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Forest reserves is vital to forest peace but missing from 'Interim Agreement'


Conservation groups active in the markets and on the ground in Tasmania
are concerned that forest peace talks have so far failed to agree on
the size and location of new reserves to protect Tasmania’s high
conservation value forests, while logging continues in forests whose
protection is under negotiation. They are urging delivery of
comprehensive forest protection as a top priority of forest

“The core of a forest agreement, the agreed delivery of reserves whose
size and location are known and which adequately protect the high
conservation value forests of Tasmania, is missing from the interim
agreement released yesterday. It is a serious concern that this most
basic requirement has not been able to be agreed upon,” said Markets
for Change spokesperson Peg Putt.

“Unless forest protection can be rapidly progressed, the attempts for
forests peace will fail. The significance of this problem should not be

Mr Akira Harada, a spokesperson for Japanese ENGO JATAN who is
currently in Tasmania inspecting the logging of high conservation value
forests that were exempted from a logging moratorium, said “I am not
happy to witness the logging destruction of Tasmania’s magnificent
forests that are of global importance. It is not acceptable for the
market in Japan to buy the product of such forest destruction sold as
‘eco’ wood.”

“It is vital that such forests are protected, and that Japanese
customers of Tasmanian product such as that sold by Ta Ann can then
have confidence that their product is from acceptable sources. This is
not yet the case,” Mr Harada said.

“There was no progress on our core issue in the signatories’
announcement, but instead an admission that securing reserves has been
a sticking point, and now we are seeing further delays. We want reserve
creation to be unstuck,” said Ula Majewski of The Last Stand.

“We remind everyone that every single day for the past 2 years of
negotiations, precious forests inside the identified high conservation
value areas have been logged. These forests are continually being
compromised and still we have no firm agreement to protect any areas,”
said Jenny Weber of the Huon Valley Environment Centre.

“My stand for the forests will remain unchanged until we have something
firm, not vague pronouncements,” said Miranda Gibson from the Observer