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Wed, Nov 23, Catamaran.Image HERE

Environment Tasmania, the state’s peak environment body, welcomed the Government hosted forest carbon forum today on the climate and economic benefits that would be delivered by protecting Tasmania’s native forests.

“We all know that Tasmania’s native forests clean our air, safeguard our water and are home to our unique animals and plants,” said Dr Phill Pullinger, Director of Environment Tasmania. 

“Research now tells us that these forests store more carbon than any other forests on earth[1] and that protecting forests is the quickest and cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“This means that protecting Tasmania’s dense carbon forests, will not only have conservation benefits but will also benefit the economy.”

“This important forum will provide information on how we can protect these carbon dense forests through the Inter-Governmental Agreement and be funded to manage new forest reserves in perpetuity.”

“Protecting Tasmania’s unique and important forests is a key pillar of the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement. It can be a great outcome that helps the climate, supports Tasmania’s economy and the clean and green image we need for all of our future” concluded Dr Pullinger.

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK
Senator for Tasmania
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Industry and Science
M E D I A R E L E A S E
30 November 2011

Forest deal sham continues in Triabunna tomorrow

The sham that is the Tasmanian forests agreement continues tomorrow with the latest so-called “community information session” in Triabunna.

The information sessions - co-organised by the Federal and State Governments – have given environment groups a platform but not offered the same to forest industry stakeholders.

“The flyer for these sessions says representatives from the Wilderness Society, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Environment Tasmania will be present, along with staff from a range of government departments, to answer questions and provide information” Senator Colbeck.

“Clearly the environment groups’ presence was pre-arranged, so why were the forest industry stakeholders not given the same courtesy?

“In fact, I’ve had feedback from several quarters that industry was not given any advance notice that the sessions were being organised and many only found out when the flyers began circulating - at short notice - in their communities.

“It is quite unbalanced for environment groups to be given the stage while industry stakeholders are left out in the cold.

“Federal and State Governments have mismanaged the intergovernmental agreement from the outset. This latest charade with the information sessions again raises questions about the integrity of the entire process.

“It is further evidence that Labor has handed over the fate of Tasmania’s forest industry to the Greens and anti-forestry environment groups, as we have already seen with the assessment taskforce where four of six members are linked to the Wilderness Society.

“It is just not good enough that the very people whose livelihoods are controlled by this deal are being sidelined while other interests decide the fate of Tasmania’s forest,” Senator Colbeck said.

And,

Can the real Labor wood waste policy please stand up?

Federal Labor must decide where it stands on the use of native wood waste as a renewable energy source.

“Labor sent utterly contradictory messages to industry last week,” Coalition Forestry spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck said.

“In the same week Labor MPs chaired and endorsed a parliamentary report recommending use of native wood waste as a qualifying renewable energy source, Labor tabled draft amendments to the Renewable Energy regulations that would rule out native forest residues,” Senator Colbeck said.

“Recommendation 15 of the House of Representatives’ parliamentary report Seeing the forest through the trees states:

The Committee recommends that, under any version of the RET (or similar scheme), bioenergy sourced from native forest biomass should continue to qualify as renewable energy, where it is a true waste product and it does not become a driver for the harvesting of native forests.

“Yet in the same parliamentary week, the Government tabled an exposure draft of amendments to the Renewable Energy regulations that would disqualify native forest residues as a renewable energy source.
“Labor’s contradictory actions make no sense - until you consider them in the context of the Gillard Labor Government’s string of dirty deals with the Australian Greens.

“Yet again Labor seems to be kowtowing to the Greens, who maintain their ignorance of forest science and oppose native wood waste use on misguided philosophical grounds.

“The Greens have told Julia Gillard they don’t like the use of native timber wood waste so the Prime Minister has decided to rule it out - at the expense of Australia’s energy and forestry industries, as well as good science and genuine carbon reduction” Senator Colbeck said.

Report: Seeing the Forest through the trees:
http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/arff/forestry/report/fullreport.pdf

Exposure draft: Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Regulations 2011
http://www.climatechange.gov.au/en/government/submissions/~/media/submissions/ret-draft-regulations/ret-draft-regulations-pdf.pdf

‘Green Governor’ caught ‘REDD’ handed destroying carbon rich Orangutan Habitat

Indonesias’ Green Governor is being taken to court in two separate legal cases after the approval of destruction of ‘protected’ forests in Sumatra.

Facing at least 13 various charges, The Governor of Aceh heads up a defendants list including Local Government Officials, planning agencies, and the company in question, PT Kalista Alam.

Tripa Peat Swamps, on the West Coast of Sumatra in Aceh Singkil, is the world’s largest single population of Sumatran Orangutan, and also habitat to the endangered Sumatran Tiger.

Action must be taken to ensure Legal mechanisms protecting Indonesian forest are used responsibly.

Please share this article with all concerned for the survival of Sumatran Orangutans and the so called “protected forests” of Indonesia.

Group accuses Aceh leader of peatland destruction
Nani Afrida, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 11/30/2011 8:12 AM
A | A | A |

An Acehnese civil society group says it has reported Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf to the National Police for issuing a business licence to a company to convert 1,605 hectares in Tripa Swamp, Aceh, into a palm oil plantation.

Koalisi Masyarakat Peduli Tripa (Community Coalition for Tripa Swamp) said it had also reported six other officials allegedly involved in the business license issuance, including the Nagan Raya regent and the heads of Aceh’s forestry and plantation agency, land agency (BPN) and integrated permit service agency (BP2T).

Tripa Swamp is part of the Leuser Ecosystem Area (KEL), located along the west coast of Aceh, which comprises vast swaths of peatlands rich in biodiversity, including the world’s largest orangutan population.

Irawandi imposed a moratorium on forest conversion in the area in 2007.

“The governor announced the forest moratorium in 2007, but he broke his promise by issuing the permit licence for the company,” Kamaruddin, the lawyer representing the coalition, said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The coalition’s document showed that the Aceh governor had issued a permit to the company on Aug. 25 of this year.

The company had first requested the permit from the Nagan Raya regent in 2007.

“The issuance of the license for the company to develop Tripa Swamp is a criminal violation of spatial planning. The government should protect the area for the people’s sake,” Sexio Yuni Noor, another lawyer, said.

Riswan, a spartial planning expert focusing on Aceh and North Sumatra, said that half of the total 60,000-hectare area of Tripa Swamp had been converted into palm oil plantations.

At least four companies have licenses to develop plantations in the swamp, Riswan said. The companies are PT Astra Agro Lestari, PT Gelora Sawit Makmur, PT Cemerlang Abadi and PT Patriot Guna Sakti.

The four companies attained official land use certificates (HGU) from the central government before the governor announced the moratorium.

Riswan said that the latest licence issued by Irwandi could further reduce the peatland, and disturb the environmental balance.

“The company has worked in the area even though they do not have HGUs. They have converted the peatland, burned the plants and created canals for the plantations. This has disturbed the orangutans and other animals there,” Riswan said.

Sexio said that the coalition demanded that the governor revoke the business licences and restore the Tripa Swamp to its original state.

The Aceh governor could not be reached for comment.

Tripa Swamp is well-known for being home to the world’s largest population of Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii).

More, Jakarta Post HERE