Forest Blockades in Central Highlands

Two blockades have stopped logging in high conservation value native forests, just two hours east of Melbourne this morning.

Wilderness Society

Friends of the Earth

Media Release

Central Highlands. Image: TWS

Forest blockades stop logging to stop greenhouse pollution

Two blockades have stopped logging in high conservation value native forests, just two hours east of Melbourne this morning.  Conservationists have blocked roads with ‘dragons’ and established tree platforms perched high in the forest canopy.

“Startling new science proves that forest protection is an essential part of any climate change action plan.  Premier Bracks must protect Victoria’s forests and assist the logging industry’s rapid transition into Victoria’s existing plantation estate”, said Lauren Caulfield, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth.

“In 2004/05, Victoria destroyed 8995 hectares of native forests, releasing as much carbon into the atmosphere as putting an extra 2.4 million cars on the road in a year.  To protect us from the impacts of dangerous climate change, this destruction must stop”, Ms Caulfield said.

The Wilderness Society’s forest campaigner, Luke Chamberlain, said, “Eighteen percent of global greenhouse pollution is caused by logging and tree clearing, even greater than the emissions of the global transport sector. The first, and easiest thing we should do to reduce greenhouse emissions is to stop logging and clearing.”

“Trees are giant carbon pumps, sucking carbon from the air and pumping it into the ground, trunks and branches. Logging, soil disturbance and post logging burns release over half of this carbon back into the atmosphere”, said Dr Watson, The Wilderness Society’s climate campaigner. “This is never accounted for by the logging industry.”

“The logging industry has been misleading the public by saying that logging is good for climate change because young re-growth forests suck up more carbon than old growth forests.  However, the logging industry conveniently ignores the massive carbon loss that occurs when the original forest is logged.”

“It takes at least 150 years for a forest to be carbon neutral after logging, and as most of our logged forest ends up as woodchips, all of the carbon is lost within three years,” said Dr Watson.

Further comment: Lauren Caulfield (on site) 0433 927 066 and Gavan McFadzean 0414 754 023; Luke Chamberlain (Melb) 0424 098 729
Greenhouse, forestry and carbon accounting: Dr James Watson: 0400 307 929