Room for Improvement
VicForests has a snowball’s hope in hell of gaining the green tick of approval from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international wood certification body.
It had a preliminary audit carried out on its logging management and it failed dismally. This didn’t stop it from claiming in a media release that the auditors recognised the wonderful job they do (!?)
Several media outlets (ABC & SMH) picked this up and VicForests was forced to admit that they could need to clean up their act, especially in regards to clearfelling old growth and burning logged forests. They might also need to rethink their conversion of diverse forests into single age, single species tree crops and destroying valuable forests that support threatened species like Leadbeaters Possum, Sooty Owls, Potoroos, Greater Gliders and Quolls. Those few things for starters would stop them from logging native forests.
The Australian’s article said:
The negative findings relate to even the lowest form of FSC certification, suggesting VicForests’ aim of achieving the highest level will require fundamental changes… (and that it) “will likely require significant modifications to the current forest management system to meet the requirements”. In particular, the report warns VicForests “should continue to explore -alternative harvest prescriptions ... to more effectively demonstrate that its silvicultural and other management practices are appropriate for forest ecosystem function, structure, diversity”.
It warns … that VicForests’ approach to old-growth logging is an area of possible “major nonconformity” with certification standards.
EEG helps take Australia’s environmental vandalism to international forum
Eight environment groups are turning to an international umpire to help combat the Abbott Government’s plan to dismantle environmental protection laws.
The international Convention of Biological Diversity has been given a report detailing the Abbott government’s plans to hand down environment protection powers to the states and why this will worsen environmental losses.
The next meeting is in mid June and our groups will send two delegates to Montreal to lobby at the meeting.
Environment East Gippsland along with the ACF, Lawyers for Forests, Environment Justice Australia and others are asking for an investigation into Australia’s non compliance with its obligations at international law.
Australia is experiencing the fastest rate of mammalian decline in the world which is getting worse every year. Australia has also been a signatory to the Convention since 1992 and yet every government has failed to meet its international conservation commitments.
EEG has been forced to take legal action against the state government three times since 2009 and these actions have shown the state is unable and unwilling to protect our environment and wildlife. The Abbott government can’t simply hand responsibility to the states. The situation is desperate and we hope that shining an international spotlight on Australia might help. Sacrificing species in order to aid development, mining and logging interests is the tactic of poor debt ridden developing countries, not a wealthy, educated nation.
Click on the link for the petition that is being delivered and the accompanying One Stop Chop report.
Read The Australian article States can't handle environment laws (10th June 2014)
Fire response inquiry called for - please help
Incompetence, chaos and lack of direct attack on bushfires in far East Gippsland saw 170,000 ha burnt in January and February this year. Why did this happen when so much more could have been done? Many of the problems experienced were avoidable. The Emergency Services Commissioner and Minister has only offered an internal review. The community is demanding an inquiry to fully explore why it was handled as it was. You can help by signing this petition. Two clicks and it's done. www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/kim-wells-set-up-an-independent-public-inquiry-into-the-east-gippsland-red-sunday-bush-fires
Numerous inquiries after fires admit to problems and identify solutions, yet nothing changes. An inquiry is critical to ensure other rural communities don't pay the high price of government failings. It must investigate why the disarray remains.
Houses, assets, livestock, thousands of native animals and some of the state's most beautiful forests in the Snowy National Park might have been saved if there was proper preparation, communication, effective use of resources and timely deployment of machines and fire fighters.
The fire edge was deliberately increased daily and left unattended. Water use and strategic direct attack was minimal. Government fire agencies failed communities in basic and obvious ways.
The cost of the fires came to over $100 million and the fire continued for 58 days.This must also be scrutinised.
Please tell the Minister and Commissioner that an internal review is not good enough. An open and independent inquiry must be ordered.
NO TRUST IN DEPI – mistakes reveal need for inquiry
12th May 2014
"Huge bushfires in far East Gippsland went largely unchecked for over 2 months in early 2014. Some locals claim that DEPI staff and contractors lit unnecessary backburns, abandoned dangerous backburns at night, knocked down old growth hollow trees inside the National Park boundary as "revenge" against greenies and did so without fire-control rationale. Victorian Fire Commissioner Craig Lapsley has repeated many times in the media that an inquiry into these practices is not warranted. It remains to be seen if he has convinced the local community of his preferred course of action."
EEG’s coordinator, Jill Redwood, was interviewed by the ABC for a 1:35min news clip (click to watch) on 10th May.
The huge bushfires in far East Gippsland went largely unchecked in their early stages and grew to become a 170,000 ha disaster and was kept going for almost 2 months from mid-January to early March. It cost tax payers well over $100M (Hazelwood's fire-fighting cost was in the vicinity of $15M).
Locals from the small communities of Bonang, Goongerah and Tubbut represent a wide range of political opinions yet all were united on the call for an independent inquiry into why these fires were managed so badly in many respects. The combined communities of Goongerah, Tubbut and Bonang documented a sample of the failures. This was presented to Victorian Fire Commissioner Craig Lapsley on 8th May in Bonang.
We are calling for an enquiry into the methods used. Yet he has repeated many times in the media that an inquiry into these bad practices is not warranted. Instead he is offering some sort of ‘community engagement’.
The Bonang and Goongerah meetings were covered in a double page spread by the local Bairnsdale Advertiser.
NSW set to incinerate forests for electricity
12th May 2014
NSW parliament has approved the shovelling of native forests into furnaces to generate electricity. Even worse, it'll be termed 'renewable'!
The North East Forest Alliance, said the motion that could have stopped forests being cut down and burnt was 'shot down by the shooters and the christians'.
Our focus now shifts to electricity retailers. This cyberletter addressed to 30 or so energy retailers and fuel companies around the country needs to keep circulating and being signed. Please sign and pass it on as widely as possible. We need to stop this in its tracks before it spreads.
Read more about how logging Australia’s native forests for bioenergy harms the climate, wildlife, and people
BOYCOTT THESE AFS ENVELOPES
Don't be conned! These envelopes should be avoided as they just provide free promotion for the farce that is the Australian Forest Standard.
AFS is the loggers-own 'green tick' they invented to try and cover their 'business as usual' forest destruction.
BIOMASSACRE - Don't trash our forests for energy
The logging, woodchipping and energy industries are poised to unleash plans to use native forests to produce electricity, and to convert forests into liquid bio-fuels.
www.biomassacre.com has a cyber action that you can easily be part of. Sign the online action now to ask electricity retailers if they plan to boycott selling power that has been generated from burning native forests.
dont trash forests for bioenergy/say no to a biomassacre
More details at http://biomassacre.com/
This short video explains how forests and our climate are so closely connected. Forests are our greatest land based carbon stores, shade the earth, moderate our climate and provide clouds and rainfall.
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