The NSW Government has launched two new groundbreaking projects to encourage landholders and farmers to invest in sustainable timber production as part of their land management practices.
The Forest Stewardship Program and Farm Forestry Certification Pilot are the first of their kind in Australia and mark a new era in sustainably managed forestry on private land in NSW.
The two programs will increase the amount of environmentally sustainable wood available on the market to help deal with the current timber supply crisis.
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the Farm Forestry Certification program will mean landholders can have their forest management independently endorsed to support sale of their certified timber through more wholesalers.
“Sustainably supplied timber products are in high demand, so the ability for farmers to demonstrate their environmental credentials through third party certification is a big win for consumers and industry,” Mr Saunders said.
“This certification will increase consumer confidence, broaden market access and improve the price our state’s primary producers can demand for their timber.”
Mr Saunders added that the NSW Government is continuing a strong environmental focus on the farm forestry sector by also announcing a pilot Forest Stewardship program.
“We know that one of the biggest barriers associated with farm forestry for landholders is its complex regulatory environment,” Mr Saunders said.
“The Stewardship program will pair landholders with expert advice and financial incentives of up to $60,000 to help overcome these challenges and improve on-ground outcomes and sustainability.
“This program recognises that primary producers in NSW are some of our greatest environmental stewards, and by supporting them to improve the management of their forests, we can help ensure the benefits farm forestry provides will continue for generations to come.”
These programs form part of the NSW Government’s $28 million investment in the 2022-23 NSW Budget to bolster on-the-ground support for producers, drive innovation and promote best practice in sustainable farm forestry businesses.
The NSW Government also recently introduced new Farm Forestry Codes of Practice that will ensure long-term sustainability for the industry and provide robust environmental protections across the NSW private forestry estate.
New changes for landowners under the codes include:
- New harvest and operating standards that provide greater clarity and are easier for landholders to apply –including pest, weed and fire management;
- Updated planning and reporting with a clear role for Local Land Services to engage with farmers, and options for small scale harvesting; and
- Environmental protections that are clearer for landholders while ensuring long-term environmental sustainability in farm forests.
For more information about the Farm Forestry Certification and Farm Forestry Stewardship programs, visit https://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/help-and-advice/private-native-forestry/ecologically-sustainable-forest-management