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FoEA News and Events: March

Catch up on the latest newsletter of radical news, events and ways to take action for social and environmental justice.

If it's not feminist - it's not just!

International Women’s Day of Struggle is coming up next week. March the 8th is a key date of political organisation and action with the feminist movement, for women in struggle and resistance around the world, and within our federation. We mobilise as allies in solidarity with the feminist and women’s movement and founded on our collective commitment for gender justice and the dismantling of patriarchy towards system change.

In 2021, women - workers, indigenous, black, of colour, peasant, LGBTQI+, with special needs, immigrants - continue to be brutally impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the multiple, interlinking crises of which the pandemic is a symptom. The absolute incapacity of the system to care for human life and nature continues to be laid bare. Mobilising around IWD (and beyond) is key to strengthening the feminist, environmentalist, system change principles to the just recovery that we defend as an International federation.

Listen here to Phil and Sam from Friends of the Earth Melbourne talk about a radical shift in International Women's Day and why dismantling patriarchy and gender justice are precursors to a safer and healthier planet. No cupcakes, No cops, No corporates! 

You can hear Sam Castro speak in person, alongside other voices at the International Women's Day march at 2PM Monday, March 8 at Parliament in Naarm (Melbourne).

Please look out for events and actions in your local area or create your own!

'Last of the large trees'; logging interrupted on the Errinundra plateau

For two weeks logging has been halted in a precious area of forests in Errinundra. For 11 days an East Gippsland local stayed up a tree-sit to stop machines from coming in. Since then protesters have blocked the road with a tri-pod structure. Despite the arrests protests are continuing in the area, where logging has been prevented from going ahead for the last 2 weeks.

"Growing up here, I remember walking the plateau and I know how beautiful it is. I want other people to experience it, the lyrebirds, the possums, the flora, the fauna. Others might not get to experience this and it’s a shame... 

Between bushfires and logging, many species won’t return, like the owls we saw the other night. They rely on hollows that you only get in the old trees. There are less and less patches of suitable forest left and the idea that they [will be] logged is devastating.”

Photographer Rachel Mounsey from The Guardian visited Camp Errinundra to capture and share stories of people on the frontline fighting for protection of forests on the Errinundra Plateau, still up for logging.

More info on the blockade can be found here.

Call to action! Protect the Gliders.

GECO citizen scientists reported the presence of an isolated, significant population of Greater Gliders at the Errinundra coupe where protests have been stopping logging.

Call the Enviro Minister Lily D'Ambrosio MP to protect the Gliders! 03 9637 9504

It's been over a week, and it's been RADIO SILENCE from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. On top of this, they are leaving it up to VicForests to put in the protection zones for threatened species!

Last year we reported a high density of Yellow-bellied Gliders to the Department which triggered a 100ha protection zone.

But the zone is being designed by VicForests, and doesn't protect any of the area from logging! Call the Minister now and tell her to put in proper protection zones.

Leaving the loggers in charge is a HUGE conflict of interest and a death sentence for these animals which are teetering on the edge of extinction after the bushfires. The Dan Andrews government needs to properly protect these species and stop logging where they're found!

Forest refuges under threat from logging by the VIC Government 

A new report showing analysis of maps and data from the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires has revealed the significant areas of unburnt forests critical for bushfire affected wildlife are set to be logged by the Victorian Government.

The report titled After the Fires: protecting our forest refuges reveals damaging plans by state-owned logging company VicForests to continue to log over 20,000ha of forest across ten key refuge areas identified in the report.

These areas, and others not focussed on in the report are critical for wildlife to recover and repopulate the vast areas where millions of animals were killed by the fires.

The report also finds that out of the 112,000 ha of state forest in East Gippsland outside the fire extent, 90,000 ha remains unprotected. 

You can read the report here.

Defend whats left for threatened wildlife

Wildlife of the Central Highlands (WOTCH) Supreme Court case against VicForests seeks to protect unburnt habitat for the threatened Greater Glider, Sooty Owl, Powerful Owl and Smoky Mouse.

