WWF and Indonesian environment groups claim that European and Japanese taxpayers are among those unwittingly underwriting the continued destruction of important forest in Sumatra, including habitat for endangered tigers. A new report from Sumatra-based NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest, shows that Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) agreed to protect high conservation value forest under debt restructuring agreements it made with taxpayer-backed financial institutions in nine countries, in 2004. However, Eyes on the Forest believes subsequent forest clearing blatantly breaches that commitment.
Keep Australia Beautiful
The National Chair of Keep Australia Beautiful National Association, Don Chambers, has called for cooperation and increased partnerships to help develop an improved recycling system that covers all used packaging materials in order to reduce litter. Chambers emphasized the need for “good partnerships between stakeholders and a focus on personal responsibility” to improve recycling rates nationally.
The Forest Industry Association, Tasmania’s peak timber industry group, has announced it is suspending support for the groundbreaking Intergovernmental Agreement to protect forests signed in August 2011. The Wilderness Society’s National Director, Lyndon Schneiders, says that if the peace deal unravels, it will be a tragedy for Tasmania’s forests and timber industry as well. Schneiders is calling on cool heads to prevail and for all parties to step back from the brink while awaiting key soon-to-be-released reports on how much of the State’s forests should be permanently protected and what lower conservation value forest could be made available for logging.
News that two major solar projects are struggling to find investor backing highlights the urgency importance of shifting finance sourcing responsibility into the hands of independent experts who can identify the strengths in the renewables industry and connect them with the right investors, according to the Australian Conservation Foundation. The group is calling on the Federal Government to implement the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) in order to support and encourage private investment in renewable energy projects.
Environment groups claim the conservation agreement released today by the Tasmanian and Commonwealth governments fails to adequately deliver on the first key conservation outcome promised by the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). The coalition of groups urged both governments to bring an immediate end to logging that has continued in forests earmarked for protection and shown to be home to endangered species.
UPDATE: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has defended implementation of the IGA, saying “99.5 per cent of the nominated area for interim protection is being protected,” while the conservation value of the forests is verified.
Friends of the Earth is calling on the Australian Government to intervene after the reported death of three and critical wounding of nine more protesters by Indonesian Police on the island of Sumbawa. FoE says the community was protesting against the opening of the Bima Gold Mine due to environmental concerns when police opened fire. The mine is a joint venture by Indonesia’s Sumber Mineral Nusantara and Australian owned Arc Exploration.
The Wilderness Society
The Wilderness Society reports that a whopping 4.5 million hectares of land around the pristine rivers, lakes and wetlands of the Lake Eyre Basin will now be kept safe from coal seam gas and petroleum mining, irrigated agriculture and other destructive industrial activities, thanks to a decision by the Queensland Government. Ten additional Indigenous Wild River Ranger jobs will be created to help ensure the protection of these rivers.
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