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Analysis and Comment (25)

The Green Army will plant lots of trees: good for mopping up carbon, but not always good for water catchments. The Green Army will plant lots of trees: good for mopping up carbon, but not always good for water catchments. Britta Campion/AAPImage

We mustn’t waste water while taking action on climate change

Should we pick and choose our climate strategies based on how water-wise they are? As our new research published in Climatic Change shows, some activities aimed at tackling greenhouse emissions can also…
Parts of Tasmania’s World Heritage area will not be delisted – but the forests will still need management and protection. Parts of Tasmania’s World Heritage area will not be delisted – but the forests will still need management and protection. ngaur/Flickr

Tasmania’s forests to remain under World Heritage

The 74,000 hectares of Tasmania’s controversial World Heritage extension will not be delisted as requested by the Tasmanian and federal governments. At the meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee…
Much of Tasmania’s World Heritage has been sculpted by ice. The extension to the area (currently under debate) adds to all these values. Much of Tasmania’s World Heritage has been sculpted by ice. The extension to the area (currently under debate) adds to all these values. Simon Lieschke/Flickr

Tasmania’s World Heritage debate needs to look beyond the trees

The debate around Tasmania’s controversial World Heritage extension, under review this week at international talks in Doha, has centred on forests. But the area includes far more than “just” trees — including…
Cattle drovers have won back the right to graze livestock in the Australian Alps - against scientists' advice. Cattle drovers have won back the right to graze livestock in the Australian Alps - against scientists' advice. AAP Image/Bob Richardson

Why is our wildlife in trouble? Because we’re ignoring science

From reef dredging, to shark culling, to opening old-growth forests to logging, environmental policies are leaving Australia’s wildlife exposed to threats. The reason, we propose, is that society and government…
Which path will the government take? Which path will the government take? Roger Jones

How our forests are governed is not yet out of the woods

Three years ago, government plans to privatise the forests met with strong opposition from community groups and NGOs. But there have been calls for change – among others the Woodland Trust has called for…
Clear-felling and burning is not the future for Tasmania’s forests, no matter what happens with a looming World Heritage wilderness decision. Clear-felling and burning is not the future for Tasmania’s forests, no matter what happens with a looming World Heritage wilderness decision. Ta Ann Truths/Flickr

Tasmanian forestry plans a revival beyond World Heritage

The Tasmanian forestry industry is already thinking beyond the federal and state governments' plans to abolish the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement, which include trying to remove 74,000 hectares of forest…
Logging native forests is no longer the way forward. Logging native forests is no longer the way forward. Ta Ann Truths/Flickr

Tasmania defers logging plans as timber industry resists free-for-all

The new Tasmanian government has announced the first steps in delivering on its pledge to reinvent the forest industry. Interestingly, this includes not allowing logging for at least six years in 400,000…
Furniture retailer Harvey Norman has been targeted by activists, in a campaign described by the federal government as dishonest. Furniture retailer Harvey Norman has been targeted by activists, in a campaign described by the federal government as dishonest. AAP Image/The Last Stand/Matthew Newton

Boycotts are a crucial weapon to fight environment-harming firms

In October 2000, I was driving through downtown Boise, Idaho, and nearly careered off the road. Just in front of me was a giant inflatable Godzilla-like dinosaur, well over 30m tall. It was towering over…
While the forest industry might hope that business is open, shifts in the wood market suggest otherwise. While the forest industry might hope that business is open, shifts in the wood market suggest otherwise. Ta Ann Truths/Flickr

Ripping up the forestry deal won’t guarantee Tasmanian timber boom

There are many jubilant Tasmanians this week celebrating the death of the Tasmanian Forests Agreement now that the forest industry has endorsed the government’s mandate to tear up the deal. I am not one…
Victory by the Liberals in Saturday’s Tasmania state election was widely anticipated, but what are the challenges now for Will Hodgman’s new government? Victory by the Liberals in Saturday’s Tasmania state election was widely anticipated, but what are the challenges now for Will Hodgman’s new government? AAP/Rob Blakers

Tasmania election aftermath: what now for the Apple Isle?

On Saturday, the winds of change took on the proportions of a Bass Strait gale to deliver the Liberal Party an emphatic victory in the Tasmanian state election. The Liberals, under long-serving leader…
Lake Judd, in Tasmania’s Southwest National Park. Lake Judd, in Tasmania’s Southwest National Park. JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons

Abbott’s half right: our national parks are good but not perfect

Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week told a timber industry dinner that he doesn’t think national parks should be a growth industry: “We have quite enough national parks. We have quite enough locked up…
Changing corporate attitudes are giving orangutans and other endangered species in Indonesia’s rainforests more hope of survival. Changing corporate attitudes are giving orangutans and other endangered species in Indonesia’s rainforests more hope of survival. Flickr/Austronesian Expeditions

