Category Archives: Media Releases

Media Release: National student movement stands up for Tasmania’s native forests

017

Students and conservationists are today participating in a peaceful protest in Tasmania’s north east.  35 people have conducted a “walk-in” to a logging coupe in the Fisher Tier forests, halting the ongoing destruction of native forests in an area identified as high conservation value by the Independent Verification Group (IVG).

Still Wild Still Threatened spokeswoman Miranda Gibson stated, “The forests of Fisher Tier, including N111G where today’s peaceful protest is being conducted, have been identified by the IVG as being extremely important for ecological connectivity in North-eastern Tasmania. This forest, like many others, was sacrificed to satisfy the unsustainable, loss-generating native forest industry.”

Description: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif“Today’s protest highlights Australia-wide concern for Tasmania’s forests and the absence of social license for the Tasmanian forest industry that continues the destruction of native forests. Students from around the country are joining today with Tasmanian grassroots forest campaigners, to express their outrage at the hypocrisy of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement and the entrenchment of industrial scale native forest destruction,” said Ms Gibson.

“This logging of proposed reserves reflects the business-as-usual logging schedule of Forestry Tasmania that is destroying tracts of Tasmania’s high conservation value forests,” Miranda Gibson said.

“The Tasmanian Forest Agreement has failed our forests. No new reserves have yet been created and meanwhile special legislated exemptions allow 42 separate logging coupes to continue inside landscapes identified for future protection” Ms Gibson said.

“These proposed reserves face ongoing logging, and their high conservation values are being destroyed by the native forest industry, which has been granted legislative permission and endorsement by some Environment groups to destroy ancient ecosystems.” Miranda Gibson said.

“Hundreds of university students from around the nation have been in Launceston for the last five days at Students of Sustainability conference. In it’s twenty-second year, SOS is an environmental conference for students. Tasmanian forest campaigners held workshops and discussions at the conference. Over 30 students have joined with Tasmanian forest campaigners to take part in today’s action and are committed to continuing action to stand up for our native forests”  Miranda Gibson said.

“Australian Student Environment Network is standing in solidarity with Huon Valley Environment Centre and Still Wild Still Threatened in an ongoing campaign to defend Tasmania’s native forests,” said Ms Gibson.

012

Media Release: The world celebrates the success of community action to protect forests.

_1110678

The decision today by the World Heritage Committee to approve the extension to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is testament to the power of the community, after decades of action to defend these forests.

The Observer Tree and the forest surrounding it as well as the site of Camp Florentine blockade are now World Heritage listed.

“On December 14th 2011 I climbed to the top of a tree in a threatened forest and said I would stay until the forest was protected. That forest is now World Heritage. It is thanks to the support from people right around the world that the forest is still standing and is now protected” said Miranda Gibson, spokesperson for Still Wild Still Threatened.

“For 14 months I watched over the forest every day with the hope that we, as a community, could defend those trees for future generations. Today, for that forest, we have achieved that” said Ms Gibson.

View of Tyenna forests from tree sit_photo by Miranda Gibson

 

“Today I think of the wedge tailed eagle that I watched fly above my tree, whose habitat was once under threat and is now protected and of the Tasmanian devils who lived in the forest 60 meters below my platform who can now raise their young in peace” said Ms Gibson.

“Today we celebrate the protection of some of Tasmania’s most significant forests including the Tyenna, Weld and Upper Florentine. For six years the Upper Florentine Valley has been defended by Tasmania’s longest running forest blockade. This forest is still standing because the community took action and halted logging to protect the values of this ecosystem, that are now officially World Heritage. This Sunday the community will return to site of Camp Florentine to celebrate our success in ensuring these forests will be standing for future generations” said Ms Gibson.

“Thousands of people across the globe have been part of this global movement to protect Tasmania’s ancient forests as World Heritage. Right around the world people today are celebrating the power of community action and what we have achieved for Tasmania’s forests said Ms Gibson.

Feb 14 canberra action

 

Activists facing court today

Today activists face court over an action taken at Ta Ann’s timber mill in protest of the destruction of forests in Tasmania and Sarawak. Please watch and share this short video and support those who have taken a stand against Ta Ann.

