Tasmania’s Legislative Assembly did not pass the legislation for the Tasmanian Forest Agreement last week, they decided instead to delay the legislation and put it to a committee for closer scrutiny. On the day following the Legislative Assembly’s refusal to rush through the bill, Miranda Gibson marked a historical milestone, she had been in the Observer Tree for twelve months.
Miranda has been at the top of a tree in the middle of Tasmania’s threatened forests, since December 14th 2011, after vowing not to come down until the forest is protected. Miranda has been a channel for information about the campaign to expose the logging of Tasmania’s ancient forests and urge Ta Ann’s Japanese customers to cease buying Tasmanian forest destruction. Via her blog and her solar powered information sessions with thousands of people around the globe, Miranda Gibson has raised awareness of the ongoing logging of world heritage value and endangered species habitat in Tasmania.
Miranda Gibson marked the milestone with a livestream event on the internet. Hundreds of people watched from towns and cities across Australia and around the world. Events were held in towns around the globe including Hobart, Brisbane, Melbourne, Katoomba, Alice Springs, Broome, Tokyo, Vancouver and many more.
Observer Tree also got some great media coverage, including live video-link ups on ABC TV National Breakfast show and Channel 7′s Sunrise. There was also coverage on BBC world news across the globe and the Huffington Post.
Miranda Gibson said, “I have been inspired by the huge amount of global support that I have received over this past year, and particularly today, the international community are calling for the protection of these globally significant forests.”
Miranda Gibson said, “Despite the signing of the recent forest agreement, there is still no certainty for the future of these forests. And I am committed to staying in this tree to watch over them until these verified national and world heritage value ecosystems are provided secure protection.”
Miranda Gibson, who has provided a unique and historical first for Australia’s forests, reflected on her year in a tree stating, “After an entire year in this tree I have come to know this forest in a unique way. It has been an incredible to wake up at the top of this tree every day and look out across this forest, to see it change through all four seasons. I have witnessed the birds and wildlife that rely on these trees for their survival.”
Entertainers, writers, environmentalists and politicians from around the world thanked Miranda Gibson, for standing up for the environment by sitting in a tree for one year.
Musicians Nick Cave, John Butler, Urthboy and Blue King Brown, Daryl Hannah, environmentalist Bob Brown, Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne, Independent Member of Parliament Andrew Wilkie, Peter Cundall, and Dr Peter McQuillan and US environmentalists, Derrick Jensen and Julia Butterfly Hill, Tasmanian Greens State MPs Nick McKim, Cassy O’Connor, Kim Booth, Paul O’Halloran and Tim Morris, thanked Miranda for her ground-breaking efforts in highlighting the plight of Tasmania’s globally significant forests.
Twenty-five Australian environment groups applauded Miranda’s record-breaking effort and made a media statement supporting the campaign for Tasmania’s forest protection.
Lauren Caulfield, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth said, “While Tasmania’s iconic forests, and forests around Australia continue to fall to the chainsaws and bulldozers, Miranda’s unprecedented effort for their protection and the biodiversity they support, is both inspirational and vital. We are facing an extinction crisis in Australia. Now, more than ever, we need to protect our unique native forests, which are home to threatened and endangered species.”
Peg Putt, CEO for Markets for Change said, “Miranda is a conduit of information from the ancient forests of Tasmania to people around the world, connecting via skype and her Observer Tree blog from the treetops to Tokyo, New York, and London. Never before in Australia have we seen one person maintaining a tree top vigil and blockade for anything like this long. In an extraordinary feat of determination and endurance, for 365 days Miranda has not left her 3.5 metre wide platform, 60 metres high in the canopy. Through blistering summer heat and smoke from nearby bushfires and then freezing winter snow this incredible young woman has persevered.”
In support of Miranda Gibson in the Observer Tree:’ Rainforest Information Centre, Friends of The Earth Australia, Markets for Change, Virginia Young and Jarrah Vercoe, WA Forest Alliance, Environment East Gippsland, Geco – Goongerah Environment Centre, Colong Foundation For Wilderness, South East Region Conservation Alliance, Chipstop, Bega Environment Network, ChipBusters, North East Forest Alliance, Forestmedia, Huon Valley Environment Centre Inc, Spirit of Bruny, Nature Photographers Tasmania, Groundswell, Florentine Protection Society Inc, Friends of the Tamar Valley, Save Bahrs Scrub Alliance , Gecko – Gold Coast and Hinterland Council, Logan and Albert Conservation Association, Friends of Durras, South East Forest Rescue.
Miranda has been vindicated in her decision to remain as a forest protector and beacon of hope, as logging continues in high conservation value forests in Tasmania.