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Let's keep our sunburnt country alive

Protecting Australia’s forests is one of the most important things we can do to manage climate change, preserve our unique biodiversity and prevent further species extinctions in Australia.

Our campaign success at the end of 2022 saw the prevention of a destructive biomass burning industry from taking off in Australia.

Now, our attention is focussed on the permanent protection of forests, as critical habitat, climate mitigation and invaluable areas of high conservation.

Wilderness Australia is committed to achieving this goal by ending native forest logging across Australia.


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A good start to urgent climate change abatement: end native forest logging now

This article was written by Wilderness Australia Chair, Bob Debus and first published in Pearls and Irritations on 7th September 2023.

Stop Work Order issued for logging operation in Tallaganda State Forest

A Stop Work Order has been issued to Forestry Corporation of NSW, ceasing logging operation in Tallaganda State Forest! This is a glimmer of hope for the endangered Greater Glider.


We must stop our forests being sold to fund fossil fuel emissions

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Are native forests currently being logged in Australia?


Native forests are currently being logged in WA, NSW, Tas and Vic, with operations due to cease by the start of 2024 for both WA and Vic.


Forest carbon accounting rules allow emissions from logging to be offset by re-growth in the much larger area of the entire production forest estate. The result is we never see the blindingly obvious that carbon lost in logged areas takes decades to recover. Any forest logged that is older than 30 years cannot recover carbon lost before 2050. Other peculiarities of forest carbon rules include ‘forward looking baselines’ devised to create space for policy change that would result in increases in emissions. Emissions from logging need only be accounted when they exceed that baseline.

We never see the opportunity cost to carbon sequestration and storage from continuing to log native forests - an important consideration given that we know the average carbon stock in a logged forest is about 50% below that in an old growth forest.


There are 147 million hectares of forests and woodlands in Australia, and the scale of their carbon capture is exceptional. If Australia ceased all logging of native forests, the avoided emissions alone are close to what is needed annually (15.5 Mt CO2) to achieve our national target of 43% reduction on 2005 levels of emission by 2030.

And that would help us to get much closer to our fair share of global emission reduction – which is more like 75% reduction by 2030.

Research conducted for the timber industry published by Canberra University in 2018 found that  “Native forest logging was considered unacceptable by 65% of rural/regional and 70% of urban residents across Australia, and acceptable by only 17% of rural and 10% of urban residents."

The protection of forests is the cheapest and most effective measure available for the abatement of climate change.

Did you know that there is more carbon stored in the Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems (plants and soil) than in the oceans and atmosphere combined? Forests suck carbon out of the atmosphere like a giant vacuum cleaner during the process of photosynthesis, when converting carbon dioxide into biomass (such as branches, trunks, roots and soil carbon) and the oxygen that we breathe. 

Australia’s forests store a huge amount of carbon that would otherwise be in the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. The forests of south eastern Australia, for example, have been found to contain 640 tonnes of carbon per hectare - and some Mountain Ash forests can contain 2,000 tonnes per hectare. 

Logging releases much of this carbon back into the atmosphere. A dangerous new logging industry is under development in Australia, which aims to cut down and burn our forests to produce electricity - called ‘biomass burning.’ This would be a disaster for our climate as well as for biodiversity.

Australia’s forests are some of the most biodiverse in the world and are home to more than 18,000 plant species and more than 2,000 animals species. 

Logging destroys the habitat of our forest fauna, including removing food sources and nesting sites like the naturally-formed hollows that are abundant in old trees. The science shows that logging reduces biodiversity and threatens some species with extinction. 

If we want to prevent the Sixth Mass Extinction from occurring in Australia, forest protection must be a priority.


Existing native forest logging only keeps going through subsidies paid at considerable cost to the Government through tax payer subsidy. State forestry agencies have operated historically with little accountability. Forestry NSW for instance, uses profits from the plantation sector to subsidise permanent losses in the native forest sector. The long term benefits - both economically and environmentally - of a transition to solely plantation logging will certainly outweigh the short term cost.

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Australian Foundation for Wilderness Limited
ACN 001 112 143
ABN 84 001 112 143
Advocating as 'Wilderness Australia'
Formerly The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd
Registered Office 10/154 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000
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