Forestry South Africa (FSA) has released the third version of its popular Environmental Management Guidelines for Commercial Forestry Plantations in South Africa. Unlike previous iterations, this version is in electronic format and can be found on the FSA website www.forestry.co.za.
The objective is to provide updated guidelines on the management of plantation forestry in order to minimise the impacts of operations on the physical environment.
The document is simply presented, with each chapter including a general description of the subject matter to inform the reader of the most important issues. This is followed by a statement of intent describing what a forester should aim for. It also highlights a number of measures that can be applied to achieve the desired outcome.
The guidelines are designed to reduce negative impacts through the application of the law, and best management practices that should result in:
- minimised impacts on stream flow through the removal of alien and invasive species from wetland buffer zones and adjoining rivers;
- reduced impacts on biodiversity through the retention or establishment of natural vegetation corridors between timber compartments; and
- reduced impacts on soil from harvested compartments and roads.
They also deal with conservation measures in unplanted areas, the use of fire to maintain biodiversity as well as the legal requirements for firebreaks. Other topics include integrated pest management, the best silvicultural and harvesting methods, road construction and management, non-timber products and the management of staff housing.
The legal requirements pertaining to all activities are included along with a brief discussion of forest and forest product certification.
For further information, please contact the Editorial Committee.
John Scotcher | ForestLore (Pty) Ltd | jscotcher [@] forestlore dot co dot za
Roger Godsmark | Forestry South Africa | forest [@] global dot co dot za