industries through international engagement that benefits their interests, in turn supporting the prosperity of rural and regional Australia. Our engagement also addresses issues that are in the interests of Australia as a responsible global citizen, including supporting global efforts to reduce deforestation, promoting sustainable wood production and use, and protecting the global environment.
To achieve this, our department is engaged in several high-level initiatives and international fora that deal with issues relating to sustainable forest management, trade in illegally harvested products, certification, measurement and reporting, capacity building and market access.
International forests fora and bilateral cooperation
Through multilateral and bilateral engagement, our department influences international policy to ensure Australia’s national forest interests are represented. This includes international policy development around sustainable forest management and trade, setting technical reporting standards, supporting capacity development, advancing Australia’s trade and market access, and advocating for global action to combat illegal logging.
The department makes financial contributions from time to time to international forests initiatives that promote sustainable forest management. In 2022, Australia pledged $0.8 million in total to the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Trust Fund and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Forestry Division to help achieve these objectives, including:
- $122,819 to a proposed ITTO project to develop a timber and carbon information system in South Kalimantan, Indonesia to underpin sustainable forest management activities
- $147,442 to a Vietnam-based ITTO project to strengthen the management and conservation for endangered rosewood (Dalbergia)
- $179,737 to an ITTO project to improve orangutan protection and community forest use in Sarawak, Malaysia
- 200,000 to the UNFF Trust Fund to support the 2024 mid-term review of the International Arrangement on Forests and facilitate independent analysis
- $188,000 to the FAO Forestry Division to undertake a project aimed at enhancing private sector conservation and habitat protection activities in Borneo.
The department also supports international forest objectives through making regular core financial contributions to these organisations, and hosting events and workshops from time to time.
The Australian Government is strongly opposed to illegal logging and the trade of illegally sourced timber products. Illegal logging is a significant global issue. It degrades forest environments, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, reduces biodiversity, results in a loss of government revenue and deprives local communities of ownership rights and opportunities to improve their quality of life. Further details on Australia’s efforts to combat illegal logging can be found here.
Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use
The Australian Government further committed to halting and reversing the net loss of forest area globally through signing the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use in 2021.
This reaffirmed Australia’s existing commitments to the 2030 United Nations Global Forest Goals, as well as the 2030 United Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement as relevant to forests.
The Glasgow Declaration supports the practice of sustainable forest management, where forests are managed sustainably for multiple outcomes including timber production.
APEC Forest Cover Goal
Australia contributed strongly to the achievement the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2020 Forest Cover Goal, increasing our forest area by five million hectares from 2007-2020. This was the second largest increase recorded across the APEC region.