Australia

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a highly secretive and expansive free trade agreement between the United States and twelve Pacific Rim countries, including Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. Leaked text reveals that the TPP would empower corporations to directly sue governments in private and non-transparent trade tribunals over laws and policies that corporations allege reduce their profits. Legislation designed to address climate change, curb fossil fuel expansion and reduce air pollution could all be subject to attack by corporations as a result of TPP.
Australia like all colonial countries was founded upon the theft of indigenous peoples land. However in Australia, the authorities took the theft one step further by declaring the continent to be ‘Terra Nullius’, meaning an empty land or a land belonging to nobody. Terra Nullius guaranteed indigenous people no legal rights, for how could they have rights if legally they did not exist?
WRM information sheets on GE tree research First posted: 1st August 2008 Last update: August 2014 Tree species being manipulated: eucalyptus Aim of genetic manipulation
On the first days of this month the Tasmanian people got to know of a deal that had been struck four months before between their government and the timber company Gunns. The deal, called the Sovereign Risk Agreement, provides that taxpayers should fund the company along 20 years with $15 million in case its wood supply is compromised by any reason. (1)
A short while ago on the international tourist scale, Tasmania was voted the second most beautiful location to visit in the world. It has spectacular mountains and ancient forests, pristine beaches, an abundance of unique wildlife, a cool temperate climate and a low population. Much of this has been declared World Heritage and there are walking and hiking trails that are breathtakingly beautiful. Despite its small size, it also has some of the best farmland in Australia enjoying a generally good rainfall, and is proud of its 'clean, green image'.
Preolenna, in NW Tasmania, has dramatically changed from what it used to be just five years ago (see WRM bulletin 36). Under the Federal Government's plan labelled Plantations 2020 Vision ( http://www.plantations2020.com.au ), this former farming community has seen their farms which used to feed people replaced by farms which feed woodchip mills. The pattern of large-scale monoculture tree plantations has swept through more than 35 farming towns in the North West hinterland from Circular Head to Wilmot.
Today I went for a walk in the Tarkine. I was fortunate to sit under a wedge tailed eagle as it circled around me. Its nest must have been nearby as it seemed to linger, most curious about my intrusion. As I wandered in to that spot, so similar to many other places in Tassie's north-west, I had the pleasure of seeing a couple of wallabies and some rather rare trees, amongst which was a magnificent specimen of native olive.
Commissioned by the Global Forest Coalition This report is based on 21 country case studies, including Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech republic, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya,Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand/Aotearoa, Papua New Guinea, Russia, South Africa, Suriname, Uganda, United Kingdom, and Uruguay
Residents of the Waratah-Wynyard Municipality, a tree plantation-devastated community and environment in Tasmania, have issued a Joint Submission to the national authorities, the media, interested bodies and concerned people on January 13, 2002 (the full document is available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/countries/Australia/joint.html )
The compromise agreement reached last July in Bonn on greenhouse gas emissions includes a renegotiated and broadened definition of sinks which allows tree plantations to be included as carbon sinks. This is certainly good news for the carbon investment industry. Not for the Earth's climate though.
In 1997 the Australian federal government issued a regulation for Tasmanian forests, abolishing export woodchip quotas. Consequently North Limited --the biggest woodchip exporter in the country-- announced plans to raise woodchip production from Tasmanian native forests, that currently reaches around 3,4 million tonnes annually. Tasmanian environmental NGOs expressed their concern that this measure would open the gate for the destruction of old-growth eucalyptus forests in the island, which constitute part of the Australian National Heritage (see WRM Bulletin 7).