Based on evidence of how the agreements have operated to date, EDO NSW does not support the proposed rollover of RFAs. Accordingly, in this submission on the proposed extension of the RFAs for a further 20 years, EDO NSW reiterates five issues with the performance and review of NSW RFAs to date:
- RFA reviews have not occurred in the required timeframes
- Poor community consultation
- Lack of third party civil enforcement and a culture of non-compliance
- Limited data on environmental indicators
- Need for transparent forestry governance and operational requirements.
The submission also raises four related issues that require further consultation:
- a draft of any RFA renewal
- review of the NSW Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (outstanding since 2014)
- review of the National Forest Policy Statement and principles that underpin the RFAs
- new and robust approaches to climate change in any future RFAs (noting that the 2015 Paris Agreement urges nations to take action to conserve and enhance carbon sinks and reservoirs, including forests).