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Issue #1612      September 25, 2013

Tasmanian Wilderness extension

The successful nomination of an extension to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area represents a spectacular and globally significant conservation outcome and the resolution of the long running conflict over logging along the boundary of the existing reserve.

The decision on the extension to the existing area, passed by the World Heritage Committee which is meeting in Phnom Penh in Cambodia, protects outstanding forests areas such as the Styx, Weld and Upper Florentine Valleys and on the flanks of the Great Western Tiers.

“We welcome the decision of the Committee and congratulate and thank each and every person who has participated in the campaign to see these areas protected over the decades of struggle and advocacy,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society.

“This extension covers forests from Cockle Creek to Cradle Mountain, protects them in perpetuity and finally recognises them as global treasures of natural and cultural heritage.”

The decision delivers a critical element of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement and a durable and tangible conservation outcome on the ground.

The support and follow through by all parties involved in the Forest Agreement has been very welcome and critical in the success of this nomination. It demonstrates the Agreement can work and is a viable way to protect forests.

“Signatories are now looking for domestic support for the implementation of the Forest Agreement via the passage of the Initial Reserve Order through both houses of Parliament,” said Jonathan La Nauze, spokesperson for the Australian Conservation Foundation.

“This will reserve much of these World Heritage forests under domestic law, including as new National Parks, and set up the reserve making process for several hundred thousand hectares of critical forests scattered around other parts of the state.”

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