CLIMATE ACTION HOBART, Tuesday, June 9

In Bonn, Germany yesterday – A coalition of youth (including a member of local climate group Climate Action Hobart), environmental groups, NGOs, Indigenous Peoples organizations and women’s groups delivered a plea to delegates asking them to ensure a strong climate deal and warning them that they will put our survival at risk if they do not act immediately to halt deforestation and the industrial logging of the world’s primary forests (forest degradation).

“Survival is not negotiable. The climate deal signed in Copenhagen needs to ensure the survival of all countries and people. The immediate protection of the world’s forests is no longer just an option, it is essential to ensure a safe climate for us and our kids” said youth spokesperson, conference attendee and member of Climate Action Hobart Gemma Tillack.

The coalitions’ plea asks delegates to ensure that any climate deal:

• Immediately ends deforestation, industrial scale logging in primary
forests and the conversion of forests to monoculture tree crops, plantations;
• Protects the world’s biodiverse forests including primary forests in
developed countries (e.g. Australia, Canada and Russia) and tropical forests in developing countries;
• Respects the rights of women, Indigenous peoples and local communities and allow them to lead healthy and sustainable lives whilst stopping deforestation and industrial logging of primary forests in their country, and;
• Does not allow developed countries to use forest protection and the avoiding deforestation and industrial scale logging of primary forests in other countries as an offset mechanism for their own emissions.

“Yesterday’s action is particularly relevant to Australia and Climate Action Hobart completely supports the coalition’s call that we must protect forests if we are to ensure a safe climate” said Climate Action Hobart Spokesperson Jess Wright.

“Developed countries like Australia must stop undermining climate negotiations. Australia must stop industrial logging and woodchipping of our biodiverse forests and woodlands, permanently protect our forest and woodland carbon reservoirs, and start to properly account for carbon emissions from forestry activities. Only once we have done this, can we ask developing countries to protect their forests” said Jess Wright.

“This Saturday June 13th, at the National Climate Emergency Rallies, thousands of Australians will be rallying right across the country, including Tasmania to call for climate change policies that will actually ensure a safe climate for all – including the immediate protection of Australia’s carbon dense forests and woodlands” said Jess Wright.

National Climate Emergency Rallies: every capital city, Saturday June 13th.
HOBART: 12 noon, Parliament Lawns. More information: www.climaterally.org

DEAR CLIMATE NEGOTIATORS:

ENSURE OUR SURVIVAL BY HALTING DEFORESTATION AND INDUSTRIAL LOGGING OF PRIMARY FORESTS

Survival is not negotiable. The climate deal signed in Copenhagen needs to ensure the survival of all countries and people. The immediate protection of the world’s forests should be part of the climate solution. Forests are vital for life on earth. They provide us with clean air, clean water, they sequester and safely store large amounts of carbon, and they are an important part of our global and cultural identity. Protecting forests is no longer just an option, it is essential to ensure a safe climate for us and for our kids.

A coalition of youth, environmental groups, NGO’s, Indigenous peoples organizations and women’s groups expect you, as a negotiator for your country, to support a credible climate deal that:

• Immediately implements rights-based and equitable policies that halt deforestation, industrial scale logging in primary forests and the conversion of forests to monoculture tree crops or plantations. These policies should include a forest definition that clearly distinguishes forests from monoculture tree plantations;
• Protects the world’s biodiverse and carbon rich forests including primary forests in developing countries and in developed countries (e.g. Australia, Canada and Russia);
• Respects the rights of women, indigenous peoples and local communities, allowing them to lead healthy and sustainable lives while stopping deforestation and industrial logging of primary forests in their country, and;
• Ensures that these policies and measures are fully consistent with the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on Biodiversity and its Expanded Program of Work on Forest Biodiversity and contribute to conserving and enhancing biodiversity;
• Ensures these policies secure the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits of forests and other ecosystems, both between countries and within countries, taking into account the important role of Indigenous Peoples, local communities and women in conserving and restoring forests and other ecosystems.
• Assesses and develops strategies and actions to address demand side drivers of deforestation and support improved governance measures and transparency as underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation

Developed countries have specific responsibilities and need to act immediately to:

• Rule out the use of forest protection, avoiding deforestation and industrial scale logging of primary forests in other countries as an offset mechanism for their own industrial emissions of greenhouse gases.
• Recognize the historical debt caused by their excessive high emissions and commit to immediate and deep cuts in domestic greenhouse gas emissions (45% by 2020/ 95% by 2050 as an absolute minimum);
• Provide sufficient financial and technological support to enable developing countries to halt the destruction of forests and other ecosystems.

The youth trust that you will act to provide us with a healthy, ecologically sustainable and prosperous future and ensure the survival of the next generations in all countries.

Please join us and the following groups in securing a safe future by signing this pledge to halt climate change by taking the above mentioned actions.

Signed: The Youth Caucus in Bonn
Supported by: Ecosystems Climate Alliance including Global Witness, The Wilderness Society, Wetlands International, Rainforest Action Network, Rainforest Foundation Norway and Rainforest Foundation UK, FERN, Friends of the Earth International, Greenpeace, World Rainforest Movement, Global Forest Coalition, Global Climate Justice Project, Stop GE Trees, Union pour l’Emancipation de la Femme Autochtone and the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group.