The Environment won a battle today. So did the whole of Australia in my opinion as conservationists got to the end of a multi-decade struggle to add 170,000 hectares of Tasmanian wilderness to the World Heritage List. They did it.. and I congratulate them for their efforts. This brings the total Tasmanian forests under protection to over 500,000 hectares. A worthy environmental treasure!
I grew up thinking of Tasmania as one of the untouchable areas of our country, watching environmentalists fight against all odds to keep the Franklin river free flowing. It is exciting to think that the beautiful forests that my grandmother, a botanist, taught me to love, will be protected for my children and their children and beyond to appreciate.
The win allows the old growth native forests in the areas neighbouring existing World Heritage Areas to be preserved including forests in the Upper Florentine, the Styx, Huon, Picton and Counsel River Valley.
The declaration was made at the United Nations meeting in Phnom Penh and add to other significant wins for the environment in Tasmania including the peace deal between conservationists and paper mills, and the ceasing of the Gordon below Franklin dam and hydroelectricity scheme.
Environment Minister Christine Milne has said in a statement:
“It’s fantastic that after so many years of campaigning, conservationists … can celebrate the protection of these magnificent wild forests that contain the tallest flowering plants on earth,” she said in a statement.
“We can all smile broadly knowing that at last these Tasmanian forests of outstanding universal value are now protected for all time.”
Have you visited a World Heritage Area in Australia… or one better, have you seen these magnificent wild trees?