representations by BGFF members to their local member Michael
Sutherland MLA, seeking a deferment of logging in Warrup 06, the
Minister for Environment Donna Faragher replied setting out DECs
response to the request. Her final point was:
International forest expert Dr Leonie van der Maesen responds
to key points in a recent letter from Environment Minister
Given the thorough review and planning processes undertaken
as part of the development of the FMP and the adequacy of representation
in the reserve system of conservation values that occur in Warrup
forest block, the Government does not believe there is sufficient
basis on which to defer harvesting in this area.
On the BGFF web site I show that the FMP itself is seriously flawed
and that it is not an option to wait until the new FMP in 2014
to make changes, at least as far as Warrup is concerned.
I also show that the reserve system of conservation presently
implemented is flawed and inadequate.
The Ministers statement that conservation values that
occur in Warrup are adequately represented elsewhere in
the reserve system is based on an assumption that the knowledge
of values across all tenures is adequate. It is not.
The Department of Environment and Conservation Science Division
document A Strategic Plan for Biodiversity Conservation
Research 2008 2017 makes this clear:
Page 9 parts 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 indicate that research is still
required that could justify the Ministers statement.
Page 18 in Appendix 1 details by when and how the needed research
is aimed to be completed as follows:
In short the
values in the reserve system have not yet been adequately defined.
Those in Warrup are largely a guess and the following conservation
values must first be defined:
Assist with the development of a framework for designing
a CAR (comprehensive, adequate and representative) reserve
system. Aimed for completion by July 2010.
Complete investigations into the effects of timber harvesting
(silviculture and fire) on forest ecosystems and ecosystem
processes consistent with the Forest Management Plan 2004
-2013. Scheduled for completion by July 2013.
Devise, establish and implement a Forest Health Surveillance
system for Western Australian forests consistent with the
Forest Management Plan 2004 -2013. Scheduled for completion
by July 2013.
Assist with the development of a conservation reserve biological
database to support reserve management. Scheduled for completion
by January 2012.
(UN declaration in biodiversity); flora and fauna survey;
and water catchment and water supply; salinity risk;
of the region, cultural values and Indigenous cultural values.
of habitat is the primary reason for the decreasing native forest
fauna populations, with some species near the point of extinction.
If there was the adequacy of representation in the reserve
system of conservation values occurring in Warrup forest block,
eight species of Flora and four species of Fauna would not have
gone to a higher category of threat under the Wildlife Conservation
Act 1950. Refer: Hansard [Legislative Council, Tuesday, 10 March
Three of the fauna species that moved into a higher category of
threat, the red-tailed black cockatoo, brush-tailed phascogale
and woylie, occur in Warrup and the adjoining Kingston FHZ. Refer:
DEC Species and Communities Branch Dataset 23: Threatened Fauna.
Ecologically sustainable forest management has obviously not been
successfully implemented. The Warrup mixed old-growth / high conservation
value forest should be added to the reserve System and not logged
under any circumstances.
Elaborate studies of the Kingston area have been carried out by
CALM and the Utrecht University, Holland, in collaboration with
CSIRO, over many years. Yearly reports were provided to the Chair
of the EPA and the Minister for the Environment. This independent
study, conducted over a long period with remote sensing and vegetation
change detection has produced scientific evidence that not only
is the Warrup forest block WAs last remaining intact State
forest still unprotected but also that the forest already logged
will not regenerate to its former quality.
There is a great deal of misinformation about the management of
forests, particularly about their ecological integrity, vitality
I have been making these exact same points for over twenty years
to different Environment Ministers, and it is apparent to me that
they are still being fed exactly the same misinformation by their
advisers in DEC and FPC (and CALM before that).
The proposed logging will occur in the last remaining extensive
tract of high quality mature forest in Warrup block.
The forest structure is ecologically mature with old growth characteristics,
high biophysical naturalness and extensive incidence of old, tall
jarrah and marri with varying sized hollows for hollow-dependent
arboreal and avian species.
Given the above factors, logging of Warrup Block could be in contravention
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999;
Protocol: ecological sustainability;
Treaties on Biodiversity to which Australia is a signatory.
Leonie and Ph.D student Rogier de Jong taking light measurements
and conducting ground assessments in Kingston block. Leonie has
been conducting research in WA forests on behalf of University
of Utrecht (Netherlands) and Friends of the Earth International