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Tasmania’s forests

Tasmania is home to some of the world’s most spectacular forests, many of which:

  • provide habitat for endangered species like the Tasmanian devil
  • are high conservation value ecosystems
  • are old growth
  • are of World Heritage significance
  • are home to some of the tallest hardwood trees in the world
  • are important water catchments for communities
  • are some of the most carbon dense forests in the world

Negotiations to resolve the conflict over Tasmania’s pristine natural forests are underway, but the very forests being discussed for reservation are still being logged.

This short film shows the cycle of forest destruction that takes place in Tasmania’s world-class forests every single day.

572,000 hectares of forest in Tasmania proposed for protection have been independently assessed by expert scientists. The majority of the proposed reserves “meet one or more National or World Heritage criteria” and “represent the last chance to address and protect many natural heritage values on forested public land”.[1]

It is unacceptable that the cycle of logging destruction continues in these forests and that a promised moratorium on logging has never been fully implemented.

Official reports clearly show that this ongoing forest destruction is being primarily driven by Ta Ann Tasmania.[2]

Left: Logging coupe BB021E, Weld Valley, southern Tasmania. This coupe is part of the core area of 430,000ha that was promised immediate protection / January 2012 / Paul Kimbell Right: Logging coupe PC024B, Picton Valley, southern Tasmania. This coupe is part of the core area of 430,000ha that was promised immediate protection / January 2012 / Laura Minnebo.

The wood that is sourced from this forest destruction is processed by companies including Ta Ann and exported overseas, ending up in places like Japan where it is manufactured into products such as Eco Message Flooring and Almighty Flooring by companies like Panasonic and Eidai. It is then onsold to the public by companies such as Sekisui House and Daiwa House.

For more info, download the  flyer: Busting the myths: the truth about what is happening to Tasmania’s forests.

Help save Tasmania’s amazing forests: contact Ta Ann’s Japanese customers now

Ta Ann and Tasmania

Ta Ann Tasmania’s wood requirements are driving the continued destruction of vital high conservation value forests. The supply of peeler billets to Ta Ann Tasmania is the major factor stopping forest protection, according to the official reports on the failure to reschedule logging operations. Forestry Tasmania is targeting areas rich in this wood supply, which equates to preferentially targeting high conservation value forests. Furthermore Ta Ann Tasmania received wood from areas containing old growth forest, as defined by the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA), on at least 35 occasions throughout 2009-2011.

The wood used by Ta Ann cannot be described as eco-friendly in any way.

Ta Ann has failed to ensure that their contract be supplied from outside the crucial forest areas, including such iconic areas as the Weld, Styx and Upper Florentine Valleys. Instead the source of their wood has been extensively misrepresented. Ta Ann’s wood supply has laughably been described as a plantation-based supply.

In Tasmania, where Ta Ann is at least forced to admit that their wood supply comes from native forests, they continue a misinformation campaign focused on the fact that they process wood of small dimensions. This material has often originated from high conservation value forests, which were destroyed to fulfill Ta Ann’s requirements, but they imply that the forests were all regrowth and of no conservation value when this is not the case.

Ta Ann has misled its customers in Japan and Europe by falsely promoting some of its Tasmanian products as ‘environmentally friendly’ plywood. Ta Ann, their partner SMKC, and their Japanese customers claim that these ‘eco-products’ are sourced from plantations and forests that have been replanted after logging. However, the reality is that Ta Ann is processing and selling timber products that are sourced from the logging of old growth forests, high conservation value forests, and forest with recognised World Heritage values in Tasmania.

This is the subject of regular community protest action.

Help save Tasmania’s amazing forests: contact Ta Ann’s Japanese customers now

Ta Ann’s customers

Japan is the biggest buyer of Ta Ann’s plywood products, making up more than 90% of the Ta Ann group’s plywood sales.[3]

A large proportion of Ta Ann’s European market has recently sent very clear signals regarding the company’s use of Tasmanian wood. International Plywood, a major UK importer of plywood from Ta Ann’s Tasmania operations has made it very clear to Markets for Change and the global media that they will not be purchasing any more timber from Ta Ann while the controversy around ongoing logging of Tasmania’s high conservation value and old growth forests continues.

However, Japanese companies continue to purchase wood sourced from Tasmania’s high conservation value forests.

Sumisho & Mitsuibussan Kenzai Co Ltd. (SMKC)

SMKC invested in Ta Ann Tasmania’s mills, taking up a 15% equity stake. Under the terms of agreement, SMKC will purchase the plywood products made from veneer produced in Tasmania and import them in to Japan. SMKC claim that they produce veneer from eucalypt plantations in Tasmania and supply environmentally friendly wood products. SMKC supplies the imported base material for flooring to the manufacturers, Eidai and Panasonic.

www.smkc.co.jp/eco/participation.html

Panasonic

Panasonic Electric Works Co. Ltd. (PEW), based in Osaka, Japan, manufactures flooring from Ta Ann’s plywood. PEW’s brand name for flooring products made from Tasmanian eucalypt is ‘Almighty Flooring’.  PEW has a corporate social responsibility target for 2018 that is to identify the impact of their products on biodiversity and contribute to conservation. Their timber procurement target is to promote the use of sustainably managed wood.

Eidai

Eidai Co. Ltd., based in Osaka, Japan, is primarily engaged in the manufacturing and sale of wooden building materials and facility equipment for housing. Ta Ann’s Tasmanian plywood product is manufactured and marketed by Eidai as ‘EcoMessage’ flooring.  Eidai advertising of EcoMessage flooring claims they are contributing to curbing environmental destruction over the globe by using Tasmanian timber. They claim that Tasmania’s forests are harvested under sustainable forest management.

Sekisui House

Sekisui House is an end-user of Ta Ann’s plywood flooring. Sekisui House is the largest home building company in Japan. Sekisui House are Japan’s leading property developer and largest builder of pre-fabricated sustainable housing. The company has a focus on green building and ecological sustainability in its corporate social responsibility.

Daiwa House

Daiwa House Industry Co. Ltd. is an end user of Ta Ann’s veneer. Japan’s second biggest home building company, Daiwa House has adopted wood procurement guidelines that they claim are aimed at conserving biodiversity.

Help save Tasmania’s amazing forests: contact Ta Ann’s Japanese customers now

Recommendations

Markets for Change, the Huon Valley Environment Centre, The Last Stand and Still Wild Still Threatened make the following recommendations to Japanese customers Panasonic, Daiwa House, Sekisui House and Eidai utilising Ta Ann’s product originating from Tasmania:

  • Cease to take wood supply originating from Ta Ann Tasmania whilst they source wood from high conservation value forests, whose values have now been confirmed by independent expert verification. This comprises an area of 572,000 hectares
  • Request a genuine plantation-only wood source for product from Tasmanian forests, achieved via a rapid transition out of natural forests
  • Require that Ta Ann and others in the supply chain correct claims regarding wood source and the ecological sustainability of Ta Ann’s product
  • Your procurement policies should give preference to plantation timber with full Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. PEFC certification is totally inadequate for Australian wood products as it does not prevent high conservation value forests from being logged and then entering the supply chain.

For more information, download these reports from the Huon Valley Environment Centre and Markets for Change

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