Category Archives: Photos
The ObserverTree Online Art Exhibition will run from today until May 31 on the ObserverTree website. Artworks include beautiful photographic prints by Miranda Gibson, taken from up in the tree-sit, and personally signed by her. There are also paintings, prints and photography by artists who support the ObserverTree campaign. Funds raised from the exhibition will go towards the continuing campaign to protect Tasmania’s threatened forests. Please check out the exhibition here, and please share it with your friends and on social media.
From my tree top perch I have watched the sun rise over this forest hundreds of times. Yet, each day, the moment when the sun first touches the tree tops never fails to mesmerize me. Every day is different. I want to share with you just one of these many beautiful mornings. From the moment the shadows of trees begin to emerge out of the mist in the pre-dawn light, to the sun making an appearance above the mountains and casting light across the valley….
Media Release: Miranda Gibson remains in Observer Tree until logging ceases in world heritage nominated forest
Logging destruction of area nominated for World Heritage listing continues in secret- exposed by environmentalists
World Heritage value forests nominated a fortnight ago by the Australian government for inclusion on the World Heritage register are still not safe and are being logged in secret, Tasmanian environment groups Still Wild Still Threatened, and Huon Valley Environment Centre and national group Markets For Change revealed today.
A detailed report as well as film footage of the ongoing destruction, collected since the nomination, including the installation of new forestry gates to exclude the public was released by the groups. Footage also shows the threatened forests that have not yet seen a chainsaw, although Forestry Tasmania has plans to log the intact areas with the knowledge and apparent agreement of the Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke.
An online action will today be launched from the Observer Tree through social media, where people can write to Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Environment Minister Tony Burke, asking for urgent action to halt the logging of the extraordinary values of the nominated World Heritage Value forests. Also a group of conservationists held a banner out the front of Canberra’s Parliament House this morning calling on Gillard and Burke, “You nominated the forests now stop the logging”.
“When Minister Burke announced that the World Heritage nomination had gone to Paris I was overjoyed. Yet what he failed to announce was that the logging of these forests of global significance would continue. This is unacceptable and I am now compelled to remain in my tree sit until these forests are actually safe, as they should have been as soon as their values were put forward to the World Heritage Committee ,” said Miranda Gibson from the Observer Tree.
“Conservationists in Canberra today are bringing the voice of the global community to the Australian Government. They have displayed a banner that features over 300 images sent in from around the globe, as the international community called for the protection of these world heritage value forests. Many more people will continue to bring the message to Gillard and Burke through the online action,” said Ms Gibson.
Miranda Gibson said, “In Butlers Gorge nearby the Observer Tree the tall forests are recognised to be absolutely outstanding wilderness and very significant tracts of the tallest flowering plants on the planet, yet this is where logging is ripping the place apart with three separate industrial scale operations.”
“The Australian government is abrogating its responsibility to protect the very World Heritage values they have nominated and many conservationists will be shocked that this could happen and angry that they have been kept in the dark about the continued logging. We are calling on the Federal Government to prevent any new logging from commencing and ensure that any current logging cease, so as to maintain the integrity and values of the World Heritage nominated forests.” said Jenny Weber of Huon Valley Environment Centre.
Jenny Weber said, “In the Huon region, seven areas of forests, with extraordinary values are scheduled for ongoing logging. The loggers are not in any of these forest areas now and we do not accept that logging should commence. In the far south in the Catamaran, the tall eucalypt forests in the Esperance and wilderness forests in the Picton Valley, we will not stand by while logging is scheduled to start in these world heritage value forests.”
These unique ecosystems in the Huon are on the schedule to supply timber to Ta Ann whose plywood flooring has already proved controversial in the Japanese market, which is another unacceptable source,” Jenny Weber said.
“Companies selling Tasmanian wood products will now be receiving supplies coming from forests nominated for protection for their world heritage values, a confronting prospect when the markets are actually crying out for improved environmental performance,” said CEO of Markets For Change, Peg Putt.
“Imagine a label on furniture or flooring saying ‘world heritage values died here’ and you get the idea of how horrified consumers will be and the damage this can do to the reputation of Tasmanian timber products just when world heritage recognition was supposed to crown the Tasmanian Forests Agreement. No wonder these logging plans were not publicly announced.”
“A failure of political will is now undermining both the industry and the best environmental treasures of Tasmania and the Prime Minister needs to take the matter in hand and insist that the world heritage values her government has nominated are not under assault for a single day more,” Ms Putt concluded.`
Click HERE to read the report.
There are so many moments in every day up here, when I stop and watch this forest around me with a sense of awe. A rainbow across the skies, the moon rising against the rich colours of the setting sun, a honeyeater perched in the branches of the tree…
With all the love and support pouring in from around the globe on my anniversary in the tree – I was left feeling a sense of connection to the world. Yet, something was missing, a still had a feeling of loneliness. A strange mix of feeling intricately connected to the an international community and campaign, yet alone in the tree and disconnected from my own family and friends. And so when my Dad made the journey all the way to (and up) the Observer Tree – I was so happy! And what’s more… he came dressed as Santa Check it out:
I have already had my Mum and my sister visit in the tree. And I wondered if my Dad would get the chance to come up the tree. When he told me that he had some time off work before Christmas and was going to visit… I was so excited. He was worried about coming up the tree though… would we have enough to talk about to fill a few days? Usually when I spend time with my family, I don’t always get the chance to just sit down with my Dad and have the time to have long chats and get to know each other. So, being stuck on a small platform together for a few days, with nowhere else to go… it was a real gift! We had so much fun. I got to teach my Dad some card games. I got to tell him all about my tree top life (I think he was pretty impressed with my tree house structure). I will cherish the memories of those few days forever!
