Globally we face one environmental crisis after another, and the people who care about the third rock, are struggling to get the ‘no planet B’ message across.
NSW Greens MP, Dawn Walker has labelled the decision by the State and Commonwealth Governments to sign off on new Regional Forest Agreements a disaster for native forests, wildlife and the climate.
‘The NSW and Commonwealth Government’s decision represents another 20 years of forest destruction that will see millions hectares of public native forests logged across NSW,’ she said.
’We are facing a biodiversity crisis, but rather than listen to the thousands of people who made submissions calling for our precious forests to be protected and our timber needs to come from plantations, the Government has continued down the path of forest destruction and extinction.
Ms Walker says the Regional Forest Agreements were intended to end the ‘forest wars’ between communities, Governments and loggers when they were signed approximately 20 years ago. ‘Th agreements have been a manifest failure and resulted in intensified logging, an alarming crash in koala populations by 50% in parts of NSW and continued breaches of forestry regulations, often with zero consequence for loggers.
‘The LNP Government has rushed these new Regional Forest Agreements through without listening to the advice of experts or the voices of regional communities who want their forests protected in new National Parks, like the Great Koala National Park near Coffs Harbour that would be a boom for regional tourism.
Ms Walker says that a state election is just around the corner and it’s time NSW Labor joined the Greens in a commitment to end native forest logging and unwind these disastrous Regional Forest Agreements.
‘It is time to move away from this out-dated model of forest management and recognise forests as more than a timber resource to log’ said Dawn Walker, NSW Greens MP.
Meanwhile – 800 ecologists say governments ‘wilfully dismissed’ science
The Ecological Society of Australia says scientific knowledge and evidence are being ignored by governments and policy makers, and that state and federal governments are slashing environmental funding, in a statement issued at its 2018 conference in Brisbane.
The statement, endorsed by 800 ecologists, calls for significant reform of Australia’s environment laws to address Australia’s worsening biodiversity and extinction crises.
Wilderness Society National Nature Campaign Manager Suzanne Milthorpe says that Australia is in the grips of an extinction crisis, and the rate of extinction is accelerating. ’Science and communities should be the heart of environmental decision making, not ignored by politicians who are more interested in helping big corporations exploit loopholes in our weak and inefficient laws.
‘We want environmental laws that work, that actually protect nature, and we need an independent commissioner to ensure decisions are based on evidence not politics.’
The Wilderness Society, along with 53 other environment organisations, is part of Australia’s largest environment alliance – Places You Love – calling for strong new environment laws and independent institutions to address Australia’s worsening extinction, pollution and deforestation crises.