Big environment groups undermine Tas. forest protection campaign

Still Wild Still Threatened released the statement below on September 25 in response to news that two environmental groups, The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation, had sent letters to customers of logging company Ta Ann urging them not to cut ties with the company.

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Still Wild Still Threatened is today raising concerns for the future of Tasmania’s forests, after the uncovering of secret letters sent from some environment groups to Ta Ann’s customers. The letters called on the customers to not make any decisions regarding their contracts with Ta Ann.

“The letters that were sent to Ta Ann’s customers undermine the campaign for forest protection, because they are calling on those customers to sit on the fence while the destruction of our ecosystems continues unabated,” said Miranda Gibson, spokesperson for Still Wild Still Threatened.

“The forest negotiations have to-date failed to deliver any conservation outcomes that were promised and as a result high conservation value forests are being lost daily in Tasmania. Ta Ann are continuing to receive wood sourced from this destruction.

“We have great fears that the forest negotiation process is being used as a way to green-wash Ta Ann’s role in forest destruction. The company continues to sell products that are sourced from the destruction of Tasmania’s world-class forests. In addition, Ta Ann continues to be associated with logging in Sarawak causing environmental destruction and the displacement of indigenous people. They need to be held accountable.

“From the upper canopy of the Observer Tree I have been in communication with people right around the world who want to see Ta Ann immediately cease accepting wood from high conservation value forests. It is evident that on a global level there is not a market for such destruction.

“As long as Ta Ann continues to accept such wood we will continue our international campaign to bring an end to the destruction of our globally significant forests.”


It seems strange that Still Wild Still Threatened in its statement didn't actually say who the environmental groups are. Because who they are, helps to understand why they are doing it.

Since The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation were brought into the tent with the peace deal, they have given up being effective campaigners to preserve Tasmania's forests. To green-wash companies like Ta Ann requires cooperation from green groups which TWS and ACF have been willing participants in. Their participation has gone beyond a mistake to them now being co-opted bodies.

Furthermore, I have nothing against appealing to customers to stop contracts but it can be problematic when it becomes a belief that markets are something that they aren't,. The statement says "It is evident that on a global level there is not a market for such destruction." This is self-evidently not true, that the market exists can be found in Ta Ann's existence and the worldwide market associated with old-growth logging. It seems best that the Government should be forced to regulate supply rather than appealing to markets whose main motivations is profit.

Tim Dobson

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