Media Release: Call to Protect High Conservation Value Forests for Carbon Value and Income

In the face of obvious provocation from the Tasmanian government, who today foreshadowed the content of legislation to open forests to privatised logging that were previously designated for protection due to their high conservation values, Markets For Change called for serious consideration of protecting those forests securely for the important contribution they can make in tackling climate change, in addition to important biodiversity, wilderness, old growth, and landscape values.

“There is money in not logging these important forests if government is smart enough to switch from loss making commodity production to profitable carbon credit selling,” said CEO of Markets For Change, Peg Putt. “That’s a win-win solution for the 21st Century.”

“Tasmania’s official greenhouse gas inventory shows that Tasmania’s emissions went into freefall when logging dramatically decreased following the collapse of Gunns, the dominant woodchip exporter.” 

“We achieved a remarkable reduction in emissions that the government itself noted was due to the changed management of forests – an initial decline in harvest volumes and a consequent increase in biomass sequestration, that is, growing trees and other species in the ecosystem.”

“Not only is the Forest Minister’s claim that bringing in the chainsaws will not affect Tasmania’s FSC bid likely wide of the mark, but other assurances are hollow too.”

“Logging and burning in these forests is to be privatized under the government plan, and that may also extend to road construction.”

“Loggers merely being required to apply for any form of forest certification is ineffectual, as an application does not mean an approval, and if achieved a certification under the Australian Forestry Standard is poorly regarded by conservationists and markets anyway.”

“As for ‘partial logging’ for special species, this translates to modified clearfelling of rainforests which has been unacceptable for a long time,” Ms Putt concluded.

Chart: Tasmanian emissions profile changes – Forestry moved from being an emitter to a net sink
Overall 1990 2013
Mt 17.3 CO2-e Mt 1.7 CO2-e
Forest Management sub-sector 
2002-3 2012-3
9.0 Mt CO2-e -7.9 CO2-e

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