Review of Forest Management Standard (AS4708)
The Australian Forestry Standard (AS4708) is currently being reviewed consistent with Standards Australia requirements. The review is being undertaken by a Standards Reference Committee made up of people with a broad range of interests and expertise in forest management.
The Committee released a revised draft standard for public comment in March 2012 and the comment period closed in May. Approximately 30 detailed submissions were received from stakeholders. The majority of the submissions were broadly supportive of the content of the revised draft Standard but they included more than 500 specific, individual comments or suggestions about how particular clauses in the draft could be further improved.
The Committee met in late June to consider the submissions and is undertaking further redrafting before releasing a refined draft for a second comment period. It is anticipated that a draft Guideline for the Certification of Forest to AS4708 will accompany the next draft of the Standard. While the Guideline will not be the subject of the consultation process, it is hoped it will assist stakeholders by providing further detail on the interpretation and implementation of the Standard.