Conservationist reaches milestone of one year in a tree, defending Tasmania’s forests

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.

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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’s significant achievement was recorded with more stories printed in, Tasmania’s Mercury Newspaper, The Herald Sun , and in the academic journals The Conversation, and Global Research.

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.”

People from around the globe sent in their messages of support for Miranda and called for the protection of these world class forests. Check out this inspirational slideshow- on Flickr or Facebook.

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.

John Butler shows support for Miranda

John Butler shows support for Miranda

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.

Conservationists from GECO take action in solidarity with Miranda

Conservationists from GECO take action in solidarity with Miranda

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.

Check out Miranda’s blog: www.observertree.org

By TaAnn

TA ANN BRINGS IN THE BIG BOYS: UNCERTAINTY OVER TASMANIAN FORESTS AGREEMENT & EVEN MORE UNCERTAINTY OVER PROTECTION FOR FORESTS

Forget the claims that Tasmanian forests have been saved. Consider why the Managing Director of Ta Ann has rushed to Tasmania together with representatives from Japan.

There is no certainty that the Tasmanian Forest Agreement will proceed. Legislation to give force to the agreement is yet to be considered by the Upper House of the Tasmanian Parliament which has been recalled to consider the Bill next week.

Ta Ann is putting on pressure to try to secure the deal. Otherwise they will leave Tasmania. They have suddenly come up with the enticement of a new plywood plant in the north of the state – obviously trying to expand the geography of their possible presence to cover a few more electorates.  Maybe that will get them a few key votes?

The likelihood of such a factory actually eventuating is not high. About the same as the flitch mill to recover useable timber at the Triabunna woodchip mill – regularly promised when support was needed, but never built.

Tasmania’s Upper House has been very critical of the IGA process that came up with the forest agreement over the entire period of the negotiations. Since an agreement was reached, their public statements have indicated that they will either reject the legislation or substantially amend it – most probably to water down the environmental outcomes.

This is on top of the poor prospects under the existing agreement for getting industrial logging out of magnificent heritage value forests before they suffer the assault of an entire summer logging season, or more. There are no deadlines for actually stopping logging and getting some protection for the forests that it is said will be reserved.

It is unacceptable and misguided that eNGOs who are parties to the agreement have apparently agreed to go on an international trade mission backing Ta Ann if the legislation passes the Upper House – during a period in which Ta Ann product is likely to be coming out of proposed new reserves.

Why advocate to markets that they buy the product of destroying forests of World Heritage and national heritage value, instead of insisting on forest protection as a pre-requisite for support?  A lot of damage will be done to these places until the loggers are refused access.

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How Ta Ann could help save the proposed reserves

Here’s what we are asking Ta Ann to do so that their product will not come from ongoing destruction of key forests.

Ta Ann will be renegotiating their wood supply pursuant to the Tasmanian Forests Agreement if the legislation does pass the Parliament.

The means that Ta Ann has the opportunity to insist that their wood supply is sourced entirely from outside the proposed new reserves, commencing immediately.

We ask you to encourage Ta Ann to take this approach. Click HERE to take action now to send this message to Ta Ann’s corporate customers in Japan.

 

 

By TaAnn

Environmentalist Miranda Gibson speaks about the forest agreement

Miranda Gibson speaks from the Observer Tree, sharing her perspective on the key problems with the current Forest Agreement. Miranda has been at the top of the tree since December 14th 2011, after vowing not to get down until the forest is protected. With the forests still under her threat Miranda has renewed her committment to staying in the tree. Please watch and share this 3 minute video:

Click HERE to read a critique of the forest agreement prepared by Miranda Gibson of Still Wild Still Threatened and Jenny Weber of the Huon Valley Environment Center. We hope this will help to unpack some of the detail in the agreement and dispel some of the myths about what it will mean for our forests.

By TaAnn

Still in the market for change

In 1999 I had a life changing experience. I met the chief buyer for UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.

The company had made the awful mistake of proudly advertising that they had put fish genes into their home brand canned tomatoes.

The consumer backlash was extraordinary. Their customer feedback line melted down under thousands of calls. Within days the company announced that it would go totally GE free, no genetically engineered material whatsoever would be stocked. They set up an analytical unit to check whether suppliers were telling the truth about the contents of their product.

The power of the market to make change was clear. People care about the environmental and social impacts of what they buy and smart businesses respond. Suppliers must change with the times to meet market demand.

