Category Archives: News Articles

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.

Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 253

What an incredible few days of international exposure for the forest campaign. For those who haven’t watched Tuesday night’s SBS Dateline program, check it out here:

The Last Frontier, which can be viewed above or in two parts. The first part focuses on the links between the construction of dams in Sarawak and  Hydro Tasmania. View part one HERE. The second half shows the clear connections between the logging of high conservation value forest in Tasmania and the logging industry in Sarawak. View part two HERE.

The thing that I found most powerful about this video is the incredible interviews that journalist David O’Shea conducted with the Indigenous people in Sarawak, outlining their ongoing resistance to the logging and dam construction. These industries in Sarawak are destroying the very land that Indigenous people rely on for survival. The displacement of their communities, with absolute disregard to their livelihoods, community and culture is an atrocity committed for the sake of the money-making of a few at the top of Sarawak’s corruption. Watching this video I was overwhelmed and inspired by the spirit of survival and resistance of the people in Sarawak speaking out about the dams and the logging.  I hope that through this media exposure more people around the world will support their struggle for their rights and their land.

This great piece of investigative journalist has clearly exposed the links between Tasmania and Sarawak. One link is with the government business enterprise Hydro Tasmania. This organisation was once at the centre of the controversy over the flooding of Lake Pedder and then the controversial Franklin Dam – which was defeated by one of Tasmania’s most significant environmental protest movements. Now the company are embedded a relationship with the powers that be in Sarawak, giving advice on dam projects that will flood the homelands of Indigenous people in Sarawak.

Ta Ann is also exposed in this news piece, which shows clearly company’s role in the destruction of forests in Sarawak and their practises here in Tasmania are.

Film still from the Dateline story.

Jenny Weber, campaigner from the Huon Valley Environment Center recently featured here on observertree.org with a video blog message. Jenny has worked tirelessly to expose the role of Ta Ann in the clearfelling of high conservation value forests in Tasmania and the ongoing misrepresentation of these products on the international market as “eco” products.  Jenny’s comments and those of Former Senator Bob Brown are a strong reminder of the implications that Ta Ann’s practises have for Tasmania and the world . Read the rest of this entry

Global action article: please share widely

Below is an article about the amazing global 24 hours of action. If you know any opportunities to get this article out and about on websites, in newspapers, any where you can think of…. please take it and distribute as widely as possible. Feel free to include additional details to focus on your local action, or a quote from you about what motivated you to take part in the action.

Download a pdf version of the below article here. You can download images from the slide show for use also. Any international crew who would like to translate the article in their local language, that would be great.

What an amazing effort from everyone around the world to make this action a huge success!! Now let’s make sure we spread the word about it!!

Over 70 actions across 15 countries in 24 hours for Tasmania’s forests.

An incredible show of world wide support saw over 70 actions across 15 countries in 24 hours calling for an end to the destruction of Tasmania’s forests.

People gathered to hold banners in snow filled streets, images of the forest were projected onto town buildings, handmade signs were held up in backyards, some stood as silent statues dressed in green, while some took the action to their local area of forest destruction in solidarity and others asked passers-by to ‘have a heart for Tassie’s forests.’

In Hobart a massive 40 meter banner was held up outside Ta Ann’s head office, in Tokyo a letter was delivered to SMKC (partner to Ta Ann) and a pair of daring conservationists’ abseiled the Black Mountain Tower in Canberra to unfurl the message on a giant banner.

This global effort builds on ongoing action of conservationist Miranda Gibson, who has spent 63 days so far at the top of an old growth tree in Tasmania’s threatened forest. Ms Gibson’s commitment to remain in the tree until the forest is protected has inspired people right across the globe.  Miranda beamed the message of forest protection straight from the trees to the world, using Skype to speak at the actions and taking part in a press conference via video link up.

Despite being promised protection by the Tasmanian State and Australian Federal governments back in August 2011 the forests continue to fall. The government broke their promise of an “immediate conservation agreement” across 430,000 hectares of high conservation value forest across Tasmania. Instead the logging continues in order to supply wood to Malaysian company Ta Ann.

“It is an international disgrace that the Australian government promised the protection of these forests six months ago now. Yet due to the Ta Ann’s insatiable appetite for native forests, logging has actually increased in the areas that are ear-marked for forest reserves” said Miranda Gibson.

