Monday, June 02, 2014

A letter to the World Heritage Committee opposing Abbott's attempt to denominate World Heritage listing of Tasmanian forests

 Your Excellency,

I am writing to you as Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, to bring to your attention my deep distress and alarm at the attempt by the Australian Government to remove 74,000 hectares from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage site.

The decision by the World Heritage Committee to include an additional 172,050 hectares within the World Heritage Area in June 2013 had resolved many long standing threats to the Tasmanian World Heritage site and helped end a conflict that had been dividing Tasmanians for decades.

The decision by the then Australian Government to nominate these areas was only possible because of the strong role played by the World Heritage Committee and it's advisory bodies over the previous 25 years. The integrity and persistence of the Committee and its advisory bodies throughout this process has been exemplary.

The proposal before you by the current Australian Government is politically motivated and is contrary to Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the World Heritage Convention.

The Australian Federal Government has submitted evidence to the World Heritage Committee that large sections of the area under review are severely degraded. This is false - less than 10% of the area proposed for de-listing has been disturbed and the vast majority of this World Heritage Area remains untouched, pristine and wilderness quality natural landscapes.

I urge the World Heritage Committee and you as Chair, to continue to uphold the values and principles of the World Heritage Convention and continue to protect these forests from destruction.

I would be grateful if you could draw my concerns (and the concerns of many other Australians) to the attention of the World Heritage Committee.

Link to Getup letter

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