Tasmania's World Heritage forests saved in unanimous decision by World Heritage Committee


The World Heritage Committee has unanimously rejected the Australian Government proposal to remove 74,000 ha of forests from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

It took less than 8 minutes for the Committee to dismiss the proposal, in a forum where lively debate often continues for hours.

After the two UNESCO expert scientific bodies, ICOMOS and IUCN, dismissed the proposal as "sparse" and a backward step, three countries spoke against proposal.  Portugal described the proposal as "feeble" and noted the opposition from the Australian Senate, environment groups and indigenous Tasmanians.

When the chair invited member states to speak in support of the Australian proposal, there was complete silence.

The proposal was unanimously rejected in a humiliating rebuke to the dishonest attempt by Prime Minister Abbott and Senators Abetz and Colbeck to mislead the World Heritage Committee.

You can watch video of the session here.  The 'debate' on the Tasmanian World Heritage Area is in Plenary 15 and starts at 2:27:00

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  • Felicity Bennett-Bremner
    commented 2014-06-24 13:53:30 +1000
    I danced in my living room (just a little bit) . But I did hoot and holler quite loudly. I wonder if Abbott’s tactic is to attempt to change things that are patently unchangeable knowing the attempt wont work, so he can say to the conservative voters, “Well, we tried. It’s not our fault it didn’t work”. What do you think?
  • Shirley Green
    commented 2014-06-24 13:41:12 +1000
    Congratulations. I am thrilled for Tasmania and Australia generally.
  • Jill McCulloch
    commented 2014-06-24 11:10:36 +1000
    A special moment in a long campaign by many, led by some focused, dedicated and unselfish people who always had their eye on the prize – the magnificent, irreplaceable wonder that is Tasmania’s ancient forests – a legacy for those who come after us and these forests in their actuality deserve a place in our crowded world.

    Jill McCulloch