Carbon sequestration – focus of community koala recovery efforts

As a result of the first ‘Direct Action’ auction, the federal government has purchased 47 million tonnes of ‘carbon abatement’ for $660 million. While the amount individual projects recieved is secret, the average price was $13.95 per tonne, with bulk of the payments going to native forest sequestration, 28m tonnes and landfill, 18m tonnes.

According to Environment Minister Greg Hunt emission targets are rapidly reducing and Australia will be able to meet all of it reduction targets using taxpayer funds. It’s probably sensible to take such claims with some salt, but the price per tonne is very similar to woodchips, given half of what they cut is burned.

To some this would strengthen the argument for native forest carbon sequestration, given it provides superior environmental, economic and social outcomes.

expro1

 

In that regard, this week I was hoping to announce the full roll-out of netting around the exclosure area. Along with minor issues, the blue bits at the arrow ends in the map above show the main areas still needing work.

Unfortunately the weather, coupled with a small case of malicious damage, has delayed that. In this case, supporting wires were cut in the small blue area at the bottom of the map. Perhaps coincidentally, the damage coincided with a Forestry vehicle stopping immediately adjacent to the location, to bury a 1080 bait.

If nothing else FCNSW is aware of progress around community koala recovery efforts, although its efforts remain under wraps.

So I’ve sent the following information request/compliant to FCNSW, with copies to its partners. Should the requests be fulfilled, critics may not be so harsh.


 

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to make an information request/complaint about FCNSW’s proposed timber harvesting program, as indicated on maps 66 and 69. In particular compartments within the ‘Corridors and core habitat for koalas on the NSW Far South Coast’ project area, indicated on the attachment to the project application, submitted by the Chief Executive of Forests NSW and the Acting Chief Executive of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage , also representing the Environment Protection Authority – the EPA.

In the nearly four years since this project started, very little information has been released to the general or local community. To address this inadequacy, the project proponents should make publicly available on the project website, the following information:

1 Data collected during RGB-SAT surveys

2 Results of LIDAR surveys including locations of alternative timber supplies and a vegetation condition map.

3 Details associated with changes to logging exclusion zones

4 Details on progress toward proposed cross-tenure koala monitoring program

5 Details of threat abatement plans and fire management regimes across all tenures

6 Locations of known infestations of invasive introduced weeds on public forested land in the project area

7 Details on FCNSW’s long term predator baiting program

8 Details on progress toward a Koala Management Plan for the area

While noting the project proponents have acknowledged protest action and associated national and international media due to previous logging in the area. The release of this information may place the proponents in a fairer light.

Yours Sincerely,

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