Fifty years ago an amateur team from Australia made its World Cup debut against Chile, one of the oldest national teams in the South American federation. That first meeting ended in a nil-all draw. In 2014 they face off again in Brazil.
And our little green frog thinks the two countries remain well matched—not just in football.
Forestry Matchup: Too Close to Call
Pundits expect a close game between the two nations in Brazil, and the same is true in forestry. Forestlands cover 19.3 percent of Australia’s land area and 21.9 percent of Chile’s. Alhough Chile has performed better in the World Cup records than its counterpart, when it comes to forestlands Australia is the heavyweight, ranking in the top 10 countries for forest cover worldwide.
For more than a decade, the Rainforest Alliance has been working to bring responsible forest management practices to the forestry sectors in both nations. Promotion of the Forest Stewardship Council’s rigorous standards for environmental, social and economic sustainability has helped forest managers improve harvesting practices to reduce the risk of harm to the iconic koala in blue gum plantations and protect the pumas and condors that call the forests of Patagonia, in Chile, home.
The Beautiful Game
Patagonia in Chile’s southeast evokes images of spectacular mountain peaks and lush temperate forests. In the far northeast of Australia, the Daintree Rainforest is the largest area of continuous rainforest in Australia and literally grows to down to the edge of the sea.
While the Daintree enjoys a number of protections through state, national and even international protected area status, Patagonia remains a working landscape, albeit one that demands conservation.
The Rainforest Alliance has been working with a company in Southern Chile that has risen to the challenge of protecting the forests of Patagonia. Monte Alto achieved Forest Stewardship Council certification for the 59,000 hectares of forestland it owns and manages, as well as for its sawmill and drying and processing facility. In order to achieve FSC certification, the company had to meet strict criteria for environmental, social and economic sustainability—not a small task in an area as ecologically significant as Patagonia.
Whatever happens in Brazil today, our little green frog will continue to work for wins in forestry in these two different, but great, southern lands.