Activists fear that remaining forests face the chop
Activists return to defend Tasmania's forests as logging resumes
27th April, 2012
An agreement that would end 30 years of verbal, and often physical, confrontation over the future of the forests in the Australian state of Tasmania is teetering on the edge of collapse. Ollie Milman reports
The future of the state and federal government-brokered agreement aiming to balance the interests of conservationists and the timber is in doubt amid accusations of bad faith on both sides. Tasmania, at first glance, appears an unlikely spot for environmental activism. The rugged island state is viewed by 'north island' Australians as sleepy and somewhat parochial. But strident green activism is becoming an increasing force, precisely because of its untouched nature.
The Tarkine, in Tasmania’s north west, is one the largest single areas of temperate rainforest in the southern hemisphere, at 3,800 square kilometres. It's home to three endemic species of frog, 12 species of birds and the pugnacious Tasmanian Devil. The birth of the Australian Greens, who claim to be the world’s first green political party, originated in ferocious protests in Tasmania against the construction of dams in the 1970s. Bob Brown, the party’s current leader, even spent 19 days in prison for protesting against the Franklin River Dam. The Tasmanian Greens are currently part of a coalition state government, while several environmental NGOs, such as the Wilderness Society and Australian Conservation Foundation, were...
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