As we observe socially responsible physical distancing, we know powerful lobby groups continue to do their dirty work. We, people of faith, remain called to join the courageous efforts of civil society to continue to fight for what is right. ARRCC is a member of the Australian Forests and Climate Alliance which is inviting as many people and organisations as possible to endorse their Statement, to be used for advocacy purposes with Australian governments. Please share this link widely: http://forestsandclimate.org.au/national-overview/stop-logging-native-forests/
Tragically, logging continues after the fires, even in unburnt remnant native forests which are known habitat for threatened species. The number of jobs the Australian logging industry generates is not worth the loss of habitat for species and carbon sequestration our precious forests provide. AFCA calls on governments to immediately halt logging native forests pending an informed scientific assessment of the reality we now face.
After the summer's devastating bushfires, it is unconscionable that the logging industry is being allowed to continue its destruction in what remains of our native forests. This is the overview:
Astoundingly, the logging lobby, the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), is asking for subsidies to introduce heavy machinery into burnt, unburnt and recovering native forests to log for unproven ‘hazard reduction’ or ‘salvage’. This blind business-as-usual approach is contrary to both scientific advice and any spiritual appreciation of the beauty, wonder and value of Creation.
As Pope Francis quoted in Laudato Si’, Patriarch Bartholomew once wrote: “For human beings… to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins”.
Even in January, NSW Forestry Corporation was already logging unburnt koala habitat and destroying the homes and food sources of surviving wildlife. In early in March observers witnessed a forest being logged on the NSW North Coast which was one of the last patches of unburnt habitat for the nationally threatened Hastings River mouse that had 86% of its habitat burnt in the fires. . threatened species such as the spotted-tail quoll, greater glider and the powerful owl that call this same forest home were also devastated by the recent fires with more than half of their habitat burnt. Unburnt forests are critical refuges for recovery and must be protected from further destruction. Here’s the video footage: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=508582596735832
The native forest logging industry has been in decline for decades due to unsustainable and uncompetitive logging. It is heavily reliant on government subsidies and employs very few people. As part of the recovery process, plantations should be the sole basis of the future forestry industry. Given the extent of fire impact on native forests, with habitat so drastically degraded and depleted, logging should stop immediately. Its continuation makes neither environmental nor economic sense.
The number of jobs this generates is not worth the loss of habitat for species and carbon sequestration our precious forests provide. Healthy forest ecosystems are critical to human health and survival. Evidence-based science must guide the recovery and future management of our nation’s native forests to enhance their resilience to climate change.
Please join with AFCA, by signing here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdBQSWtbCT7vXSCNM51cwgSzAlgnSzlVHuK_2p-BuoI50Cnqg/viewform
This is a grassroots initiative which has a better chance of success the greater the public support.