Yesterday over 20,000 Australians marched in the capital cities in support of a price on pollution, or the carbon tax. The Federeal oppositon spokesperson for climate and Environment, Greg Hunt MP used the day to call for Australia led action to halt deforestation in our region, referring primarily to Indonesia. I felt the need to congratulate him for this, and to point out to him the market effect of palm oil on deforestation in that region, and a quick reminder of teh carbon value of the shrinking forests of SE Australia.
It might sound futile, but I urge everyone to spend some time emailing politicians about things that matter to them, you can guarantee the people who oppose you do, and you’ve got nothing to lose but time, and you never know, you just might get listened to one day.
– The Wildernerd
Good morning Greg,
I applaud you for your call for the protection of rainforests around the world and particularly in our region. Deforestation of the tropical rainforests in Malaysia and Indonesia, largely for the establishment of Palm plantations for food grade palm oil is an awful thing for biodiversity, the livelihoods of the indigenous and local people near the forests and for atmospheric carbon which can no longer be held in that vegetation.
Your suggested actions for addressing this problem are commendable. I hope they gain some traction. Australia is a large consumer of products containing palm oil from these plantations, and most Australians support the idea of rainforest protection, yet are you aware that Australian consumers are unable to make the choice to support palm oil free products as palm oil does not need to be identified under current Australian standards?
The Liberal party has a proud tradition of supporting individual choice and allowing market forces to transform society. Requiring palm oil to be listed as an ingredient would allow consumers to decide whether or not to use their hard earned dollars to support industries that profit from tropical forest destruction.
I urge you to consider presenting a private members bill calling for the labelling of palm oil as an ingedient.
Also Mr Hunt, I’m sure you are aware that Australia could do a lot for forest protection domestically. The state run business enterprises VicForests, Forests NSW and Forestry Tasmania currently undertake native forest logging in some of the most carbon dense forests in the world, in the process restricting biodiversity, causing erosion and sedimentation of waterways as well as community dissent.
These Government business enterprises are not profitable, and are not ‘managing’ the forests as they claim, but liquidating and flogging them off at fire sale prices. I am sure you have read the conclusions of the MPCC Committee that protecting the forests of South East Australia is one of the best ‘Climate Action’ outcomes, and the ANU report that finds these primary forests to be far more carbon dense than originally thought when compared to plantation or ‘managed’ forests.
I urge you to add to your support for ending deforestation abroad a commitment to the protection and conservation of the remainder of South East Australia’s primary and regenerating forests for biodiversity, carbon carrying capacity, air and water quality and aesthetic value.
Thank you for your time