These animals were severely impacted by 2019–20 bushfires and all found to be among the ‘fauna species of most immediate concern’ by the Victorian government’s own preliminary response to the bushfires.

WOTCH needs your help to raise $55,000 for expert scientific witnesses to contribute to our case. These experts are some of the best in the field and the evidence they provide regarding the focus species is critical.

Your support will also cover our court and other legal fees to make sure we can put the best case forward to protect native habitat.

Another Insurer Dumps Adani!

Brit, one of Lloyd's of London's biggest insurers, will never insure Adani’s climate-wrecking coal mine and won’t renew insurance for Adani’s rail line!

This is another huge win for the people-powered #StopAdani movement.

Congratulations goes to Coffs Coast Climate Action Group who's tireless campaign on Brit has dealt a major blow to Adani. Brit is now the sixth insurer to stop insuring Adani, and the 31st insurance company to rule out ever insuring Adani.

Thanks to community pressure, Adani’s last insurance options are rapidly shrinking.

You can follow and send your congratulations to Coffs Coast Climate Action Group on Facebook.

10 Years On: Australian Uranium Fuelled Fukushima

Please join us to mark ten years since the nuclear disaster started at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 with a webinar discussion about the social, environmental and economic impacts of the reactor meltdown, and the role the Australian uranium industry played in fuelling the disaster.

Tuesday March 9 - 7pm AEST(6.30pm Central, 4.30pm WA)

Guest speakers: Ayumi Fukakusa (Climate Change and Energy campaigner, Friends of the Earth Japan), Kirsten Blair (Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation), Dr. Philip White (Friends of the Earth Adelaide, author of PhD thesis on the Fukushima disaster and Japan's energy policy)

Eight reasons to keep the ban on nuclear power

Nuclear supporters continue to campaign for the repeal of federal and state laws banning nuclear power. The Murdoch papers and Murdoch’s Sky News have ramped up their campaign to have those laws repealed.

Far-right Coalition MPs and former MPs are along for the ride.

FoE’s Jim Green explains why lifting the ban on nuclear power would be a bad idea.

Alcoa Portland Aluminium Smelter Response to FoE's Koala Concerns

In early February, FoE received a call from an animal carer from the Portland region that she had a horribly burnt koala had been left at the Portland Golf Course. A witness working at the Alcoa Aluminium Smelter had witnessed the animal being burnt after it had wandered into the Anode room at the smelter. The animal had to be put down the next morning. The wounds were severe and maggots were coming out of the feet. The anonymous carer said that over the years, numerous koalas had to be removed from the smelter.

FoE was asked to help and soon a email action was set up asking the company to sort out the obvious koala problems at the smelter. Media also published the story, with ABC following up with a story about koalas near the smelter having fluorosis. A trip to the area by FoE revealed multiple entry points into the smelter for koalas.

As a result of the media interest and FoE pressure, Alcoa have announced several steps they are planning to take to stop the problem repeating itself. It was also determined that 103 koalas had entered the smelter since 2015, with the bulk of koala entries occurring around November when animals are most active.

Alcoa still don't have a koala management plan, yet have known about the problem for years. Alcoa have stated to FoE that a Koala Management Plan will now be drafted up after consultation from experts. More on that here.

Did you know that Bass Strait is at risk from new oil and gas drilling? 

New fossil fuel development in the waters of the iconic Bass Strait puts whales, sea lions, birds, turtles, and fish at risk. 

Any oil spills in this area would be devastating to local fishing and tourism industries. 

Governments must rule out new fossil fuel developments if we're to have any chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change. 

Call on PM Scott Morrison and Minister for Resources Keith Pitt to cancel the oil and gas licenses. 

Time to make Community Energy a Reality

Community energy is a driving force behind renewable energy uptake across the world, yet there’s a crucial gap stalling progress in Victoria.

The Victorian Parliament’s recent inquiry into community action to tackle the climate crisis found that community energy could play a significant role in the energy transition.

Programs like the Community Power Hubs in Ballarat, Bendigo and Latrobe Valley have boosted the community's capacity to dream and develop these projects, but many are getting stuck at the same hurdle.

