04 April 2014

Prevent Changes to World Heritage Decision

Tasmania's newest World Heritage protection ripped up and ancient forests re-opened for logging?
It’s unprecedented. No government has ever tried to overturn a decision of the World Heritage Committee for political reasons. But, right now Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Prime Minister Tony Abbott are asking the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to reject some of Tasmania’s old growth forests that were approved for the world’s highest protection less than a year ago.
Sign the petition to keep World Heritage Listing.

The government is trying to enable logging in protected old growth Tasmanian forests like the Upper Florentine, Styx and Weld Valleys. This would mean the end of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement – a peace deal brokered between conservationists and the timber industry after decades of conflict.

Some people say we have to choose between jobs and the environment. But we don't. Industry, timber workers and green groups signed this historic agreement, and an extension of the World Heritage boundary was a direct outcome. We all agreed. That was important. We sat in meetings working through negotiations on forest types, maps, a sustainable wood supply, and industry structural assistance – for over three years.

Greg Hunt would have Australians and the World Heritage Committee believe that much of the heritage area is already logged and not worth conserving. This isn't true! Less than 7 per cent of the 74,000 hectares, that they want to reject, has ever been logged, and an even smaller percentage of that has been clear-felled. This seven per cent was included in the World Heritage area because, once regenerated, it provides critical connections between logged and unlogged areas of habitat.

Will you tell the World Heritage Committee to stand by their decision?


Thanks for being part of this,
Paul Sinclair
Director of Environmental Campaigns
Australian Conservation Foundation


  1. Hi Diane, I came across a couple of quotations recently that say it better than I can:

    "Having to squeeze the last drop of utility out of the land has the same desperate finality as having to chop up the furniture to keep warm." - Aldo Leopold

    "Wilderness is an anchor to windward. Knowing it is there, we can also know that we are still a rich nation, tending our resources as we should — not a people in despair searching every last nook and cranny of our land for a board of lumber, a barrel of oil, a blade of grass, or a tank of water." - Senator Clinton P. Anderson U.S.A.

  2. I could not agree more, Keith. Thank you so much both for your response and for sharing these very thought-provoking comments on the subject. Perhaps, sometime in the future, people will understand that life is not just about money and shareholder profits; let's hope that, when the penny drops, it is not too late to save the planet.