How global forest-destroyers are turning over a new leaf

Indonesia is the world’s biggest destroyer of forests and four multinational corporations — APP, APRIL, Wilmar and Golden Agri Resources — have been responsible for much of it. Until recently these mega-corporations…
Woods today, firewood tomorrow? Woods today, firewood tomorrow? Chris Ison/PA

Justified and ancient: our best woodland is irreplaceable

The threat to Britain’s ancient woodland has been much discussed recently, the suggestion being that where they are lost to housing development they might be replaced with new woods through biodiversity…
One reason why: Leadbeater’s Possum will become extinct unless further action is taken to protect their Mountain Ash habitat. One reason why: Leadbeater’s Possum will become extinct unless further action is taken to protect their Mountain Ash habitat. Flcirk/Greens MPs

Why Victoria needs a Giant Forest National Park

The Central Highlands of Victoria are home to the world’s tallest flowering plants, the Mountain Ash, and one of Australia’s most endangered mammals, the Leadbeater’s Possum. Both are threatened by ongoing…
Opening Tasmania’s World Heritage forests to logging is unlawful and uneconomic. Opening Tasmania’s World Heritage forests to logging is unlawful and uneconomic. Rob Blakers www.robblakers.com

New danger for Australian World Heritage wilderness

Australia’s new government plans to axe not only the carbon price, but also iconic, World Heritage-listed, Tasmanian forests. Opening these forests for logging would break international law, and that would…
Greg Hunt will face hurdles in his plan to stop rainforest logging, but there is much he could do now. Greg Hunt will face hurdles in his plan to stop rainforest logging, but there is much he could do now. Rainforest Action Network

Hunt’s direct action on rainforest could reap carbon rewards

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt’s ambition to broker a new global rainforest recovery plan reopens an important conversation about Australia’s role in tackling tropical deforestation. And it…
An aerial view of the Cononaco River in the Ecuadorian Amazon, with a huge emergent Ceiba tree in the foreground. An aerial view of the Cononaco River in the Ecuadorian Amazon, with a huge emergent Ceiba tree in the foreground.

FactCheck: is protecting global rainforests the best way to rapidly tackle climate change?

“Nothing would do more to rapidly decrease the risk of climate change than a major plan to protect global rainforests” – Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt, media release, 30 August. Launching…
Firefighters, rangers and officials have been fighting the fire for 12 days. Firefighters, rangers and officials have been fighting the fire for 12 days. Noah Berger/EPA

We set the fuel for the Rim Fire, climate change lit the match

The frequency of large wildfires in the western US have been increasing over the past several decades. The Rim Fire, currently threatening the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park, is an example…
We can develop a logging industry that works for everyone. We can develop a logging industry that works for everyone. Flickr/Ta Ann: Behind the veneer

How to get sustainable forestry right

Australian forestry is shifting: in recent months some states have moved to log less, some more. More logging brings protests about environmental values; less, complaints about how it will affect the state’s…
Financially, using the NSW Southern Forestry Region for carbon credits is a better option than continued harvesting. Financially, using the NSW Southern Forestry Region for carbon credits is a better option than continued harvesting. Flickr/Tony Rodd

Profits from forests? Leave the trees standing

In debates about climate change and the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, there is a widely-held belief that market mechanisms, like the Labor government’s carbon pricing scheme, will reduce emissions…
Many rural residents say plantation forestry is ruining communities; many say otherwise. Who is right? Many rural residents say plantation forestry is ruining communities; many say otherwise. Who is right? teejaybee/flickr

Do you see what I see? Rural reactions to changing land use

Land-use planners and policy-makers often face claims and counter claims regarding the impacts of land-use change. For example, some residents claim wind turbines have crippling health impacts, while others…
The Tasmanian forestry deal was about finding a balance between business and conservation. The Tasmanian forestry deal was about finding a balance between business and conservation. lizardstomp/flickr

Tasmanian forestry peace deal only the beginning

Last week, after nearly two years of negotiations, loggers and environmentalists shook hands on a Tasmanian forestry peace deal. The deal represents a landmark in more than 30 years of animosity between…
Recent arguments suggesting the size of the political debate around the Tasmanian forestry industry is disproportionate to its economic importance is misleading. Recent arguments suggesting the size of the political debate around the Tasmanian forestry industry is disproportionate to its economic importance is misleading. AAP

Still here: why Tasmanian forest industry job figures are misleading

The Australia Institute (TAI) has recently used Census data to claim that the Tasmanian forest industry employs only 975 workers. Based on this, they argued that the size of the political debate about…
Land of the snow gums: Australian forests are dynamic. Land of the snow gums: Australian forests are dynamic. Flickr/SplaTT

Australia’s vast and dynamic forest cover: a bird’s-eye view

Forests spark emotional debates in Australia. Much of the rhetoric is about saving “the last of Tasmania’s wild forests” or how we must “stop logging in Australian native forests”. Australian forests…

Research and News (2)

Research Briefs (1)