“Today’s action sends a clear message to Ta Ann and their corporate customers that the international community will not tolerate the destruction of these globally significant forests. We are asking Ta Ann’s customers including flooring manufacturers Panasonic and Eidai and Japan’s largest home building companies Seksui House, Daiwa House to cease purchasing from Ta Ann while the company is driving the logging of Tasmania’s native forests” said Ms Gibson.

The veneer produced by Ta Ann from Tasmania’s forests is misleadingly sold around the world as “eco” friendly. The company has told its international customers that the wood is sourced from plantations. And locally they claim to use only ‘regrowth’ forests. However, the Huon Valley Environment Centre released a report last year that detailed evidence of Ta Ann’s use of high conservation value and old growth forest. In addition the government initiated independent assessment of Forestry Tasmania’s data proved that Ta Ann is the major driver behind the continued logging of high conservation value forests. The report produced from the independent assessment showed that the majority of coupes scheduled within the area ear-marked for protection are being logged to supply Ta Ann.

“A long term vision that gives Tasmania a unique reserve system, protection for endangered species habitat and taking real action to mitigate climate change is what we are standing up for. With people around the globe and around Australia, we are calling for the protection for these treasure houses of species,” Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber said.

With UK company International Plywood cancelling their contract a few months ago after being given evidence of Ta Ann’s forest destruction, the campaign is now gaining global support in calling on the Japanese corporate customers of Ta Ann to do the same unless Ta Ann cease destroying native forests.  A letter will be sent to those companies with that message and details of the global action. There is also a cyber action up and running, for people to sign a letter to be emailed to those companies, just go to:

www.taann.com.au

Miranda Gibson continues her tree top vigil in the forests, with new inspiration and enthusiasm from the past 24 hours of action. “It has been inspiring to have such an overwhelming level of support and actions right across the globe” said Ms Gibson. “I hope my ongoing presence in the forests will continue to inspire people to take action and keep this campaign going until we achieve the conservation outcomes that are so desperately needed for these forests to survive into the future.”

Miranda’s tree sit, equipped with solar panels and internet, is bringing the forests straight from southern Tasmania to you.  Check out her daily on line blog:

www.observertree.org

Check out photos from the around the world:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/76527681@N03/sets/72157629320724403/

Tasmanian news coverage Feb 15th

Check out last night’s news coverage on the ABC Tasmania. Some great footage of some of the global 24 hours of action including the amazing banner drop on the Black Mountain Tower in Canberra and the Hobart community action at Parliament Lawns. And despite  a few technical hiccups along the way – we managed a successful press conference with me beamed in live from the tree tops!

ABC:


WIN:

The Mercury article: Logging on to world

TREESITTER Miranda Gibson has been sending her Tasmanian forest message around the world as she notches up three weeks sitting 60m above the ground.
Ms Gibson today begins day 21 perched high above the Styx Valley.
She is on a platform that constitutes one of the world’s highest ever treesits…

Read more of the article at The Mercury website

The Mercury article: Santa lands in tree-tops

“SANTA made an early visit to a tree-sit protest in Tasmania’s remote wilderness yesterday.

Still Wild Still Threatened’s Miranda Gibson has been living 60m above a logging coupe near Maydena in the Central Highlands for the past 10 days.

After living off cold tinned and dried food for the entire time, Ms Gibson said she was overwhelmed by the visit.

“Santa came up the tree and we had a little picnic and he delivered a lot of messages of support from the community and all sorts of nice treats to save up for Christmas Day,” she said…”

Read more of the article at The Mercury website.

TV News from Day 1

The Mercury article: Hi-tech forest battle

“TASMANIAN protesters are taking a new hi-tech approach to getting their anti-forestry message to the public.

Still Wild Still Threatened yesterday set up a 60m-high tree sit-in at the TN044B logging coupe near Maydena inside the 430,000ha being assessed for reserve status under the forestry peace deal.

The “Observer Tree” will be occupied by SWST’s Miranda Gibson, who was one of two activists assaulted by workers during a protest in 2008.

Speaking to the media via mobile phone from the platform, Ms Gibson said she would maintain a blog and a web camera to broadcast to the world…”

Read more of the article at The Mercury website

ABC News article: Conflict over peace deal logging

“Environmental activists are stepping up their campaign against Forestry Tasmania, over claims it is continuing to log in native forest earmarked for immediate protection.

The group Still Wild Still Threatened has set up a tree sit in a coupe under Mount Muir, west of the Styx Valley.

Activist Miranda Gibson is 60-metres up the tree and filming what she claims shows Forestry Tasmania is logging in the 430,000 hectares being considered for protection under the peace deal…”

Read the rest of this article at ABC Online

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