Read the rest of this entry

Hyrdo Tasmania meets dam objectors in Sarawak

Former Senator Bob Brown and the Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber have returned from Sarawak in Malaysia to campaign for indigenous people who want Australian hydroelectric companies to leave Sarawak.

Sarawak’s riverside dwellers are angry that Hydro Tasmania and the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation have won huge contracts to help the construction or business extension of the dams at their expense. Thousands of people have beem displaced already. 20,000 more will be flooded out of their ancestral lands if the giant Baram River dam proposed for central Sarawak goes ahead as planned next year.

In a meeting in the Sarawak capital Kuching on Friday, Hydro Tasmania’s chair David Crean and CEO Roy Adair met a delegation of 13 indigenous people including Baram elders. The delegation told how they were ignored and cheated by Sarawak authorities. They presented HT with a letter asking it to leave Sarawak.

Dr Crean said that contention that HT would leave was not true. He gave a good hearing to the delegation as claims that dams are being built with no proper consultations and no social or environmental studies were aired. “How would you like your house to be flooded?” one Baram leader asked.

Brown, who will be at the Sydney Writers Festival today, said that the the Sarawak Chief Minister’s cousin, Hamed Sepawi, heads up both Hydro Sarawak and Ta Ann, the controversial logging company now operating in the Tasmanian forests. Chief Minister Taib is under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission but has refused to appear before it.

Brown said that the Snowy Mountains Engineering Commission, which has some 200 personnel working in Sarawak, owed the Australian public a full account of its role in the construction of the mega-dams bringing so much misery to indigenous locals. ‘Most Australians have no idea of the impact the dams, using Australian expertise, are having on the ancient cultures and wellbeing of the people living along Sarawak’s rivers,” Brown said.

Further information:

www.savesarawakrivers.com

Media Release 22.05.13: Bob Brown opposes Malyasian dams

Asian Correspondent: Australian Greens join protests against dams in Sarawak.

The Borneo Post: Save Rivers Chief stirs controversy at IHA world congress

 

Mass protest against Sarawak dams surprises Hydropower World Congress in Malaysia

  Media Release:

300 indigenous people protest dams outside the International Hydropower Association’s Congress at the Borneo Convention Center

01_kuching_dams_protest_IHA_2013_05_22

KUCHING May 22nd: At 11am today, SAVE Rivers and 300 indigenous people from all around Sarawak protested outside the Borneo Convention Center Kuching where the International Hydropower Association’s biennial congress is being held.

Please TAKE ACTION NOW 

to show your support to Sarawak’s indigenous peoples: CLICK HERE.

They arrived at around 10.30am carrying banners saying ‘Respect Native Rights’, ‘Stop Baram Dam’, and ‘IHA Stop Collaborating With Corrupt Regime’. Dressed in blue shirts saying ‘No More Dams’, the 300 protestors raised their voices peacefully against the proposed dam projects for more than an hour at the entrance of the BCCK. Richard Taylor, Executive Director of the IHA, came out to hear Mark Bujang, SAVE Rivers’ Secretary give his statement to the press and had a brief conversation.

Protesters managed to get to the main entrance of the BCCK where delegates of the IHA Congress came out to watch were handed informational leaflets by SAVE Rivers volunteers.

‘Indigenous communities are voicing their opposition to the dams being built on our land. We were not given a voice inside the congress so we are using our voices here in the form of a protest’ said Mr Bujang.

The 300 protesters included members of dam affected community members from Bengoh, Murum and Bakun and also community members from the proposed dam sites at Baram and Limbang.

‘We all came to Kuching today to show IHA, Sarawak Energy and the Sarawak Government that despite what they say, we disagree with the dams. I live in a dam affected area so it is too late for us but I do not want see others suffer as we have.’ said Ngajang Midin from Long Ayah, a community affected by the Bakun Dam.

02_kuching_dams_protest_IHA_2013_05_22

 Johannes from Long San, Baram, said that people in Baram oppose the proposed Baram dam.

‘We know the government plans on building a dam in the Baram area. Our ancestral lands will be flooded, and we will lose our land and livelihoods. We have learned from Bakun and Murum dams. The government only think about to make money with the dams but they don’t care about us. We want development but not dams.”

