Regional Forest Agreements were supposed to give certainty to both loggers and conservationists. But they haven’t. Pengo/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY
For almost two decades, the management of forests in parts of Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales has been underpinned by state and federal Regional Forest Agreements
(RFAs), defined as “20-year plans for the conservation and sustainable management of Australia’s native forests”.
The broad aim of RFAs is to “provide certainty for forest-based industries, forest-dependent communities and conservation”. RFAs are now up for renewal, and it would certainly be in industry advocates' interest for them to be simply “ticked off”, without the critical scrutiny that is clearly warranted.
The RFAs need to be fully reviewed, not just renewed, because they have had highly perverse outcomes – rather than helping to ease environmental problems, the agreements have actually worsened them in some cases.