18.2 C
Byron Shire
July 6, 2022

It’s International Day of Forests

Latest News

Value of the intangible and Suffolk Parks future

It’s hard to know what value to place on the environment – until it changes irrevocably.  A place is defined...

Other News

First Nations place-names under Ballina council spotlight

Greater efforts at reconciliation with First Nations people in the Ballina Shire when it comes to place-names is to happen after furious agreement at June’s council meeting.

Flood-prone land in Murwillumbah swapped for flood-free land 

It has been five years in the making but the innovative land swap of flood-prone land for flood-free land in Murwillumbah is underway with a second round of ‘expressions of interest’ about to open. 

Active Fest and Olympics heading to Byron

Want a fun day of netball, rugby league, soccer, skateboarding, BMX, baseball 5, or tennis? The Active Fest is coming to the Cavanbah Centre in Byron on July 14.

Tenth Nannaversary of those mischievous knitters

Would you believe it, petals, it's been 10 years since the guerilla espionage not-so-sweet little ladies now known as the Knitting Nannas started their ruthless needling of CSG miner Metgasco.

Bike path? 

Byron Councillors please note: A painted line on the side of the road is NOT a (safe) bike path. Paul...

Teen missing from Coffs Harbour

NSW Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a teenager missing in the Coffs Harbour area.

NEFA’s Paula Flack in old growth forest in Cloud’s Creek State Forest on the Dorrigo Plateau, one of the many stands needed to be added to national parks that Forestry Corporation attempted to have opened up for logging in 2018. Photo Dailan Pugh.

On International Day of Forests, North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) says it is essential that we recognise that forests support our civilisation, climate and biodiversity.

In a statement for International Day of Forests for NEFA President Dailan Pugh said that forests are under unprecedented threat due to increasing droughts, heatwaves, wildfires and floods, at the very time we need them to take our carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in their wood and soils, and to mitigate flooding by storing and slowing the water during extreme rainfall events.

Big old trees are awesome

‘Big old trees are awesome, hundreds of years old, towering 8-12 stories high, apartment complexes for hollow-dependent animals with larders for Koalas, gliders, possums and a multitude of honeyeaters.

‘Forests improve our health, generate rainfall, cool the land, regulate streamflows, sequester and store carbon, reduce flood risk by storing water and slowing flows, reduce landslips by reinforcing soils, and support most of our biodiversity.’

Mr Pugh says that nineteen Australian ecosystems have been identified as already in collapse. ‘In the marine environment, climate change is causing the decline of the Great Barrier Reef which once again is ravished by another mass coral bleaching event. Most of the giant kelp forests off southern Australia have already gone, and many species are moving south as the waters warm.

Forest ecosystems are collapsing

‘Forest ecosystems identified as already collapsing are: Mountain ash forest; Murray-Darling River Basin – riverine; Gondwanan conifer forest; Wet Tropical Rainforest; Mediterranean-type Forests and Woodlands; Australian Tropical Savanna; and Mangrove forests.’

Mr Pugh says that NSW’s coastal forests are suffering similar fate as droughts and heatwaves kill multitudes of trees and animals, spreading dieback through degraded forests, while increasing wildfires are eliminating our alpine forests and burning a third of our rainforests in the Black Summer bushfires.

‘Last month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that many forests have already been severely affected by climate heating, with many forest ecosystems likely to collapse if heating exceeds 1.5oC for too long. Australia has already warmed by 1.4oC, our forests can’t afford anymore.

‘Humans depend on the world’s forests to absorb a third of our annual emissions of carbon and store it out of harms way. As trees die, and forests collapse, they stop removing our carbon and release the vast quantities they store. Losing our forests threatens runaway climate heating.

‘Stopping climate heating not only requires us to stop our emissions, it also depends on removing more carbon from the atmosphere, and we need trees to do it.’

Mr Pugh says that logged native forests have already lost over half the carbon they once stored, if we allow them to recover they can remove huge volumes from the atmosphere and help us deal with this existential crisis.

Logging of forests dries them

‘Logging of forests dries them, increases fire risk, reduces stream flows, increases flood risk, reduces nectar, reduces tree hollows, spreads weeds, creates erosion, and makes them more vulnerable to collapse.

‘Last October at the UN Biodiversity Conference Australia signed onto the Kunming Declaration, saying we supported the commitment to “protect 30 per cent globally of land areas and of sea areas” by 2030. Last November at COP 26 Australia signed on to the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use with the aspirational goal “to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030”.

‘NSW has only protected 9 per cent of our land area (18 per cent nationally). We have a long way to go to honour our commitments and there is not much time left.

‘We must act immediately to turn the accelerating climate and biodiversity crises around before it is too late. Two easy changes we need to make are stopping logging public native forests and stopping clearing forests.

‘If the NSW and Federal Governments continue to refuse to do so, it is your responsibility to stand up and speak out to make them.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. I certainly couldn’t have put it better or more concisely.
    It is all true , we know it’s all true but when will a government , or indeed ALL governments, even consider the steps necessary to save ourselves from our rampant overpopulation .
    Cheers, G”)

    • Quite right, population is the problem. No democratically elected Government will ever have the courage to tackle it though.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Where is the love?

I have lived in Mullum and the surrounding hills for 35 years.  Yesterday I drove to Upper Main Arm, to Kohinur, to visit a friend,...

Flood help information from Chinderah, and Uki to South Golden Beach

The floods in February and March are still having direct impacts on the lives of many people and Serice NSW has a trailer coming to a location near you so you can easily access flood assistance.

Weaving through NAIDOC

DJ and Delta with some of the Weaving for Reconciliation exhibits. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Management of Byron’s fragile coastline impeded by NSW government: report

Insufficient funding and guidance from the State government is inhibiting Byron Council’s attempt to effectively manage its famous but fragile coastline, a Council report has revealed.