Green Issue: Editorial December 2019


By the Green Issue Editors

This Green Issue focusses on the plight of the beleaguered forests of the south-west (SW) of Western Australia. Since European colonization, and extending up to the present, these ecologically unique forests have been largely considered as resources for exploitation or obstructions to be removed for agriculture and mining. Actually, not a very different fate from pristine native forests all over the planet. Although the importance of forests, particularly native ones, to human well-being has been increasingly recognized over recent decades, development of viable policies to protect them have proved elusive. This is further complicated by a changing climate, superimposing even further hazards to forest conservation. Herein we include articles which raise points for consideration in moving towards policies and actions that will at least preserve existing old growth forests and assist regeneration of degraded ones.

Firstly, we have an article outlining the efforts of an initiative, Forests For Life, attempting to raise awareness of the state of our SW forests and stimulate remedial changes. As climate change is having an exaggerated effect on rainfall and temperatures in the SW of WA, we discuss the intimate interactions between climate change and forests. Although there is legislation to purportedly protect old-growth forests, the definitions of what constitutes old-growth are flawed, allowing on-going destruction of relatively pristine areas. Recently, blatant breaches of legislation in relation to the export of native timber and its use for charcoal making have been exposed, and this is elaborated on herein.

We include MP updates from Senator Rachel Siewert and Members of the WA Legislative Council, Alison Xamon (North Metropolitan), Diane Evers (South West) and Tim Clifford (East Metropolitan).

Header photo: Lewin Forest, 2018. Martine Perret