FROM THE TCT WEBSITE..........................."On 20 October 2010, the Tasmanian Conservation Trust announced that it had decided not to endorse the Forests Statement of Principles Agreement (the Agreement) which was signed by representatives of the forest industry and three conservation groups and presented to you on the 19 October 2010. The TCT is delighted to acknowledge that the Agreement establishes considerable common ground between the industry and conservationists and this is a good basis for further negotiation. The TCT also acknowledges that the Agreement promises an astoundingly positive outcome for the protection of high conservation values of intact forests on public land, mainly in wilderness areas, and the TCT strongly supports this ambition. The Agreement is NOT, however, a complete plan for the conservation of Tasmania’s forested landscapes and the TCT has identified a number of key issues that need to be addressed in parallel to any efforts to implement the Agreement if a truly effective and comprehensive conservation outcome is to be achieved. Indeed, the principal reason why the TCT did not join others in endorsing the Agreement was because of the sheer number of omissions and their importance for the TCT and the wider Tasmanian community".
The Agreement: -
• fails to address the broader need for protection of native forests and other ecosystems for biodiversity conservation – where almost all priority issues and areas are to be found on private land
• fails to address ‘fatal flaws’ associated with ongoing attempts by Gunns Ltd to establish its Bleached Eucalyptus Kraft Pulp (BEKP) pulp mill in the Tamar Valley
• fails to make an appropriate commitment to reform land management agencies in Tasmania, especially Forestry Tasmania and the Parks and Wildlife Service, to recognise internal conflicts of interest and the intended reality of a much expanded reserve estate in Tasmania (likely to be more than 50% of the state if the reserves promised as part of the Agreement are included)
• fails to establish an appropriate, science-based process to establish prudent timetables and limitations on a transition out of disputed public native forests that clearly establishes appropriate high conservation values, the extent of such values and appropriate management of forest needed to maintain such values; and
• fails to commit to identifying and commercially exploiting the carbon benefits of protecting and restoring native forests.
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