Australia Has An Opp. To Reduce Carbon Emissions By Protecting Native Forests

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23rd July 2010, 03:56pm - Views: 634

Conservation Environment The Wilderness Society 1 image

Media Release: 


Australia has a huge opportunity to reduce carbon emissions through protecting native forests

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's statement on climate change fails to recognize the urgent need for

climate action.

A quick, low-cost and community-supported means of making deep cuts to Australia’s Greenhouse

emissions is by protecting native forests, The Wilderness Society said today.

"Australia could significantly reduce carbon emissions and increase its current international

commitments by protecting native forests." said Virginia Young, spokesperson for the Wilderness


Research from the Fenner School of Environment and Society at ANU in 2008 found that around 9.3

billion tonnes of carbon can be stored in the 14.5 million hectares of natural eucalypt forests in

south-east Australia if they are left undisturbed.

“Protecting native forests would help Australia go beyond its commitment at Copenhagen to reduce

carbon emissions by 5%. Few people are aware that Australia has some of the most carbon dense

native forests in the world. In the Styx Valley in Tasmania for example, forests can store 1,400

tonnes of carbon in a single hectare(1). When we log, woodchip and convert native forests to paper

most of the previously stored carbon is released into the atmosphere within 3 years (2). 

“We have massive opportunity here to reduce Australia’s overall carbon emissions by protecting our

natural environment. 

“And, we can do it now,” Virginia Young from the Wilderness Society said. 

For more information please call Adrian Dodd on 0401726476


(1) Dean C, Roxburgh S, Mackey B 2003 ‘Growth modeling of Eucalyptus Regnans,  carbon

accounting at the landscape scale’, Australian National University

(2) Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australia 2004 ‘Australia’s State of the Forests

Report, 2003’

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