With no national renewable energy policy in place, these visionary community energy projects have no financial certainty.

That’s why FoE's Yes2Renewables Collective has joined forces with the Coalition for Community Energy to call on the Victorian Labor government to deliver a Community Energy Target. This policy will be key to driving the uptake of community energy across the state, and prove how it could be done across the country.

Final Push To Secure Science-based Climate Targets For Victoria

Time's running out to send a message to Vitorian Premier Dan Andrews ahead of his big decision on state Emissions Reduction Targets. 

With the Federal government refusing to act, we need to see greater leadership from Victoria when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. Strong targets will require more renewable energy, improved public transport, greater protection for forests, create jobs, and more.

University of Melbourne modelling shows the Victorian Labor government could create over 50,000 jobs by setting science-based Emissions Reduction Targets. So there's no excuse for aiming low. 

Take action to influence this critical decision on climate... Wherever you live in Australia, email the Victorian Premier today.

Tell the Vic Government to make public transport work for everyone!

For 40 years Victorians with disabilities have been campaigning for equal access to public transport. But today 85% of the Melbourne tram network is still inaccessible.

FoE's Sustainable Cities campaign is supporting the Disability Resources Centre to campaign for transport that everyone can access. Please sign the petition today!

‘A dire wake-up call’ 

This report was released last week – but is of incredible importance, and we would encourage you to read this story in The Conversation if you haven’t done so as yet.

Leading scientists working across Australia and Antarctica have described 19 ecosystems that are collapsing due to the impact of humans and warned urgent action is required to prevent their complete loss.

 A groundbreaking report – the result of work by 38 scientists from 29 universities and government agencies – details the degradation of coral reefs, arid outback deserts, tropical savanna, the waterways of the Murray-Darling Basin, mangroves in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and forests stretching from the rainforests of the far north to Gondwana-era conifers in Tasmania.

 They say: ‘this is a dire wake-up call — not just a warning. Put bluntly, current changes across the continent, and their potential outcomes, pose an existential threat to our survival, and other life we share environments with’. 

One loud Voice on Climate Action Needed from the Pacific Island Forum

From Volker Boege, member of the FoEA Climate Frontlines national project.

On 3 February, the leaders of the member states of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) came together—online—in order to appoint a new Secretary General (SG) of the regional organisation. Former Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna narrowly beat Gerald Zackios of Marshall Islands by nine votes to eight, triggering a rapid and explosive response, with the Micronesian grouping announcing they will quit the forum. This will mean a significant split in the regional organisation, which will lose almost a third of its members.

The format of the 3 February meeting, held via zoom rather than face-to-face, was extremely ‘un-Pacific’. Direct personal exchange is of major importance in Pacific cultures. If the leaders had met in person, there would have been more space for ‘Pacific Way’ interactions, and the outcome may have been different. 

Our concern is that the PIF gives voice to those most affected by climate change. It is accepted as a moral leader in the climate debate. This leadership on climate change in the international arena is severely threatened by a split in the PIF. Climate justice is of utmost importance not only for the PICs themselves, but also for the rest of the world

Not all is lost yet though. The process of actual withdrawal of the five Micronesian states will take a year. This offers a window of opportunity for preventing the break-up. People now must lobby for unity, so that the peoples of the Pacific continue to speak with one loud voice when it comes to climate action. 

Drax drops plan to build biggest gas plant 

The power giant Drax has abandoned a plan to build Europe's biggest gas power plant in North Yorkshire after a campaign from environmental groups. 

Simon Bowens, from Friends of the Earth Yorkshire, said “At last Drax has woken-up to the reality that new gas-fired power stations have no future in a climate emergency. But Drax continues to receive large sums of public money - more than £2 million a day - to burn vast amounts of wood in an incredibly inefficient old power station with a high carbon impact". 

The company will still maintain options to create four smaller gas units in the UK. 

“The government must tell Drax that it won’t get more cash hand-outs in the future. Public subsidies should only be used to support truly green power”, said Simon. More details are here.

Thank you for your ongoing support, whether it's reading our content, volunteering, participating in our events or donating. It's because of the community that we are able thrive in these complex times.



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