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Time for govt to walk away from Regional Forest Agreement failure

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 13 Sep 2011

Pressure is mounting on Forests Minister Joseph Ludwig to admit that Regional Forest Agreements (RFA) have failed, following statements today by a prominent ecologist that industrial logging under RFAs is irreversibly changing our forest landscapes for the worse, said Greens Senator and Forests spokesperson Lee Rhiannon (Canberra Times, ‘Old Growth loss catastrophic’ 13/9/11).

“The RFA process is clearly broken and not up to the task of protecting native forests and threatened species from dangers posed by logging” said Senator Rhiannon.

“Professor David Lindenmayer’s research should put Forests Minister Joseph Ludwig on notice that the government is sleepwalking into an environmental disaster if they stick with RFAs.

“The research paints a devastating picture of a landscape that is irreversibly changing from healthy old growth forests to young fire-prone forests without hollows and microclimates for habitat.

“The cycle of clear-cut logging, burning to regenerate forests and wildfires is changing the landscape as we know it.

“It is detrimental to water conservation and biodiversity and dangerous for local communities that live under the shadow of increased fire risk.

“It is not enough to tweak the existing RFAs. The government needs to get out of unsustainable industrial logging in native forests and into plantation resources”, said Senator Rhiannon.

Professor David Lindenmayer is a prominent ecologist from the Australian National University. The research, ‘Newly discovered landscape traps produce regime shifts in wet forests’ by David Lindenmayer, Richard Hobbs, Gene Likens, Charles Krebs and Samuel Banks was published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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