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Forestry

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th April 2006.

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Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Liberal Democrat, Lewes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the environmental record of the Australian Forest Standard; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Minister of State (Climate Change and Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 19 December 2005, Hansard, column 2394W, about the remit of the Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) and the Australian Forest Standard.

CPET checked the PEFC scheme in February 2006 to see how the endorsed national schemes were implementing the new requirements introduced by the PEFC Council in 2004 and 2005. CPET examined 14 national schemes, one of which was the Australian Forest Certification Scheme.

CPET did not assess the performance outcomes of the Australian Forest Standard. Instead the focus was on whether the PEFC system had been adopted at the national scheme level. The Government have decided to give further consideration to the PEFC scheme as part of a wider review of all the forest certification schemes assessed by CPET in 2004. This was announced in Defra News release 144/06 on 30 March 2006, see: http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2006/060330g.htm

Further details on the CPET assessments can be found on the website: http://www.proforest.net/cpet

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