The protesters dispersed peacefully at 11.40.

SAVE Rivers also announced their Alternative Conference taking place tomorrow, 23rd of May. The all-day event will take place at the Riverside Majestic Hotel and will include speakers from affected communities with special guest, Bob Brown, ex-Australian senator and renowned dams activist.

http://www.savesarawakrivers.com/

03_kuching_dams_protest_IHA_2013_05_22 Kopie

All images courtesy of SAVE Rivers

Media Release: Environmentalists call for amended Tasmanian Forest Legislation to be rejected.

Grass roots environmental groups, the Huon Valley Environment Centre and Still Wild Still Threatened have called on all parties to reject the legislation before the House of Assembly when tabled tomorrow, 30th April.

Environmentalists Jenny Weber and Miranda Gibson stated, “Tasmania’s forests deal is unacceptable, it has been for a long time and now these amendments by the Legislative Councillors make it worse. This legislation will not provide adequate protection of Tasmania’s unique wild forests.”

Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber stated, “The results of the three year Tasmanian forests agreement process are fundamentally flawed and unacceptable.

“It failed to address crucial environmental and economic issues; including the need to change silvicultural practices and transition out of native forests; failure to restructure an irresponsible and damaging Forestry Tasmania; continued presence and new arrangements by some environmental groups to support human rights violators, the Sarawak timber company Ta Ann; the continued push to process ‘waste’ after logging in the form of wood-chips and bio-fuels to prop up an unviable and non-competitive saw-log industry; and a severely ill managed exit program. All the while there has been ongoing logging of proposed reserves, and loss of wilderness forests.” Jenny Weber said.

Still Wild Still Threatened’s Miranda Gibson stated, “The forest agreement has been mutated to the point of being the complete opposite of the original stated purpose of these negotiations, which was a transition out of native forest logging. If this legislation is passed it will prop up a dying native forest industry based on outdated practices that are both economically and environmentally detrimental to Tasmania”

“The amendments made by the Legislative Council nullify the majority of conservation outcomes from this agreement, by making further reserves dependent of the native forest industry receiving Forest Stewardship Certification (FSC). The current practices of industrial scale forestry, clear-felling and burning are not acceptable for any legitimate certification. This amendment therefore serves to either jeopardise the integrity of FSC or otherwise result in the majority of identified high conservation value forests never being reserved” said Ms Gibson.

“We call on all parties of the House Of Assembly to reject this bill tomorrow and instead enact real protection for Tasmania’s globally significant forests” concluded Ms Gibson and Ms Weber.

Media Release: Logging of World Heritage nominated forest in the Tyenna halted by peaceful protest.

Conservationists from Still Wild Still Threatened are today halting logging operations, in world heritage nominated forest in the Tyenna Valley. One conservationist is perched in a tree sit, which is attached to logging machinery.

Conservationists are alarmed that logging has been allowed to commence only in the past weeks, after these forests were nominated for world heritage protection two months ago.

Miranda Gibson, spokesperson for Still Wild Still Threatened said, “These forests in the Tyenna Valley were nominated for World Heritage protection two months ago. The recently commenced logging in these forests, shows a complete failure by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to protect the very forests that his government have nominated for World Heritage.”

“This logging is occurring within several kilometres of the Observer Tree, where I spent 449 days in a tree sit watching over the World Heritage value forests of the Tyenna. During that time people all around the world showed overwhelming support for the protection of these forests. Over 60,000 protest emails were sent to Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Environment Minister Burke requesting that they use their Commonwealth powers to stop the destruction of these forests,

Regrettably Prime Minister Gillard and Environment Minister Burke have ignored the international community and instead stood back and allowed forests to continue to be destroyed, forests they have acknowledged to be globally significant,” said Ms Gibson.

“Despite neglectful silence and wanton destruction of the values of these globally significant ecosystems on behalf of the Federal Government, conservationists in Tasmania will continue to take peaceful action in defence of World Heritage value forests that continue to be logged. Still Wild Still Threatened are calling for an immediate cease all logging of world heritage value forests in Tasmania,” said Ms Gibson.

