Regulatory Impact Statement: National Approach to Firewood Collection and Use in Australia

Environment Australia, 2001

Strategy 2. Educate the Community

This strategy aims to educate collectors and consumers of firewood about the impacts of unsustainable firewood collection. Proposed Actions include:

  • Develop and promote general community education and awareness campaign materials on the impact of unsustainable firewood collection on biodiversity; and
  • Implement a targeted education campaign in States and Territories on the impacts of unsustainable firewood collection on biodiversity for firewood collectors, consumers and merchants.

A qualitative assessment of potential impacts of these actions on Governments, firewood collectors, merchants, and consumers and environmental values follows:

Action

Develop and promote general community education and awareness campaign materials on the impact of unsustainable firewood collection on biodiversity.

Impact on Government

  • State and Federal government will bear the cost of this campaign.

Impact on Collectors

  • Collectors may be put under pressure by merchants and consumers to collect firewood more sustainably. This may disadvantage particular collectors who harvest firewood from remnant woodlands.

Impact on Merchants

  • If the education campaign is successful Merchants will have to alter who and where they source firewood. This may entail costs through changes in supply but may also confer competitive advantage to merchants who can source wood from sustainable sources.

Impact on Consumers

  • Consumers will become aware of the problems associated with firewood harvest and should start to choose firewood on the criterion of eco-friendliness as well as cost and quality.

Impact on Environment

  • In the long-term this will probably be the most effective strategy for reducing pressure on firewood supplies and dead wood dependent species.

Action

Implement a targeted education campaign in States and Territories on the impacts of unsustainable firewood collection on biodiversity for private collectors; consumers; and firewood merchants.

Impact on Government

  • State and Federal government will bear the cost of this campaign.

Impact on Collectors

  • An education campaign targeted at collectors that respects the needs and sensitivities of the industry is more likely to be successful than a more general approach.

Impact on Merchants

  • As with collectors a targeted campaign is more likely to be successful at altering where they source their firewood.

Impact on Consumers

  • A targeted education campaign that focuses consumer on particular issues and particular actions will compound the benefit of the broad based community education program that introduces the public to the issue.

Impact on Environment

  • As for the broadscale community education program but the benefit to the environment may be more direct and short term.