Saturday, March 2, 2024
HomeNewsEnvironmentSecuring forest protection is real climate action

Securing forest protection is real climate action

It does not make sense that the bulldozers are stripping bare the native forests of northern NSW, while the koalas flee in terror to find new habitat. We are all still shocked that the logging of koala habitat continues after we all saw the firefighter feeding the stricken koala with water, or the burnt koalas being taken to the valiant Port Macquarie hospital.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tells us, “Never mind global warming, the era of global boiling has arrived.” We are to blame but we can still limit global temperature rise. Guterres says we can still avoid the very worst of climate change but only with dramatic, immediate climate action. Premier Minns and Prime Minister Albanese have a major tool in the climate action tool kit. It is the wild, wonderful and wildlife-filled native forests across NSW and throughout Australia.

NSW has a Labor Government that won government promising to declare a Great Koala National Park. But the logging in this proposed park continues. This proposed park also is not enough. All the native forests of NSW need protection from logging and clearing. On the South Coast, logging for woodchipping at the Eden chip mill has been the driver of native forest logging since 1969. Over 80 per cent of South Coast forests available for logging were burnt in the 2019-20 bushfires. During 2020, 96 per cent of trees felled in the Eden region were for woodchips.

For three days in August, environmental activists, First Nations people, concerned citizens and wildlife enthusiasts from all corners of the country will unite to call on Australia’s governments to give secure protection to all its native forests and end native forest logging.

We will unite the Australian public in support of forest protection and ending native forest logging. Across NSW, we have rallies in Ulladulla, Coffs Harbour, Lismore and in Prime Minister Albanese’s electoral heartland, Marrickville.

Securing forest protection is real climate action and it will prevent forest species’ path to extinction. We don’t need to be logging native forests anymore as we have enough plantations. Ninety per cent of all our wood needs already come from plantations. Native forests and wildlife are being pulverised at public expense for markets which could and should be supplied by plantation timber.

Now the challenge is with all of us. Knowing that there are more than enough plantations to meet all of Australia’s wood needs, are we going to be the generation that put a stop to native forest carnage? It will take courage and commitment, not least for those at the front lines in the forests, but we are on our way to that historic achievement – and Prime Minister Albanese is the key.

Scientists are raising the alarm and saying the best hedge against global heating is to stop destroying natural forests. Native forest protection is a climate solution and must not include monetising forest carbon into carbon trading credits because it would delay an exit from fossil fuels and/or provide a lifeline to support ongoing native forest logging.

It is critical for Prime Minister Albanese to be the Prime Minister who protects Australia’s native forests and shows real leadership on urgently needed climate action. Photo: Bob Brown Foundation

Opinion polls repeatedly show that a big majority of voters across Australia, and in every state, want the forests and their wildlife saved. The majority includes more than three of every four people who vote Labor. That’s why it’s so important that we turn out at rallies across the nation to end native forest destruction. It is time for us, the public, to insist that the governments respond to the voters who are demanding action to save what is left of our forests and wildlife.

Now is the time for all good people to come to the defence of rainforests, native forests and wildlife. Either we make a stand in wealthy Australia to stop this completely unwarranted and needless destruction, or the game is up for the world’s future environmental security. We cannot ask people elsewhere to do what we aren’t prepared to do ourselves. This is part of the human-created crisis of existence for life on Earth.

The former NSW government had a blueprint to end native forest logging, so Premier Minns, you can have one too. Prime Minister Albanese has a critical role to play here too. He can be the Prime Minister who protects Australia’s native forests and show real leadership on urgently needed climate action.

Our climate is breaking down and species are on the brink of extinction due to their habitats being destroyed for too long. A solution is right in front of us, trees are a natural climate solution if they are not cut down. When we save native forests, we save essential ecosystems in this time of climate and extinction crises. Right now, when we need forests the most, we are destroying them at a rate more than ever. We must also leave fossil fuels in the ground.

_______________

Natalie Penn works with the Bob Brown Foundation. Join the Sydney rally (at 1pm on August 12 at 142 Addison Road Marrickville) to call Australia’s governments to give secure protection to all its native forests and end native forest logging. See defendthegiants.org

spot_img
- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment -spot_img

Stingless bees at Mirrung Garden

Mirrung Garden at South Sydney Uniting Church in Waterloo is now home to a hive of native bees. The beehive is located in the south-east corner of the garden, which also includes a variety of native plants and trees, egg-laying hens, fruit and veggie plots, a beautiful contemplative garden,...

The Settlement needs our help

Did your kids go to The Settlement? Did you? Established by Sydney University Women’s College, this wonderful local organisation has been providing services for children and youth in our community for over 130 years. There are grandmothers and fathers in the neighbourhood who went to The Settlement when they were...

Volunteers’ News – February 2024

Welcome back to another year of the South Sydney Herald, still being published in our 23rd year, thanks to your support and readership.

Tennis legends criticised for boycott plea

Tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert have been accused of “turning their backs on women” after pushing back on plans to hold the season ending WTA Finals in Saudi Arabia’s capital.

Photos from January 26

Michelle Haywood captures the mood of January 26 with this collection of photos from across South and central Sydney.

Melanoma treatment pioneers awarded 2024 Australian of the Year

University of Sydney Professors Georgina Long AO and Richard Scolyer AO, co-medical directors of the Melanoma Institute Australia, have jointly won the prestigious Australian of the Year award for their pioneering work in the treatment of melanoma.