So to this momentous week in Tasmania. On Monday I took up the position of CEO with Markets For Change. On Thursday a forests agreement had been reached and enabling legislation was being rushed into Parliament.

We now face important and inevitable questions over where we stand and what we will do. To answer this, it is important to take the time to read and fully understand the deal as we have had no involvement in it. Then we will consider the origins and attributes of the products that will now end up in the markets. Our decision on this must be responsible, not rushed.

We do want Tasmania to move on.

Our perspective differs from that of many in Tasmania who focus on supply side issues whereas we campaign to address the demand side. Retailers can play a role in driving forest destruction, but equally they can be part of the solution. We talk with them about this.

Day one on the lawns of Parliament House saw more inflated claims than you’d find at a second hand car dealers conference. How much is resolution of deep-seated issues and how much is rhetoric? What will we recommend?

The short answer is that it is too early to know what Tasmania will end up with. We need to see what makes it through the Legislative Council for a start, because the fear is that they will water down the conservation gains or throw the whole thing out and leave us all in the trenches.

Next is the issue of the proposed reserves. When will logging stop in these precious places? It has continued inside the area all the time the talks were underway, prompting protests on the ground and our successful markets pressure in Japan and the UK.

There is no deadline to stop logging the agreed reserves. It remains business as usual. A labyrinthine process decrees that a Signatory Council be set up once the forest agreement legislation is finally enacted, a Durability Report then be produced by that council, and after that a Protection Order be put in place. A lengthy bureaucratic process will take months more to formalise reserves.

But the Protection Order and an accompanying Conservation Agreement will not stop all logging of the proposed reserves. We are in the hands of Forestry Tasmania. The agreement explicitly provides for ongoing logging of designated reserves so as not to inconvenience industry. The rogue agency that has exacerbated conflict by scheduling operations into the most contentious of places may continue to play this game.

Ta Ann’s peeler wood contracts are supposed to be renegotiated in the light of the agreement. This is a great opportunity for them to insist that they not be supplied with contentious wood. We hope they will.

The reason we appealed to customer companies overseas is that Ta Ann had been advertising plantation grown ‘eco’ wood when in fact it had originated from logging contentious native forests. Official reports on the scheduling of logging inside the moratorium area identified Ta Ann’s wood supply requirements as the driver.

These overseas companies await news that they are no longer being presented dead high conservation value forests. So, when will this logging stop? Will Ta Ann insist that it be immediate? If so, will Forestry Tasmania be compelled to oblige?

Only 395,000 hectares of the proposed reserves seems real. The Liberals won’t enact more reserves if they win government, which is likely, yet the agreement supposes that in 2015 an extra 108,000 hectares will be protected. Really?

How logging is conducted in the remaining native forests is a core issue for markets. The deal provides that instead of retiring the quota obtained from the sawlog buyback, the vast bulk is to be sold back into the system. This would unleash an intensification of logging.

A biodiversity upgrade to the Forest Practices Code has been sitting with the Minister for a couple of years and now is the opportunity to apply it to try for world’s best practice. Unbelievably, the agreement foreshadows a watering down of the code instead. That would look very bad to environmentally sensitive markets, if the government was silly enough to take that course.

Written by Peg Putt – published in The Mercury – 24/11/12

By TaAnn

NO CLARITY BUT ONGOING CONCERN OVER WHAT TODAY’S FORESTS DEAL REALLY MEANS

A Tasmanian forests agreement signed between some members of the conservation movement, the forestry industry and the forestry union today saw more inflated claims being made than you’d find at a second hand car dealers conference.

So what is the true picture?

As ever, the devil is in the detail, so environment groups active on the campaign to shift Ta Ann out of a high conservation value forests wood supply will take the time to get hold of the written agreement and maps and do a proper analysis before making a response.

New roading into wilderness in the Weld Valley, Southern Tasmania. November 2012

From her perch high in a tree inside forest in which she forced the cessation of logging, Miranda Gibson, spokesperson for Still Wild Still Threatened said:

“I have been at the top of this tree for almost a year now, awaiting the protection of these world class forests. It is still uncertain what this agreement will mean for the future of Tasmania’s forests, and I will wait to see and assess the agreement before making any decision regarding coming down out of the Observer Tree.”

Similarly, Jenny Weber, spokesperson for the Huon Valley Environment Centre said:

“We have not seen the agreement yet, and will comment once we have made an assessment. There is detail that needs to be scrutinised, including whether logging will continue in proposed reserves, restructure of Forestry Tasmania, and the future for Ta Ann. We will be looking to address issues of a transition of the industry out of native forests and change logging practices away from clearfelling, cable-logging and woodchipping.”

