Government procurement of timber in Australia
Senator the Hon Eric Abetz, Australian Government Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation and the UK Minister for Biodiversity, Landscape and Rural Affairs, Barry Gardiner MP, agreed that Australia and the UK would co-operate in actions to tackle illegal logging and its associated trade.
The Australian Government assessed options to address trade in illegally produced timber products, with focus on the Asia-Pacific region. An Australian policy on the importation of illegally harvested timber was released in 2007.
On 29 March 2007 the Australian Government launched the $200 million Global Initiative on Forests and Climate to advance the global effort to tackle climate change and protect the world's forests
(see here for recent initiatives ).
The Australian Government Department of the Environment and Water Resources developed Environmental Purchasing Guidelines as part of its Greening of Government Policy. Specific guidelines on some products have also been developed to help government assess the relevant energy and environmental issues through “whole-of-life” analysis. Forest products are included in some of the guidelines.
These guidelines include the Environmental purchasing checklist for paper and cardboard, and the Ecologically Sustainable Development Design Guide for Australian Government buildings. Both encourage the use of locally produced recycled materials or where these are not available, sustainably produced materials. Products considered sustainable include those originating from a certified source e.g. the Australian Forestry Standard (see http://www.forestrystandard.org.au) or Forest Stewardship Council or alternatively from a Regional Forest Agreement area in Australia (see http://www.daffa.gov.au/rfa ).
Environmental purchasing guidelines: http://www.environment.gov.au/settlements/publications/government/purchasing/purchasing-guide/pubs/purchasing-guide.pdf
Mr Neil Hughes
Manager, International Forest Policy, Forest Industries Branch
Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Telephone: +61 2 6272 4213
Fax: +61 2 6272 4875
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information on existing national timber procurement policies, we recommend checking with the national procurement policy contacts for the most up to date information.