Category Archives: Videos
It was recently my Mum’s birthday. My sister sent me photos of the family celebration. With technology at our finger tips, it’s like you can be there without being there, right? Except, the instantaneous photos didn’t stop me from feeling that pang in my heart, that little stab of loneliness, of missing my family. Then I remembered the happy memories of when my Mum made the brave step to visit me. It was months ago now, but the happiness of those few days has kept me going through all of the challenges since then. Not just her presence and laughter in the tree, but something more than that – knowing how much she supports what I am doing, how proud she is of me and the stance I am making on behalf of these forests. And so my memories lead me to look over all the footage we had taken when she stayed here. And now… I have turned that footage into a short film for you. So that you too can enjoy those memories. And see what an adventure it was for my Mum to take her feet 60 meters above ground to visit her daughter. I hope you enjoy the video, and share it with your friends and family too!
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Watch this short video of an echidna picking its way through fresh road-making operations in a forest, where a protest occurred yesterday. This area is proposed to be logged to supply Ta Ann Tasmania and end up in Japan. The echidna is a fascinating animal unique to Australia, but it is also distressing to see what is happening to its forest home.
On this day last year, myself and two other conservationists scaled up the side of the Sydney Opera House and unfurled a banner from the top of one of Australia’s most iconic structure. The banner read “No Harvey Norman No- Stop selling Aussie forest destruction.” It was part of a global day of action targeting the company for selling furniture made from the destruction of native forests around Australia, including in Tasmania. There were over 40 actions around the world.
A year later and Harvey Norman are still selling timber products that were once precious ecosystems. A year later and we continue to campaign for the protection of those ecosystems. Today is a good day to remember the role that retail outlets have in the cycle of destruction. Today is a good day to remind those companies that people do not want to buy forest destruction.
For those who haven’t seen it, check out this great video clip of last years successful action.
I’m sure actions like these will continue to happen, raising awareness about the forests, untill Australian native forests receive the protection they need.
Yesterday I had a visit from a group of members and friends of the Florentine Protection Society. This Tasmanian community group consists of committed people dedicated to the protection of Tasmania’s unique environment and wildlife, In particular through educating the public about the values of the forests, communicating with others and also appreciating the beauty and diversity of Tasmania’s native flora and fauna. They have been great supporters of Observer Tree over the past nine months. Including organising a large banner to be displayed in a prominent position in Hobart for seven months, online ads on Tasmanian Times, technical support, and donations. It was great for a group of their members to make it out to the tree. Hope you enjoy th e short video about their visit:
So thank you to the Florentine Protection Society for your support! Another organisation that has been a great support is the Huon Valley Environment Centre. I spoke a little the other day about Jenny Weber, winner of the 2012 Bob Brown Environmentalist of the Year award. Jenny has run the HVEC without pay for the past decade. Through this role she has been instrumental in providing a voice for the forests. She has provided support for front-line direct action volunteers through helping raise money for legal costs for activists, as well as being a inspiration and personal support for so many activists in Tasmania. She has taken action on the front lines, helping co-ordinate the long running Weld Valley blockade and has been arrested several times in her efforts to defend the forests. She has continuously provided a strong stance against Ta Ann’s role in forest destruction here and in Sarawak. I can’t imagine the Tasmanian forest campaign without Jenny and the Environment Centre. Over the years that I have been involved in Still Wild Still Threatened we have worked very closely with the Huon Valley Environment Centre. Our two groups have stood in solidarity with one another through many challenging and many inspiring times, bringing together an amazing array of committed and courageous activists. Both our groups continue to provide a voice for Tasmania’s forests and the species that rely on these forests. A voice that refuses to be silenced. And now the Huon Valley Environment Centre needs our help. They are trying to raise $25,000 in order to provide a wage for Jenny so that she can continue to run the centre. After a decade of unpaid service, this would be a well-deserved wage for Jenny, and would enable her to continue doing the important work she is doing for our community and environment. Please consider making a donation, or find out more by clicking HERE.
Today the Bob Brown Foundation announced the recipients of their first annual Environmental Awards. It must have been a difficult choice, with so many inspiring, courageous and outstanding environmentalists right across this country. I feel so honoured to be chosen as the recipient of the Environmental Courage Award, for my efforts in the Observer Tree. Thank you to the Foundation for their generosity and for the acknowledgment and recognition of the work of environmentalists. It was a great day, too, for a wonderful and awe-inspiring fellow Tasmanian forest campaigner; Jenny Weber. No one could be more deserving than Jenny of the 2012 Environmentalist of the Year Award. She is one of the most committed and hard-working people I have ever met and her relentless efforts over the past decade of running the Huon Valley Environment Centre and fighting for our forests is incredible. If I had a hero, it would be Jenny Weber! It has been so inspirational to work with her on the forest campaign over the years. And in particular this past nine months while I have been in the Observer Tree, Jenny has continued to inspire me to keep going despite the increasing uncertainty facing the forests. And I would like to also acknowledge the many, many courageous and passionate people who stand with us in fighting for Tasmania’s precious forests. And the people all around the world who stand with us in solidarity. Together we will continue to take action and stand strong for the forests.
Today’s award presentations also awarded a Young Environmentalist of the Year to Dan Spencer of South Australia, a member of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. The Foundation recognised Dan’s efforts saying that, among other things he led “a widely publicised youth action at this years UN Climate Conference in Mexico and has been instrumental in the current walk from Port Augusta to Adelaide in support of solar power replacing two decrepit coal-fired power stations”
Bob Brown had this to say about the awards: “We are delighted to honour these three wonderful Australian environmentalists and, in doing so, also honour the thousands more in this environment-loving nation and it’s region who work so hard, often unrecognized, for our terrestrial and marine ecosystems.”
A new spoof website has appeared online, exposing the truth behind the greenwash of the Australian Forestry Standard. It also features this clever little film:
Australian Forestry Standard is used to certify wood coming out from the destruction of native forests in Australia, including Tasmania. By having such a certification customers are given the illusion that the wood is from sustainable sources. Yet, as the new website explains, the AFS is “completely inadequate for Australian wood products as they do not prevent globally and nationally significant forests from being destroyed and entering the supply chain.” Certification programs should be independent processes that can provide a guarantee to customers that the products are produced in environmentally and socially responsible ways. Far from this, AFS was started by, and continues to be controlled by, those with logging interests. It is endorsed by PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), which has a terrible reputation and has been condemned world wide by environmental NGOs.
Here in Tasmania, wood that comes from the destruction of high conservation value forests is ending up at Ta Ann Tasmania’s mils. As we know this includes forests that have been scientifically verified as world heritage and national heritage significance. These irreplaceable forests provide core habitat for endangered species. Yet, shockingly it has been certified by the Australian Forestry Standard!
It’s so important for customers to know the truth about where products are sourced. Check out the new website HERE and please help spread the word by sharing it through your networks and friends.
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
Guest blog Bio: Jenny Weber
Jenny Weber is a forest activist committed to non violent direct action and campaigns to protect native forests in an age of urgent need for action on climate change. Jenny has worked for ten years with the grassroots NGO Huon Valley Environment Centre. Her main campaign tasks are exposing Ta Ann and mobilising a campaign for the urgent protection of native forests with world heritage values and other conservation values in the Huon district.