World Heritage Committee decision sets clear steps to address proposed management problems for Tasmania’s Wilderness
Advocates for the proper protection of the outstanding natural and cultural values in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (WHA) are united in calling on Government to accept the decision adopted today by the World Heritage Committee and commit to implementing the very clear steps it outlines, including a ban on all logging within the WHA.
The decision rejects the Hodgman Government’s weakened draft Management Plan and, amongst other things:
· Requests Government to work with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community on a cultural heritage study for the entire World Heritage Area
· Urges Government to review the Management Plan and:
o Recognise wilderness as fundamental
o Recognise cultural heritage values
o Establish strict criteria regarding new tourism development
· Urges the Government to ensure logging and mining are not permitted in the entire World Heritage Area through a strengthening of conservation status
· Requests additional funding for conservation management
“This decision confirms an international rejection of Mr Hodgman’s plans to allow logging and mining in the WHA and identifies very clear solutions to addressing these and other issues,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society, speaking from Bonn.
“Logging and mining have no place in a World Heritage Area and Government must commit to explicitly prohibit both logging and mining by upgrading the conservation status of relevant areas to National Park. This relates to iconic forest areas such as the Styx, Weld and upper Florentine valleys and the Great Western Tiers.
“Tasmania is courting the world and inviting tourists to visit our wilderness and wild places and to spend their money while here. Government must heed the advice of the international community on management expectations, or risk jeopardising Tasmania’s brand.”
Aboriginal Elder Rocky Sainty, also at the meeting in Bonn, welcomed the adoption of this decision and the recognition and pathway to proper protection it finally offers for his People’s ancestral heritage.
“The urgent step now is for the Governments to properly consult with the Aboriginal community and move forward with them on the cultural heritage assessment,” said Mr Sainty.
“Understanding the full range of cultural heritage values is critical to any plan to manage them and ensure they are properly protected.
“The Aboriginal Community is proud to have its ancestral values recognised as some of the most outstanding cultural heritage in the world. We want to see it properly researched, protected, managed and respected.”
The full decision, adopted as drafted in the official documentation can be found on page 52 here:
• Nick McKim: United Nations Slaps Down Groom on WHA Logging and Mining Parks Minister Matthew Groom’s fixation with profiting from the TWWHA has blinded him to the true value of the area. It seems that if he can’t put a dollar sign in front of it, Mr Groom is just not interested. The United Nations did not protect the TWWHA just so Mr Groom’s corporate buddies could make money from it.
• John Powell in Comments: … Both Minister Groom and Harriss are in denial, and Premier Hodgman and Deputy Premier Rockliff are plainly sycophants to Senators Abetz and Colbeck. Waiting for Opposition Leader Green to put both feet in mouth but. Odds on that he will.(SportsBet info)
• Vica Bayley: Tas Government rules out World Heritage mining, but snubs UNESCO’s logging call In response to the UNESCO decision regarding Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area (WHA), the Tasmanian Government’s announcement to ‘rule out’ mining in the WHA represents just one part of a number of specific requests that make up the decision. The decision also asks for logging to be prohibited, for wilderness to be retained in the management plan and for a comprehensive Aboriginal heritage survey. ‘A commitment to prohibit mining is welcome but represents only one part of the requested action and it must be extended to include logging,’ said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society. ‘A ban on logging across the entire World Heritage Area is specifically requested, but Government appear determined ignore this, seek to justify World Heritage logging and bulldoze ahead with changes that remove management plan protection for iconic forest areas.’ There appears confusion in the public debate as to exactly what the Hodgman Government proposes as possible regarding World Heritage logging. The facts are … • HERE
• Kim Booth in Comments: Great news that the World Heritage Committee has rejected the obscene push for mining and logging in the Tasmanian World Heritage area. There is no sympathy for those so called boatbuilders and craftsmen that Harris now sheds crocodile tears about not having access to specialty timbers. They stood back and watched and offered themselves as Trojan horses to facilitate the greatest resource of fine and rare specialty timbers on the planet to be bulldozed and burnt, sacrificed on the altar of woodchipping, Like modern day elephant hunters they now seek the last tusks of Ivory. Plenty of specialty timbers still being woodchipped if Harriss et al really care. As far as the TFA goes it legislated for logging in the WHA and punished the community by removing forests identified and agreed for conservation, if the community dared to protest against logging in other areas. It was also obvious that by the time the reserves could be proclaimed under the act, the Liberals would have well and truly repealed it. For those whom seek to rewrite history, the passing of the TFA had nothing to do with the 177 thousand hectares nominated for the WHA. Minister Tony Bourke had made it crystal clear that the nomination would proceed whether the TFA passed or not. That is why I finally voted against the bill.