Australians are getting fighting mad about the Tony Abbott government's scheme to carve out 74,000 hectares of World Heritage forest in Tasmania for industrial logging.
A particularly impressive submission to the Committee has been assembled by a team that includes Peter Hitchcock, the former director of the Wet Tropics Management Authority in Australia. The submission has been formally endorsed by ALERT director Bill Laurance and other leading scientists.
If the Abbott government is successful, it would be only the second time ever that a natural World Heritage area has been de-listed from World Heritage.
Many believe this would be a major blow to nature conservation in Australia and would send a terrible signal to the rest of the world.
If a relatively wealthy nation like Australia--and one that will soon host the World Parks Congress--won't protect its most important natural environments, how can we possibly expect much commitment to nature conservation from poorer nations?
The World Heritage forests of Tasmania are truly amazing, but there's even more at stake here.