VicForests aspires to shoddy eco-credentials

1 September 2005

The latest bundle of propaganda to come from VicForests, in mid-August, announced the new Sustainable Forest Management System Project for Forest Certification. Don't all those big words sound impressive? Sadly, it’s just another expensive publicity fraud.

Haven't the Government propagandists and spin-doctors realised yet that the word Sustainable is way past its use by date; that it has become the warning flag for another destructive plan? The government has forced the term sustainable into such unworthy uses, it has butchered it to such a degree, that it is now meaningless. VicForests' latest plan only helps to further 'uselify' the word.

The information blurb sent to stakeholders suggests that VicForests is in "pursuit of a new policy", grandly known as the "Australian Forestry Standard Certification". This will prove as much a deception as its "commitment" to the policy of "sustainability". Don't they realise everyone knows that the grander the name the trashier the plan.

Regular readers will know that AFS is a label that was invented by the logging industry to greenwash the devastating practices that come with every plank of hardwood timber.

The blurb contains all the managerial jargon that government is so good at. It deliberately churns out such phrases to confuse the issues, and turn a normal brain to scrambled custard and cabbage. It goes on ...

"To implement the policy, a sustainable forest management system (SFMS) is being developed that will address all the important aspects of the business and stakeholders concerns in continually improving the social, economic and environmental performance of the organisation". (Sounds remarkably similar to the bureaucratic lines written throughout the 700-page RFA that now underpins forest destruction across the region).

In normal language all this jargon means is - ' to get this bobby­dazzling enviro-Iabel, we'll talk at a few of you, print up some glossies, write media releases, make the public feel like they've been listened to, use the catchcry of jobs, pay lip-service to the environment and keep the bulldozers on full throttle.'

The creators of this new loggers­ own certification label hope that tree trunks will be sold to buyers like Mitsubishi and Nippon, making everyone feel warm and fuzzy about their certified destruction of the planet. Meanwhile the warm and fuzzy gliders of the forests are being dropped from 70 feet in the air, crushed into the mud or left to drag themselves off with broken limbs and intestines hanging out. Yep - business as usual behind a fraudulent green label.

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