Forest Matters | Latest edition

By Clive Stubbington

Letter from WAFA’s Convener, Jess Beckerling to Steve Gates NRPG President

Dear Steve

In this edition of Forest Matters, you will find plenty of news about our activities over the past few weeks, including that we have released a major new report on mining in the Northern Jarrah Forests. A Thousand Cuts, published in collaboration with The Wilderness Society and Conservation Council of WA, finds that bauxite mining is the primary cause of deforestation in the South West forests and sets out a powerful case for further mining expansions into the forests to be rejected. Read on for a link to the report and further info. 

It’s been a very productive month for the forests. We’ve been working to ensure that community and scientific expert views are being heard in the development of the next Forest Management Plan, standing in the way of Rio Tinto getting a foothold in the forests, being a voice for the cockatoos and much more. I hope you enjoy this edition of Forest Matters.  Warm regards, Jess  WAFA’s updates   Keeping Rio Tinto out of the Northern Jarrah Forests There was a massive community response when we heard that Rio Tinto have applied for mining exploration permits across 107,000ha of habitat in the Northern Jarrah Forests. More than 1500 objections were lodged – a record at this stage of the process as far as we’re aware. The mention hearing for group objectors has been postponed until the 22nd of July this year, and for individual objectors to April next year, due to the massive number of objections that the Court and the company are having to process. You can read more about the community response in this article in PerthNow. 

A massive, heartfelt thanks to everyone who has engaged in this process. There’s nothing easy or quick about standing up to a massive mining company to protect forests, but it is essential climate action and vital to biodiversity and water protection that we protect intact forests. We’ll keep you up to date with developments. The next 10-year Forest Management Plan It’s been a bit of a whirlwind but things are on a much better track now than they were a month ago. In the next few days, the reports from Focus Groups will be available on the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions’ (DBCA) website. These focus groups have created an opportunity for conservationists, independent experts and others to contribute ideas before the draft Forest Management Plan is written. This is vital to good process and a significant improvement on recent consultation approaches. Now we need to see the views of community and experts incorporated into the plan. The policy change to end native forest logging was critical in getting us to this point, but as we know the proof will be in the pudding. We cannot lose focus. The work of getting the detail right is just beginning. The next steps are for us to meet with DBCA and the Conservation and Parks Commission with our detailed mapping and proposals for new protected areas. We are very excited to know that at least an additional 400 000 ha of forest is going to be securely protected from logging and clearing in the next 10 year plan.Call for the cockatoos. The campaign has been going from strength to strength since handing over a petition to Parliament calling for an Emergency Plan to protect the three species of South West Black Cockatoos. The most urgent action we need to see taken is a moratorium on the clearing of the last of the pine trees on the Gnangara mound. Around 3/4 of the trees have been cleared already, and scientists predict that the Perth-Peel population of Carnaby’s / Ngolyenoks will be reduced by over 50% by a major starvation event if the rest is cleared. 

The Save the Cockatoo campaign is now appealing to the Premier to put a moratorium on the clearing and enact an Emergency Plan for all three species. You can show your support by calling the Premier’s office on 6552 2000 and asking for two things: 1. A moratorium on the clearing of the Gnangara pines, and 2. An Emergency Plan to protect all three South West black cockatoos from extinction.  Major new report released This week we released A Thousand Cuts: Mining in the Northern Jarrah Forests in conjunction with The Wilderness Society and Conservation Council of WA. It’s a powerful and important report, thanks to work from a number of skilled and dedicated people. 

It finds that bauxite mining is in the number one cause of deforestation in the South West forests and that the rate has increased considerably over the past decade, with over a third of all clearing for bauxite mining having occurred in the past 10 years. Now Alcoa and South32 want to clear a further 11,109 hectares and we are determined to stop these expansions. You can read the report here  and find out more about the campaign and sign up here Welcome to Jinni Wilson!We are absolutely delighted to have welcomed our new media officer, Jinni Wilson to the team this month. Jinni brings a wealth of experience to the role and will be helping to increase the reach and visibility of all things forest related. Send us your local stories and Jinni will get in touch to develop them with you. In solidarity for the forests, Jess
 Jess Beckerling
Campaign Director | WA Forest Alliance
[email protected]  Here’s how you can stay involved:Invest in forest defence and become a regular donor Join the team of people taking meaningful actionsVolunteer at upcoming events Stay connected via social mediaCheck out our websiteTogether, for forests! Team WAFA We acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional owners of the southwest forests across the Noongar/Bibbulmun nation. This always was and always will be Aboriginal land.
Jess at WA Forest Alliance
http://www.ccwa.org.au/-=-=- Conservation Council of Western Australia · City West Lotteries House, 2 Delhi Street, West Perth, WA 6005, Australia

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