Markets for Change will wait to make a considered response, and not a kneejerk reaction.

By TaAnn

An echidna needs your help – honest!

Watch this short video of an echidna picking its way through fresh road-making operations in a forest, where a protest occurred yesterday. This area is proposed to be logged to supply Ta Ann Tasmania and end up in Japan. The echidna is a fascinating animal unique to Australia, but it is also distressing to see what is happening to its forest home.

We have updated the cyber action so you can tell Ta Ann’s customers the industrial scale assault on Tasmania’s magnificent forests looks set to continue indefinitely. The only way they are going to avoid the product of eco-destruction is to stop buying it.

The short video was filmed three days ago in a forest in the Weld Valley, where new road making operations are being conducted right now.  A 1km road is being pushed in to previously unlogged forests, where a large scale cable logging operation is proposed to source timber for Ta Ann from steep slopes.

Yesterday, conservationists from the Huon Valley Environment Centre conducted a protest at the site of this new logging road. Ten people walked into the forests and staged a peaceful vigil in these forests that are habitat for the endangered wedge tailed eagle, where unlogged native forest with species such as the Eucalyptus regnans will be logged along the banks of the Huon River.

These new logging operations are a stark indication that there is a need for a fundamental policy change in Tasmania. The ongoing clearfelling of native forests is not acceptable. There is an urgent need for a transformation of the forestry industry and its silvicultural practices to focus on climate, water and wildlife as primary imperatives, driving forest restoration and protection.

The native forest in the Lower Weld Valley is not included in the proposed 572 000ha for protection under the recently collapsed negotiations. Yet it is an intact unlogged tract of native forest which is a watershed for the Huon River. An active Wedge-Tailed Eagle nest is nearby, in line of sight of this new logging area.

This lower Weld region has suffered a clearfelling assault over the past ten years, after the rapacious logging industry pushed in major logging roads, and a bridge over the Weld River.  All the while, local conservationists have been lobbying for protection of these forests and conducted peaceful protests in every logging coupe in the region.

This region is a classic example of why a transition out native forests in Tasmania is required. Such areas of native forest are important for wildlife, watershed and carbon sinks. Not logging them also avoids massive emissions. A commitment is required to changing silvicultural techniques away from the integrated logging models based on clearfell logging and related techniques such as clump clearfelling (aggregated retention logging in forestry parlance), whilst a rapid, staged transition to using plantations is underway.

Throughout Australia the forestry industry has been undergoing fundamental structural change for decades, as the construction industry has moved substantially into softwoods and composites.  The move to plantation wood for virtually all wood products is around 80% complete and that percentage is expected to continue to increase.   Jobs have declined sharply with mechanization.

There is nothing governments can do to reverse these trends, and maintaining the native forest sector is costing tens of millions of dollars a year.

The Interim Agreement of August in Tasmania foreshadowed that negotiating parties in Tasmania want to further entrench ongoing logging of native forests, when that industry should be impelled to transition rapidly to plantations. Alarmingly entrenching native forest logging without changing the large scale clearfelling practices, provides for the forestry industry intention to intensify native forest logging for bioenergy, through burning forests, or producing wood pellets for domestic electricity production or export to feed overseas power stations. Another proposal is to make ethanol from our native forests. Claims that these schemes are climate friendly are nonsense when they are based on large scale forest destruction.

The absence of a transition to existing plantations also leaves Tasmania’s native forests open to destruction for the benefit of companies like Ta Ann.

This is not a time when Tasmania should be entrenching outmoded industrial logging practices. The market failure of the native forestry sector is strongly indicated by the collapse of markets for native forest woodchip exports. The native forestry industry has been ill-prepared for a change in demand and pricing in global markets, the industry relies on substantial, ongoing public subsidies to prop up native forest logging. They need to move on.

Right now a transformation of the current industry out of industrialised wilderness destruction into job creation through forest restoration and protection in natural forests allied with job creation in plantation management and processing is the direction to take.   This would be a very good news story and an enhancement of Tasmania’s image. 

We are calling for a categorical rejection of commercial scale bioenergy/biofuels based on native forest wood, or export of wood for such production overseas. A complete reform of the industry and a transition out of native forest harvesting is required; not short term ‘band aid’ solutions that prop up unprofitable, destructive logging.

