On International Day of Forests, advocates call for the Victorian Government to protect forests to protect climate

Victorian Forest Alliance

Forests are today being celebrated internationally for International Day of Forests. In Australia, our unique native forests are both loved and logged, wood-chipped and worshipped. The Victorian government’s recent announcement that it is no longer economically viable or socially acceptable to log public forests is welcomed by many. Conservationists and scientists argue that there is now a clear path forward for these precious treasures. Victoria has cleared more of its forests than any other state, with only 30% of its original cover remaining, and land clearing continuing. Conservationists and scientists are now seeing a golden opportunity for these remaining forests to be securely protected and restored to health.

The VFA is concerned by reports that logging contractors and the government’s logging agency staff have been moved into fire management, where they will be tasked with increased tree felling. There is concern that this could become logging by stealth. Environmental groups across the state are asking the Victorian government to protect remaining native forests in the strongest way possible and begin to restore the thousands of hectares degraded and logged in past decades.

Happy International World Forests Day!

Quotes attributable to Dr Sue Lewis, Victorian Forest Alliance Acting President:

“Native forests are one of the best tools we have to combat the climate crisis.”

“Looking after forests is not only cost-effective climate action, it is critical to reverse serious species decline and ensure our wildlife flourish once again.”

“With current climate chaos, it’s time to recognise native forests’ unsung community services.”

“Forests are the tried and true climate moderators and have been for millennia. They are the world’s best carbon capture and storage devices. They perform these services for free with many added bonuses.”

“Mature forests are the unsung heroes in a bushfire, having their own natural fire resistance.”

“In 2024, forests should stop being seen as ‘the enemy’ in a bushfire or a limitless source of wood-chips. It’s time that native forests are valued and acknowledged as the rich, ecologically complex part of nature that we all need.”

/Public Release.