In an exciting announcement by Environment Minister Tony Burke this week, one of the first big conservation outcomes embedded in the Tasmanian Forest Agreement is set to become reality.
170,000 hectares of wild forest was this week nominated for addition to the Tasmanian Wilderness Heritage by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.
These forests include some of Tasmania’s most iconic tall Eucalypt forests such as the Upper Derwent, Styx, Weld and Upper Florentine Valleys, the Great Western Tiers and the forests of the deep south near Cockle Creek. Many people have toiled for decades to see these areas recognised for their global significance.
The progress on this and other issues in relation to the historic Tasmanian Forest Agreement, demonstrates the signatories’ commitment to seeing all parts of the Agreement delivered. In the coming weeks and months we’ll see progress on the special species management plan, rescheduling and residue funding, and the finalisation of an exit funding program for some sawmillers.
To fulfill our obligations under the Forest Agreement, environmental signatories are currently involved in market updates for Tasmanian timber products. This includes having discussions with banks that finance local timber businesses, domestic retailers like K&D and Bunnings, and foreign companies like Ta Ann.
Last week, Tasmanian Campaign Manager for the Wilderness Society, and Don Henry from the Australian Conservation Foundation traveled to Japan to deliver a market update on the Agreement, the outcomes it promises, and the state of play regarding implementation. We will undertake a follow-up round of market updates once the Tasmanian Upper House has finished its deliberations and voted on the legislation.
This exciting new World Heritage nomination will be considered by the World Heritage Committee in June, and is expected to be passed at that meeting. Thanks to everyone for your support in achieving this great step forward for some of Tassie’s most loved forests.