WWF plan – a death of a thousand cuts

The World Wide Fund for Nature (Australia) is already under fire for being too close to the Howard government. The Australia Institute in its report ‘Taming the Panda’ notes WWF have received over $13 million in grants from them since 1998 and in return, ” .can usually be relied upon to praise the Howard Government’s main environment policies, while other organisations are more likely to provide an independent assessment.”

In early August, they launched a deliberately divisive ‘blueprint for Tasmania’s forests’ that protects part of the Tarkine and sells out the rest. The environment movement, including many regional forest groups as well as the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Wilderness Society are enraged by the blatant sell-out.

Green Senator Bob Brown calls the plan a ‘shocker’. The plan does not even suggest protecting the Styx and only part of the Tarkine.

If this plan succeeds it could have serious implications for all mainland forests and campaigns to save them.

The Wilderness Society together with 15 local conservation groups representing 4000 Tasmanians, had written to the WWF opposing the plan. The blueprint allows ongoing destruction of old-growth forest and supports a wood fired power plant if the logging operations were to gain certification. The WWF plan also suggests even more plantations for Tasmania and the giving of yet another $144 million of taxpayers money to State Forests and the industry to help those plans along. WWF also ignored the massive poisoning of wildlife using 1080.

A web search revealed that WWF has a history of undermining local campaigns against logging destruction in other parts of the world. It does achieve some positive outcomes, but mostly where large corporate or government interests are not threatened. However, there is a difference between not wanting to tackle large power brokers and actively assisting them by undermining years of work by local groups who have the guts to tackle the giants.

The report on WWF by The Australia Institute can be read at www.tai.org.au.

(See previous article on Kate Carnell’s address to the Forestry Conference and plans to disrupt the green movement.)

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