Media Release: Australia’s native forests need urgent emergency conservation listing

Forest defenders are protesting today in the Wentworth Hills region of Tasmania to highlight the large-scale clearing that is still occurring in Tasmania’s native forests despite the vital role intact native forests play in mitigating climate change and slowing the rate of wildlife extinction.

Fourteen protesters are in an area currently being logged, one person is in a tree sit and two people attached to machines.

Bob Brown Foundation is calling on the Federal and State Governments to provide an emergency conservation listing to all native forests and stop their loss to logging, while forest defenders are conducting a forest saving protest in a remote region of Tasmania.

“Our Foundation is calling for an immediate, nationwide end to all native forest logging. Intact native forests store a considerable amount of carbon and continue to draw down carbon over time. Clearing of the native forests in Wentworth Hills and elsewhere in Tasmania is destroying habitat for rare and endangered species, at a time when there is a global extinction crisis,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

“The Wentworth Hills region in western Tasmania is the site of the state’s largest scale logging destruction. Shockingly more than 2770 hectares of extensive eucalyptus native forests are scheduled to be destroyed over the next two years in the Wentworth Hills area. On the Tasmanian Central Plateau and adjacent to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, this highland region at the headwaters of the Derwent River is having vast tracts of native forests, including old growth ecosystems completely destroyed,” Jenny Weber said.

“Wentworth Hill’s endangered species habitat for the Goshawk, Tasmanian Devil and Wedge-tailed Eagle habitat is being cut down for the notorious Borneo logging and palm oil giant, Ta Ann. This controversial timber supply is fuelling community unrest here in Tasmania and propping up a company that is responsible for destroying high conservation value tropical forests and implicated in the theft of indigenous lands and the dispossession of indigenous peoples in Sarawak, Malaysia,” Jenny Weber said.

“Logging is destroying rapidly vanishing ecological and carbon values that our planet cannot afford to lose. The destruction of these forests will turn this climate mitigating environment into a stand of fire prone matchsticks. An archaic practice that needs to be ruled out, especially since Australia is still recovering from a horror summer of bushfires. The planet is heating and removing 2770 hectares of extensive eucalyptus native forests from the landscape will contribute nothing of benefit to Tasmania other than continue to contribute to the planet heating and wildlife habitat destruction,” Jenny Weber said.

“Allowing logging to save jobs at the cost to climate and wildlife extinction is a failed economic model for Tasmania. It is a shocking disgrace that it continues at a cost to the environment, climate and our rare flora and fauna. We call on Premier Gutwein to provide immediate pathways out of native forest destruction into forest protection and climate emergency management for the people who are removing these vitally important ecosystems from the Tasmanian landscape,”

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