2021 Environmental Guidelines
The Forestry South Africa (FSA) Environmental Guidelines are based on the statutory requirements applicable to sustainable forest management, with the guidelines providing best management practice recommendations that will minimise the impact of forest operations on the environment.
Over the last few years, there have been several important developments in South African legislation and international forest certification schemes. At the same time, the role of forests in a carbon economy has meant forest management has been gaining increased attention. The objective of the fourth edition – to provide updated guidelines on the management of plantation forestry that minimises the impact of forestry operations on the physical environment – remains the same as prevision editions. The updated version reflects changes in Alien and Invasive Species Regulations which came into effect on 1 March 2021. The update includes a new subchapter on the rehabilitation of harvested plantations that will not be replanted, emphasizing stabilising the soil as this is a resource that is central for sustainable forest management. New developments in climate change policy and regulations have resulted in revisions in the guideline’s chapter on Climate Change in South Africa. Also, the chapter on pesticide use has been updated to include Standard Operating Procedures available on the Timber Industry Pesticide Working Group (TIPWG) website. Finally, all environmental laws have been checked with all updates in the laws that underpin the advice provided by the guidelines incorporated.
The structure of the Guidelines remains consistent with previous versions. All chapters, except for legislation chapter two, start with a general description of the subject matter. This informs the reader of the most important issues relevant to that chapter. Next comes the statement of intent – the desired outcomes/objectives – describing what the forester should aim for to meet legal compliance. This is followed by measures to achieve the desired outcome, which describes one or more actions that can be taken to achieve the statement of intent viz. compliance. It should be noted that not all measures need to be in place, except for legal compliance.
The Environmental Guidelines is a substantial document and while we recommend that all FSA members familiarise themselves with it, we have developed an infographic to help members navigate the document. The infographic provides an outline for chapters three to 11, which link directly to the relevant section of the guidelines. It also provides page numbers for key concepts within each chapter.
Environmental Guidelines Forester's Versions
Click here, to download a printable version of Soil Conservation Unpaved Roads Infographic.