Please take action so that you can join us in informing Ta Ann’s corporate customers of their important role. A future in Tasmania that allows Ta Ann continued access to wood from entrenched native forest destruction may not alleviate the concerns of the global market. Ta Ann needs to live up to their environmental claims and cease accepting controversial wood.  Ta Ann cannot be shielded by the forest negotiations, they must still be accountable to their international customers.

The Tasmanian forestry industry will only enjoy public support and commercial success once it has moved definitively away from the destruction of native forests.

We need your help to expose the truth in the forests and create momentum for change.

By TaAnn

Forest Negotiations Collapse – Tasmania’s forests need your help!

A Tasmanian devil needs your help!

It is now more important than ever for people around the world to expose the truth about Tasmanian forest destruction. On October 27th 2012 the long running Tasmanian forest negotiations collapsed. This two and a half year process has not seen even one hectare of forest securely protected yet $130 million of government money has been handed to the forestry industry.

Right now there is uncertainty about whether the talks will resume or not, although it seems unlikely.. However one thing has become clear, the forestry industry is unwilling to make the transition to environmental sustainability. Before the collapse of the talks, there was already evidence that native forest destruction would continue, foreshadowed in the Interim Agreement of August 2012. Click HERE to read an article detailing these concerns.

With or without an agreement, there is still no indication from Malaysian logging giant, Ta Ann, that they will cease accepting wood from scientifically verified national and world heritage value forests. Regardless of the outcome of forest negotiations, it is unacceptable for Ta Ann to use wood sourced from logging within the 563,000 hectares that have been independently recommended for protection. Equally unacceptable is that the company continues to sell the product as “eco-friendly” plywood.

Ta Ann told their corporate customers in Japan that their products use wood from managed regrowth and plantations. Yet, official documents have proven Ta Ann to be a key driver behind the ongoing destruction of high conservation value forests. We believe that the customer companies are concerned, but to maintain their environmental reputation they need to act. The must ensure that Ta An does not supply them with this tainted product.

We’ve updated our cyber action, so that you can join us in informing Ta Ann’s corporate customers of their important role now that there is no prospect of an acceptable forests ‘peace’ deal any time soon.. Ta Ann needs to live up to their environmental claims and cease accepting controversial wood. Ta Ann cannot be shielded by the forest negotiations, they must still accountable be to their international customers regardless of the outcome of the talks. But we need your help to expose the truth and create momentum for change.

Take action now: click HERE.

By TaAnn

Tasmania’s forests highlighted at ITTO meeting in Yokohama

A protest action highlighting the ongoing destruction of Tasmania’s magnificent forests was held at the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) conference in Yokohama yesterday, Monday 5thNovember.

The banner was unrolled during a panel session in which Chief Minister Taib of Sarawak was a participant. Our Japanese campaign collaborators, JATAN, left him in no doubt that Sarawak company Ta Ann’s reliance on wood sourced from destruction of high conservation value forests in Tasmania is unwelcome and unacceptable.

Taib was told that the practices of timber companies operating in Sarawak under his administration are condemned for their human rights and environmental abuses. Taib’s cousin Sepawi is Chairman of Ta Ann Holdings Berhad, and is also the head of Sarawak Energy Berhad which is displacing many indigenous people in a massive dam building spree that is being assisted by Hydro Tasmania.

ITTO is being asked by Japanese environmentalists to get tough with Sarawak and to further commit itself to protecting the tropical forests threatened by logging, plantation conversion, and dam construction.

The Japanese government, which is the largest single donor to the ITTO and the largest importer of plywood from Sarawak, is being asked to exercise responsibility by ensuring that the ITTO acts for forest protection.  Japan is also being asked to enact upgraded timber procurement policies to combat deforestation and forest degradation, such that only legal and sustainable timber may be imported. Currently Japan’s lax policies make the country a loophole for trade in illegal timber, whilst other developed countries have put in place strong measures.

Please take action now! Help stop the destruction of Tasmania’s magnificent forests by sending a cyber message to Ta Ann’s corporate customers in Japan HERE.

By TaAnn

Media Release: Green groups question Ta Ann’s push for environmental endorsement

Huon Valley Environment Centre and Still Wild Still Threatened are today calling on Ta Ann to immediately cease accepting wood from all high conservation value forests and make a rapid transition out of native forests. Our organisations are raising concerns about Ta Ann Tasmania’s push to have negotiations continue in order to secure a controversial green tick from environmental signatories for their products, without making a transition out of native forests. In addition we are bringing into question Forestry Tasmania’s overcomittment of Ta Ann’s contract, which has not be adequately resolved.

