What is Happening to Tasmanian Forests?
Australia is a huge exporter of iron, coal, uranium, and farm products. Timber production is also active, and a large amount of woodchips are exported to Japan to be used as tissue paper or copy paper.
Tasmania, an island state, is located southeast of the Australian continent. Its area is almost the same as that of Hokkaido in Japan.
Tasmania is an island where the old growth and environmentally sensitive forests grow, forming a very unique ecosystem. You can find rare species such as wedge-tailed eagles and swift parrots. The forests, however, are being rapidly destroyed, because Forestry Tasmania (the manager of Tasmania’s state forests) and Gunns Ltd. (a huge timber processing company and exporter) are irresponsibly harvesting timber.
In September 2007, delegates from Consumers Union of Japan and anti-globalization organizations visited Tasmania on the invitation of Wilderness Society, an Australian environmental group working on this problem, and had a chance to witness the destruction at some of the old growth forests.
(Photo: Japanese consumer activists meet Bob Brown and Christina Milne, Australia)