Raw Material Bulletin: Sustainable Australian Sandalwood

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The Forest Products Commission manages commercial forest products on all public land and plantations across the state.

The Components

There are five important elements necessary to produce sandalwood and other oils in a way that is sustainable socially, environmentally and economically.

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1: The first element, and the oldest link in this chain, is the legal basis for ownership and control of natural plants and animals. Sandalwood was Western Australia’s first major export at the end of the 19th century and start of the 20th. Through the farsighted efforts of the state’s legislators, all sandalwood “pulling” and export was brought under the control of the Sandalwood Act of 1929. Further legislation in 1950 secured the protection of all plants and animals. In addition, Australia has a strong system of land tenure, i.e. enforcement of legal hold on lands. Together, these systems provide the foundation to control the commercial production of sandalwood and other products, and the security to invest in resource management for the future.

Other topics discussed: Management of the ecosystem where plants and trees grow, Continual innovation in the production process, Social sustainability, Looking ahead to the future, The presence of ethical and sustainable markets for the products


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