Bushfire forces exit from Observer Tree Miranda’s epic tree sit

Miranda Gibson has today reluctantly left her perch high up in the Observer Tree, after 449 days, as a bushfire burned to within a kilometre and it became clear that predicted hot weather early next week could precipitate an emergency situation in the remote forest.

Miranda, of Still Wild Still Threatened, has spent almost 15 months in the Observer Tree after she climbed up on 14th December 2011, vowing to remain as long as possible to defend the forests, including the World Heritage value area in which the tree is situated.

“Our campaign to stop the logging of these World Heritage nominated forests and of the proposed protected areas will continue despite my exit from the Observer Tree. Although it is disappointing to leave this forest whilst these precious places continue to fall to the chainsaw, I have a huge respect for the forces of nature that are in play. And I remain as dedicated as ever to standing up for Tasmania’s threatened forests. “

“I want to stress that magnificent forests are still in jeopardy, including places it has been agreed should be protected and become World Heritage listed, and that our will to see them safe remains as strong as ever. The campaign for these globally significant forests will now move into a new phase,” Ms Gibson concluded.

Media Release: Wildfire forces exit from Observer Tree, campaign for logging exit continues

541617_10151371463408462_1338018205_nMiranda Gibson has today reluctantly left her perch high up in the Observer Tree, after 457 days, as a bushfire burned to within a kilometre and it became clear that predicted hot weather early next week could precipitate an emergency situation in the remote forest.

Smoke is filling the Tyenna valley and the sounds of crashing trees can be heard nearby as the wildfire has grown from 3 hectares yesterday afternoon to 40 hectares this morning, with the fire currently unable to be contained.

Miranda, of Still Wild Still Threatened, has spent almost 15 months in the Observer Tree after she climbed up on 14th December 2011, vowing to remain as long as possible to defend the forests, including the World Heritage value area in which the tree is situated.

“Nature can be wild and unpredictable, and whilst I was able to withstand winter snow and summer heat exposed to the elements 60 metres up the Observer Tree, it is the sensible and safe decision to climb down now rather than put lives at risk with the bushfire so close,” Ms Gibson said.

“Our campaign to stop the logging of these World Heritage nominated forests and of the proposed protected areas will continue despite my exit from the Observer Tree. Although it is disappointing to leave this forest whilst these precious places continue to fall to the chainsaw, I have a huge respect for the forces of nature that are in play. And I remain as dedicated as ever to standing up for Tasmania’s threatened forests. “

Miranda has gathered a large international following as she has communicated with people around the planet via solar powered internet from the remote tree tops of Tasmania.

“I want to stress that magnificent forests are still in jeopardy, including places it has been agreed should be protected and become World Heritage listed, and that our will to see them safe remains as strong as ever. The campaign for these globally significant forests will now move into a new phase,” Ms Gibson concluded.

Please direct all media enquiries to Jenny Weber:  0427 366 929

Footage and stills are available on request.
Miranda will be available for comment in the near future.

Media Update: Two conservationists arrested at Butlers Gorge today

Two conservationists have been arrested today at Butlers Gorge. The pair had been blocking access to a logging road that leads to three separate logging operations in an area nominated for World Heritage. The conservationists had locked themselves to each other and sat down across the road early this morning. About 10 police were at the protest and police Search and Rescue removed the protesters at 12:30pm.

“Today’s peaceful protest has once again highlighted the ongoing destruction of Butlers Gorge. This area is significant habitat for endangered species and native wildlife. Still Wild Still Threatened have collected video evidence of Tasmanian devils and spot tailed quolls within Butlers Gorge and we are calling on Tony Burke to take action to protect these forests” said Ms Gibson.

“Two dedicated conservationists have today been arrested in order to bring attention to the hypocrisy of the Australian Government, who are allowing this logging to continue despite nominating these forests for World Heritage” said Ms Gibson.

“Minister Burke as a responsibility to protect the habitat of these endangered species and to protect these forests that he has nominated as World Heritage. We are calling on the Minister to enact Section 14 of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and bring an end to the destruction of these forests” said Ms Gibson.

DSC00042

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 367 other followers

%d bloggers like this: