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Oldgrowth for export: new report prepared for Japanese pulp-and-paper companies

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Old-growth forests in Tasmania are being destroyed by logging and over 85% of the logs extracted from those forests are turned into woodchips for export. These findings are outlined in a new report detailing the destruction of old-growth forests in Tasmania that has been prepared by the Wilderness Society and Still Wild Still Threatened.

Japanese pulp-and-paper companies will be the main recipients of this report which presents irrefutable evidence to show significant tracts of tall-eucalypt old-growth and other high-conservation-value forests in Tasmania are being woodchipped and exported to Japan by Gunns Ltd. The report refutes claims circulating in international pulp-industry circles that Tasmanian woodchips do not contain old-growth.

The industrial-scale logging and woodchipping of Tasmania’s old-growth and high-conservation-value forests will continue unless decision-makers in the political and corporate arenas take immediate action to protect these globally-significant forests.

The Wilderness Society and Still Wild Still Threatened have combined to pool their knowledge about logging in Tasmania’s old-growth forests. ‘Oldgrowth for Export’ presents a case study of old-growth logging in the Derwent forests and includes a number of tables, charts and maps, along with photographs of the forests both before and after logging.

It draws together information from a range of disparate sources, including Forestry Tasmania, the Regional Forest Agreement, the Forest Practices Authority and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, in order to paint a picture of where the logs from Tasmania’s old-growth forests go.

We are calling on the Japanese pulp-and-paper companies to stop buying woodchips that are sourced from old-growth and high-conservation-value forests in Tasmania.

The report’s main findings are:

  • Approximately 78% of the original extent of tall-eucalypt forests have already been cleared or are available for logging;
  • 61 000 hectares of tall-eucalypt RFA old-growth are currently unprotected from logging;
  • The dominant product from logging of Tasmania’s public native forests is pulpwood (86%), with less than 5% becoming solid wood products;
  • The vast majority of pulpwood from Tasmanian native forests – and an even higher proportion of pulpwood sourced from publicly-owned RFA old-growth forests – are exported by Gunns Ltd as woodchips;
  • A significant proportion (at the absolute lowest, 20%) of woodchips from mature and old-growth forests are exported to Japan.

  • Download "Old-growth for export" report here >>