Tasmania abandons World Heritage Area logging plans on UNESCO advice



It’s time to break out the champagne!!

In a rare show of forest-policy commonsense the Tasmanian Government has apparently accepted the umpire’s decision and abandoned plans to log special timbers (including Tasmanian blackwood) in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA).


News reports just in say the UNESCO recommendations will be accepted but that the Government was still committed to supporting the [special timbers] industry.

Here’s the Tasmanian Governments announcement on the UNESCO Report:


Here’s the single recommendation in the UNESCO report regarding logging the TWWHA and some worthwhile comments from the UNESCO Mission:

Recommendation 2

The State Party should confirm an unambiguous commitment that the property is off-limits to commercial logging in its entirety, and fully reflect this commitment in the Management Plan for the whole of the property.


The mission would like to put on record that it considers the interests of the special species timber sector per se fully legitimate and by no means excessive. Despite the regrettable lack of conclusive data, the mission finds it difficult to imagine that resource security could not be achieved in the vast forest estate available for logging outside of the TWWHA. While a mixed World Heritage property, recognized for globally significant cultural and natural heritage, is not the place to experiment in the view of the mission, there is every reason to further discuss and test sustainable forest management elsewhere in Tasmania in less polarized fashion. The political support to the special species timber industry should be channelled to areas available to commercial logging outside of the TWWHA, while fully considering that there are areas outside of the TWWHA, which are likewise of the highest conservation value, including in the Tarkine area. New approaches to manage the desired species can draw on longstanding research conducted in Tasmania and a growing body of knowledge about the ecology of the species (UNESCO, p. 13).


The concept of “outside the TWWHA” should include commercial private growers.

Here is the link to the UNESCO report:


To see my many blogs on this issue go here:


So now the State Government is faced with developing a Special Timbers Management Plan with next-to-no public special timbers resource.


What will be the next political play?

Tasmanian blackwood has been and will continue to be the backbone of the special timbers industry, and the only Tasmanian special timber species with the potential for a profitable commercial future on private land.

Will the Tasmanian Government and Parliament now look to a different future for the special timbers industry or will politics continue to reign supreme in Tasmanian forest policy?

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