Target: Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO
Goal: Commend UNESCO for protecting Tasmanian rainforest
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently rejected an attempt by the Australian government to allow logging in a pristine Tasmanian rainforest that has been declared a world heritage area. The push by the government of Australia to reopen 74,000 hectares of Tasmanian rainforest to loggers would have decimated old-growth trees. Please sign this petition to thank UNESCO for standing up to the Australian government to protect this important world heritage site in Tasmania.
UNESCO reached its unanimous decision to protect the Tasmanian rainforest at its annual meeting in Doha. The committee stated that the Australian government had failed to make a compelling case to open the area to logging. The proposal was discarded in less than 10 minutes.
The UNESCO delegate from Portugal said that accepting Australia’s offer would undermine the United Nations’ ability to protect natural icons. According to the delegate, “The justifications presented for the reduction are, to say the least, feeble. Accepting this delisting today would be setting an unacceptable precedent, impossible to deny in similar circumstances in the future. If this committee cares for conservation according to responsible engagement of state parties to the convention when they submit their nominations, we cannot accept this requested delisting.”
The government of Australia had requested the delisting of much of the Tasmanian rainforest as a world heritage site so that logging activities could be resumed in the area. The government reasoned that much of the protected land had already been degraded due to logging operations and should never have been protected in the first place. Fortunately, these claims were rejected by UNESCO.
UNESCO plays an important role in designating and administering world heritage areas so that they may be preserved for the future. They have set an important precedent in rejecting the attempt by the Australian government to infringe upon a world heritage area in order to serve the interests of the logging industry. Please sign this petition to commend UNESCO for its role in protecting this rainforest in Tasmania.
Dear Irina Bokova,
I was very pleased to learn of UNESCO’s recent decision to reject the attempt by the Australian government to remove portions of the world heritage site in Tasmania. This was a blatant attempt by the Australian government to appease the logging industry by reopening protected areas to logging. Allowing this to happen would have set a bad precedent for world heritage areas in general.
UNESCO plays an important role in protecting unique natural areas from development and exploitation so that they may be preserved for the future. I commend you for standing up to the Australian government in order to protect the Tasmanian rainforest.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jeff Schmaltz via Wikimedia Commons