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FORESTRY TASMANIA MUST COMPLY WITH IGA ON 430, 000 HECTARES
Verification Processes Should Be Completed Before Commercial Settlement is Made
Kim Booth MP
Greens Forestry spokesperson

The Tasmanian Greens today reiterated their calls for Forestry Tasmania to not receive its commercial settlement payment of $11.5 million until it has ceased all logging activity within the 430, 000 hectares of high conservation value forests identified in the Forests Intergovernmental Agreement for immediate reservation.

Greens Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said that either Forestry Tasmania exits the designated Informal Reserves area completely or the current verification process by two schedulers underway to assess Forestry’s claims that contractual obligations cannot be met outside this area should occur before the payment is made.

“The Forests IGA provides for the immediate placement into Informal Reserves of the identified 430, 000 hectares of high conservation value forests, but it is on the public record that Forestry Tasmania is continuing logging and roading activity within this area,” Mr Booth said.

“The Deed of Release between the Crown and Forestry Tasmania, which provides for the commercial settlement payment on the basis that the Gunns sawlog quota will be retired into conservation, requires the GBE to ‘further the requirements of the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement’ and makes specific reference to the need to comply with the IGA’s reserve provisions.”

“The Greens believe there is a clear case that this commercial settlement payment is withheld from Forestry Tasmania until all logging and roading activity inside the 430, 000 hectares has occurred.”

“The fact that the second verification process assessing Forestry’s claims that it needs to continue accessing this area, conducted by appointees Mr Owen Hoffman and Mr David Williams, is not expected to report to government until the 10th of October, further supports delaying the payment.”

“If Forestry is not in compliance with the IGA, and the assessment process checking whether they can and should be in compliance has not yet been completed, then the payment should not be handed over.”

Mr Booth also acknowledged the update provided by the Premier on the appointment of the six members comprising the Independent Expert Group which will assist Professor Jonathon West undertake the Independent Verification process: Dr Robert Smith, Mr Michael Lockwood, Professor Brendan Mackey, Professor Mark Burgman, Professor Ross Large.


Background:

• Section 3 of the Deed of Release between the Crown and Forestry Tasmania requires that in consideration of the payment to Forestry the GBE is required to “facilitate all that it reasonably can to further the requirements of the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement particularly but without limitation”;

• Clause 3 (d) subsection 2 requires the “creation of the required Informal Reserves pursuant to clauses 25 and 28, [of the IGA]”;

• Clause 3 (d) subsection 3 requires Forestry Tasmania, “not to supply wood or allow wood production within the High Conservation Value forest areas in accordance with the requirements of clause 26 [of the IGA]”.  This clause refers to sourcing supply from outside the 430, 000 hectares of Informal Reserves.

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Pic:Matt Newton’s award-nominated picture of a protest inside Forestry HQ: HERE

• ACF, WS, ET: Forest protection must follow appointment of verification team

The Australian Conservation Foundation, The Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania today welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s announcement of appointments to the Independent Expert Group that will verify proposed forest reserves and wood supply requirements.

“These appointments are an important step towards legislatively protecting ancient forests set out in the Tasmanian Forest Intergovernmental Agreement,” said Dr Phill Pullinger of Environment Tasmania.

The Independent Expert Group will assess: conservation values of native forests nominated for formal protection; wood supply requirements; availability of this supply from outside nominated protected areas; and modelling options for delivering both conservation and industry goals.

In line with the Intergovernmental Agreement, environment groups seek the urgent declaration of informal reserves and the signing of a Conservation Agreement over 430,000 hectares of nominated forests.

“Environmental signatories expect urgent rescheduling of current logging operations, the establishment of new informal reserves and for both governments to sign a conservation agreement to immediately protect the initial 430,000 hectares of unique and important native forests,” said Vica Bayley of the Wilderness Society.

“We look forward to seeing this groundbreaking agreement deliver its environmental outcomes and will support and contribute to the Independent Expert Group’s verification work,” said Denise Boyd of the Australian Conservation Foundation.
 
Dr Phill Pullinger, Environment Tasmania   Vica Bayley, The Wilderness Society Denise Boyd, Australian Conservation Foundation

• Meanwhile,

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Dear friends please disseminate and sign-on the letter!

On the World Day against Monoculture Tree Plantations, The No REDD Platform, a coalition of climate justice groups and Indigenous peoples organizations, seeks support for the letter attached.

With this letter we aim to alert communities, activists, civil society groups and social movements of the diversion of funding by the international donor community to dubious schemes to “Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and enhance forest carbon stocks”  (REDD+), which are being promoted within the framework of the United
Nations Climate Convention.

The groups charge that climate policy makers are working with a flawed definition of “forests” that includes monocultures, Genetically Engineered trees and agrofuel plantations.

The No REDD Platform asks your support by signing on to the letter below:

NOREDD_letter_21sept-english.pdf

In order to sign on, send your information to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

More information:http://noredd.makenoise.org/