09 March 2010

Old-Growth Logging Will Lock in Community Conflict, Financial Losses and Environmental Damage

...meanwhile in our own backyard...
Natural assets are the basis of all value chains, including the economic ones that flow from them - time to get into the 21st century!

Reposted in full from EcoVoice, March 2010
'An advertising campaign and report launched by forest industry representative group FIAT shows that the Tasmanian logging industry is behind the times and out-of-touch with the realities of the marketplace, according to the Wilderness Society.

"The native forest logging industry is in crisis with logging contractors wanting out, Gunns in a profit free-fall and overseas customers rejecting our woodchips, yet the industry continues to bulldoze ahead with this kind of destructive logging," said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society.

Markets, international certification schemes and the community have moved on and no longer accept products that come from the destruction of high-conservation value native forests, including old-growth forests, and this report and advertising campaign does nothing to bring the industry into the twenty-first century.

"Politicians have for too long supported a native-forest logging industry which is a lose-lose outcome for Tasmania. We are losing our forests, our clean clever brand, and timber industry jobs - and it's costing the state millions of dollars.

"This campaign is being run by FIAT, a group with vested interests in old-growth logging, and seeks to lock in political support for an outdated industry which is desperately in need of restructure.

"The Wilderness Society supports the logging of some native forests for high-value low-volume specialty and craft timbers. However, a urgent restructure is needed to protect Tasmania's ancient forests and move industrial timber production into the extensive plantation estate.

"FIAT claims that conservationists want to see all native-forest logging ended, but we recognise that logging for high-value craft timber is crucial for a vibrant Tasmanian economy.

We don't, however, believe the continued destruction of native forests for low-value uses such as woodchips has a place in twenty-first century Tasmania.

"FIAT needs to get with the times and embrace the wave of change pushing the industry in the direction of reform. FIAT and the old-style politicians need to stop working against market and community forces and work towards positive outcomes for the community, industry and environment," said Mr Bayley.'

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