Last night I checked the comments on my blog, and my Dad had written this beautiful message about his visit to see me. I was so touched by this message, that I wanted to make sure you all read it, so I asked if I could re-post it here in this blog.
“Hi Miranda. I must say I am in total awe of you of your passion, conviction and courage to continue with your fight to save and protect the forest and the eco system that relies on it .
I have truly enjoyed the two days and two nights that I have had the privilege to spend with you in your tree top lookout. It is almost impossible to put into words the beauty that I witnessed, from the mist covered mountains in the early hours of the morning, to the changes in the whether, going though the four seasons in a very short time. One minute rain and wind with the tree swaying to and fro, to sunny and warm
One of the times I really felt at peace was during the night as I was wrapped in my sleeping bag listening to the sound of the rain in the canopy, waking in the morning and looking up at the blue sky.
It was beautiful to watch the birds come for a visit in the hope that they might snatch some food.
I loved, when we sat at the table and played uno or 500, with you winning the majority of the time I might add,or sitting having a chat and a laugh with a hot cup of chia tea and a tim tam while listening to the rain.
Being there is easy to see why you fight so hard to have these forests saved.
So Miranda I love you and support you in every aspect of the campaign as do the thousands of supporter around the globe, a big cheer for them,I don’t need to say keep up the good work because I know you will.
And I am so grateful that I have had the chance to have a visit from my Dad. I can’t wait till I get back to the ground and can continue on our card game and our conversation where we left off.
If you need some inspiration for getting your banners and signs ready for this Friday. Check out all the amazing images from our last Global 24 Hours of Action for Tasmania’s Forests! This was back in February this year. I’d been in the tree for just a few months by then. And had a great show of support with over 70 actions across 15 countries.
Now I have been at the top of the tree for a year, and the protection of these forests is more urgent than ever! I hope you will all get on board to support me this Friday when Observer Tree turns one! Make a sign or banner about why you want to see the forest protected. A suggested message is “[insert name of town/ group] stands with Miranda. World Heritage forest protection now.” Or get creative with your own message. Take a photo with you, your sign and as many people as you can gather. Upload your photo on Friday to Twitter with the hashtag #istandwithmiranda and post to Facebook www.facebook.com/ObserverTree. If you don’t use Facebook or Twitter – never fear – you can email directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post it for you!
This show of support will generate lots of online buzz about Observer Tree and be a strong show of global support for Observer Tree. Plus, we will collect all these images as a “visual petition” to show the government and the companies involved in the forest destruction that the world wants to see these globally signficant forests protected for the future. I can’t wait to see your photos!!
Emergency demonstrations in logging-affected communities around the country are taking place today, as conservationists call on the Prime Minister not to abandon environment and wildlife protection by finalising a closed-door deal with big business at the COAG meeting this week.
Community groups are holding banners in clearfells and forests devastated by logging in WA, NSW, Tasmania and Victoria, to show Gillard what environmental management by state governments looks like.
From her Observer Tree perch 60 metres up in the canopy of Tasmania’s beleaguered old growth forests, where she has spent nearly twelve months during a time of intense negotiations and ongoing forest destruction, Tasmanian activist Miranda Gibson has a personal message to Gillard: ‘Don’t abandon environmental protection’
COAG and the Business Council of Australia (BCA) both meet in Canberra this week and plan to weaken federal environment protection laws and hand powers to assess and approve development in environmentally significant areas to state governments. This leaves Australia without any federal oversight of damaging activity in these iconic areas.
“Anyone who thinks that the Commonwealth should be able to transfer its responsibility for environmental protection to state governments and supervise at a distance need only have a look at the wholesale failure of the Regional Forests Agreements for an example of how disastrous this approach has been,” said Friends of the Earth’s, ‘Nature: Not Negotiable’ campaign spokesperson, Lauren Caulfield.
‘Putting the states in charge of forest management has led to the devastation of forests around the country for export woodchips, the ongoing decline of threatened species, and a legacy of community conflict,’ said Jenny Weber, Huon Valley Environment Centre.
‘In Victoria we are facing an extinction crisis – including that of our own wildlife emblem, the endangered Leadbeater’s (fairy) Possum, as Premier Baillieu continues to allow the logging of its last forest strongholds,’ said Ms Caulfield.
The proposed devolution of responsibilities under national environmental laws to state governments is similar to what we already have in place under Regional Forests Agreements, where the Commonwealth has entrusted state governments with protecting biodiversity.
‘These moves are a rampant attack on environment to protection and will take us 40 years backwards, leaving our iconic wildlife and wild places at the mercy of state governments with an appalling track record on environmental protection,’ said Miranda Gibson, in the Observer Tree.
“The Prime Minister’s responsibility is to Australians as a whole, not to the Business Council. She should take this issue off the COAG agenda for Friday and off the government’s agenda for good,”