Huon Valley Environment Centre and Still Wild Still Threatened have today stated, “With or without an agreement, Ta Ann Tasmanian cannot continue business as usual in regards to sourcing wood from native forest destruction. Not only is it unacceptable in the global market, it is also no longer a practical reality for the industry. Even without any new reserves, Forestry Tasmania have massively over committed the resource and there will not be enough native forest to continue Ta Ann’s current contract. The agreement has failed to adequately address Forestry Tasmania’s mismanagement of our state forests in regards to over cutting and over commitment of supply.”

“Ta Ann Tasmania has damaged its own markets by delivering a product and a promotional strategy that have contradicted one another. A flawed environmental endorsement from the forest talks will not deliver market security. A product that meets high environmental standards is a solution Ta Ann is refusing to take,” Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber said.

“It comes as no surprise that Ta Ann would be pushing for signatories to get back to the table, as the agreement would deliver a controversial endorsement for its product from the negotiating environment groups, despite the prospect of an ongoing supply from high conservation value forests to Ta Ann,” Jenny Weber said.

“Ta Ann need to take responsibility for their own business and cannot hide behind the forest negotiations. If Ta Ann are concerned about their future they need to be making the necessary changes to transition out of native forests and provide a product that matches their “eco” claims” Still Wild Still Threatened’s Miranda Gibson said.

“Ta Ann have come under the scrutiny of conservationists as international controversy surrounds their “eco” products containing wood sourced from verified national and world heritage value Tasmanian forests. Recently nineteen international organisations and high profile environmental advocates, including four Sarawakian ngos, wrote a letter of concern about Ta Ann’s products to Japanese customers. These organisations and individuals have expressed support for protection of Tasmania’s unique forests” Jenny Weber said.

Cable logging in Russell Valley Photo: Jenny Weber

“Ta Ann cannot rely on an agreement to deliver them customer support, because the international expectations for sustainability require higher environmental standards than this deal looks set to deliver. The only real solution for Ta Ann is to move away from expecting the negotiators to save them from their own mis-marketing failure, and to be proactive in making a transition out of native forest destruction” said Miranda Gibson.

“Our organisations have been calling on Ta Ann to reveal the results of their plantation trials so the community can be clear about the prospects of a transition for the company away from a controversial wood supply. The message from markets is clear, they don’t want to be buying forest destruction,” Miranda Gibson said.

Take Action Now!

Click HERE to send a message to Ta Ann’s corporate customers.

By TaAnn

Media Release: Ta Ann eco-lies come under scrutiny in Tasmania

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A small team of conservationists from the Huon Valley Environment Centre are demonstrating at the Ta Ann head office on Davey St Hobart today. The conservationists will visit the head office with their campaign mascot Pinocchio, who is a symbol of the eco-lies that Ta Ann has spread in the global markets about the source of their product in Tasmania.

Photo by Matt Newton

“Our demonstration today is to prompt the company to insist that their timber source will not come the verified high conservation value forests, including from world heritage value forests and controversial native forest wood supply. The company has failed to inform the public about the results of their plantation trials in June were and what is the likelihood of a swift transition away from a controversial wood supply for the company,” Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber said.

“Ta Ann was going to receive a controversial environmental endorsement if the Forests Agreement had progressed, though it has not been clear if the company was still going to receive high conservation value forests for it’s timber supply. Through out the duration of the talks duration, Ta Ann has been identified as the major driver by independent reschedulers as to why logging was continuing inside the proposed reserve areas. World Heritage Value forests in the Picton, Esperance, Far South and Butlers Gorge have been logged for Ta Ann’s wood supply,” Jenny Weber said.

“Ta Ann needs to make their product match the promotional claims that the wood is eco-wood and plantation sourced. Despite the clearfelling of large swathes of native forests and the loss of old growth ecosystems for Ta Ann’s veneer supply, the product is inappropriately promoted in Japan as ‘eco-wood’, sourced from environmentally friendly sources, plantations and regrowth forests in Tasmania,” Jenny Weber.

“Regardless of the outcome of the talks, Ta Ann cannot turn their backs on the global market realities. International consumers rightfully expect a high level of social and environmental sustainability, as they have been promised. The decison rests on Ta Ann to bring thier practises into line if they wish to continue trading in that market”

Click HERE to take action.

By TaAnn