15 March, 2011

Hold Lara accountable for every forest logged

Jenny Weber, Huon Valley Environment Centre.
Tasmanian Times, 16 March 2011.

15 March 2011 passes and there is not a moratorium;  sadly forests are still being lost ...  forests that are endangered species habitat, rural communities water catchments, ecosystems that are contiguous with the TWWHA, and the iconic tall eucalyptus and rainforests of Southern Tasmania.

To mark the passing of the deadline for the forests moratorium community members gathered at Hobart’s Executive Building. Still Wild Still Threatened and Huon Valley Environment Centre have launched a ten day campaign to pressure the State Government to place an immediate moratorium on all high conservation value forests.

We claim that the misleading announcement by Premier Lara Giddings last week suggests a moratorium is in place. Sadly forests that today could have been saved as national parks and world heritage areas are still falling. The State Government failed to take action over the past three months to implement a full and true moratorium, and now the promised protection of our forests is overdue. The failure to have a full forest moratorium in place amounts to a complete bungle by the State Government.

Join the ten day campaign to give a voice to these forests that have missed out on protection due to the failure of the State Government to protect all of Tasmania’s high conservation value forests.

Come along to the vigil at the Executive Building every weekday until Friday 25 March from 12 noon – 1 pm, 15 Murray st Hobart.

An online blog ‘Moratorium Now’ will be at http://www.nativeforest.net and will document the stories from around Tasmania to give a voice to the forests that are falling.

You can share your stories by emailing us your stories, and pictures about forests that are still falling around Tasmania that would have been saved had the moratorium been met. Submit a story or photograph of a forest in your part of Tasmania that is being logged.

Our plan is to collate these stories and produce a book to be delivered to Premier Lara Giddings at the end of the ten days.

Our presence outside Premier Lara Giddings office is to bring the voice for the forests to her and hold her accountable for every forest that falls as each day passes and a full moratorium is not in place.

Contact us to join the roster for the vigil, or submit your story or photograph from your corner of Tasmania.

huonenvironmentcentre@gmail.com or call the Huon Valley Environment Centre on 03 6264 1286 The State and Federal Government announced a moratorium and then failed to implement it. This worked well for the logging industry, as they were able to keep logging. It buys the industry more time. It will see more forest getting logged.

Huon Valley Environment Centre and Still Wild Still Threatened have been campaigning to highlight the ongoing loss of the high conservation value forests and we have aimed to raise awareness about the hypocrisy and the failure of actual implementation for a proposed moratorium.

Activists in the forests in the Derwent, Huon and Bass districts have witnessed new roads being built in to old growth forest, and large areas of forest logged over this three month period that could have been saved. New logging areas have been started since December. And as recently as the last fortnight, new logging areas started in many parts of the state.

Since February, HVEC and SWST have been conducting peaceful campaigns from the forests to the cities.  Forest actions have been held in the Esperance in the far south of Tasmania, the old growth forests of the Picton and Styx Valleys, the water catchment forests of the West Wellington and Tyenna regions, to the Counsel area, an area of diverse pristine forest in the west.

Since January six conservationists have been arrested since our campaign has been reignited around bringing attention to the ongoing logging of high conservation value forests.

Two people were arrested in the Picton Valley. One person was arrested on a log truck taking logs to the wharf in Hobart for export to China.

One person was arrested at Ta Ann after a community walk in. Two people were arrested hanging a banner off the Parliament House calling for a moratorium now.

The high conservation value forests still being logged deserve an immediate moratorium. The State government has lagged behind in this process, and the point we are at now is the point we should have been in December. Once again through this bureaucratic bungling the forests are again the loser.

This current process secures temporary protection for coupes that weren’t scheduled to be logged, and for the continuation of wood supply security. We are disappointed that the moratorium is not in place, and until it is we will continue to act in the best interest for the forests.

It’s a second rate result for forests. It is not good enough, and we will continue to highlight the plight of our precious forests and ancient ecosystems. Every endangered species habitat that is lost over this time is due to the failure to deliver a full moratorium on all high conservation value forests and refusal to extinguish wood supply quotas.

No comments: