World Heritage Campaign
Weld Valley for World Heritage Campaign
The Huon Valley Environment Centre has been campaigning to highlight threats to the values and integrity of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) from logging and roading in the Lower Weld Valley and other areas for several years.
At the 2007 meeting of the International World Heritage Committee in Christchurch, New Zealand, representatives of 21 countries voted to express their concern about these logging threats and determined to send a delegation to Tasmania in the following six months.
At the 2008 World Heritage Committee in Quebec, Canada, 21 countries passed a unanimous resolution, which called upon the Australian Government to take steps to extend the boundaries of the TWWHA to cover areas of Outstanding Universal Value, outside the existing protected area. These areas include the Lower Weld Valley, Middle Huon and other places which the HVEC has been campaigning to protect.
The resolution came despite a flawed report prepared by delegates sent on the mission to assess issues relating to world heritage management. The report endorsed current roading and logging practices next to the TWWHA boundary, but was condemned by the Wilderness Society and the IUCN (World Conservation Union). The report contained serious innacuracies, incorrect statistics and was heavily biased in favour of dubious forest management practices.
The IUCN's decision not to endorse the report and the strength of this World Heritage Committee resolution shows that the issue of managing forests adjacent to the TWWHA is very serious indeed.
"This resolution represents an urgent call for action to the Tasmanian and Federal Governments. Spectacular natural and cultural values in area like the Lower Weld and Middle Huon Valleys are under immediate threat from industrial logging," said HVEC spokesperson Will Mooney.
"Tasmanian and Federal Governments must now heed the requests of the international community and IUCN experts, by moving to impose an immediate moratorium on logging in these areas and take steps towards extending the boundary of the TWWHA to protect their values," Will Mooney said.
The HVEC has provided various reports and information to the World Heritage Committee and IUCN, as well as meeting with delegates on their mission to Tasmania.
Download the joint environmental NGO critique of the Report of the Reactive Monitoring Mission of March 2008 on the Tasmanian Wilderness.
Download "Industrial Forestry and the TWWHA Boundary: Threats and Opportunities" the attachment to the Huon Valley Environment Centre report to the joint IUCN/WHC/ICOMOS mission, March 2008.
Download the "Decisions Adopted at the 31st Session of the World Heritage Committee" (Christchurch, 2007). Find the Tasmanian decision on page 73.
Download the report "The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area: World Heritage in Danger" authored by the Huon Valley Environment Centre and The Wilderness Society, and submitted to the World Heritage Committee meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand, June 2007.
Download the Crisis Report submitted (21.05.07) to the World Heritage Committee in Paris by the Huon Valley Environment Centre.