林產公司撤出原始林 澳洲環團體開心 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

林產公司撤出原始林 澳洲環團體開心

2010年09月16日
摘譯自2010年9月10日ENS澳洲,墨爾本報導;段譽豪編譯;蔡麗伶審校

在塔斯馬尼亞的斯蒂克斯河谷(Styx Valley),生長著桉樹雷格納斯( Eucalyptus regnans),是最高的開花植物; 還有古老的樹蕨和1000歲的香桃木。圖片節錄 T. Taylor攝影。澳洲塔斯馬尼新崛起的林產業龍頭貢斯木業(Gunns Limited)宣布,將脫離砍伐原始森林,改為發展以人造林為基礎的產品,消息一出,令澳洲環保團體十分振奮。

在9日於墨爾本舉行的一個產業論壇當中,貢斯木業的執行長艾斯川吉(Greg L'Estrange)承認,大多數的澳洲人都支持環保團體數十年來,在塔斯馬尼亞終止砍伐原始森林的行動。

「這很明顯的意味著我們必須採取行動,開始開發人造林,來結束對立。」艾斯川吉說,「採取這種折衷方案,我們可以找到共同的解決方案,以超越那些自古以來的爭端,邁向真正的永續森林產業。」

貢斯木業是澳洲最大的硬木紙漿生產公司,也是澳洲最大的硬木生產、裝飾版製造供應商,也擁有連鎖零售商店。

不論是在法庭、街頭或是森林裡,環境運動者與貢斯砍伐原始林的行為已經對抗了數十年。他們努力影響公司的股東、銀行與客戶,進一步動搖州政府與聯邦政府的想法。

現在,他們將艾斯川吉的發言當成是環保運動的勝利。

荒野保護協會的發言人斯廷(Paul Oosting)說,「社區與環保團體數十年來一直為保護塔斯馬尼亞的珍貴原始林努力,聽到貢斯木業的宣告,我們非常高興這項突破。我們期待與木材業合作,共同保護塔斯馬尼亞的原始林,提供新的永續工作機會,一起開創前面的道路。」

塔斯馬尼亞環境協會(Environment Tasmania)主席潘靈卓(Dr. Phill Pullinger)很歡迎貢斯木業的轉變,他說:「我們現在有幾十年來最好的機會,來解決塔斯馬尼亞森林問題的衝突。」

塔斯馬尼亞環境協會、荒野保護協會以及澳洲生態保育基金會一直與林業代表協商,希望找出保護原始林的可能選項,以期創造永續經營的林木業,並且終結數十年來的森林問題爭端。

「這對塔斯馬尼亞的未來相當重要,我們保護我們的原始森林,創造一個令塔斯馬尼亞人民驕傲的林木產業,並且醫治我們社會中深深的傷痕。」潘卓靈說,「我們必須找到對森林利用衝突的解決方法,這方法必須穩固、長久,並且能觸及整個塔斯馬尼亞的民眾。」

澳洲生態保育基金會的國家森林保育運動者赫斯基斯(Lindsay Hesketh)說,「如果貢斯木業停止對原始森林的砍伐,進而轉移目標到人造林,木材業的就業機會將會得到保障。」

「現在是以新眼光看待塔斯馬尼亞森林的時候了,因為過去森林與飯碗之間的爭奪戰沒有贏家,」赫斯基斯說,「我們的社會被撕裂,工作機會流失,也沒有保護好塔斯馬尼亞的自然遺產。我們鼓勵所有的參與者繼續對話,以在這些問題中找到共同的立足點。」

2009年,貢斯木業輸掉了四年前為了試圖阻止20名示威者所提起的官司,付出780萬美金。

2006年,貢斯放棄了控告綠黨參議員布朗(Senator Brown)的官司。

2009年3月,貢斯放棄了對荒野保護協會的官司,並且為荒野保護協會支付了相當35萬美金的訴訟費用。

為了作為回報,荒野保護協會同意支付貢斯木業2.5萬美金,以補償2003年11月在塔斯馬尼亞的斯蒂克斯谷(Styx Valley)抗議時所造成的損失,當地是全世界最大的巨樹所在地。包括參議員布朗,至少有3000名抗議群眾於2003年7月時聚集在斯蒂克斯谷。

貢斯木業仍在計畫興建價值20億美金的貝爾灣紙漿場(Bell Bay Pulp Mill),又稱為塔馬谷紙漿場(Tamar Valley Pulp Mill),地點靠近朗塞斯頓(Launceston),是塔斯馬尼亞的第二大城。

計畫中的工廠將使用卡夫製程(Kraft process),基本上是無氯漂白法。會使用當地原生的桉木以及人造林木。這座工廠是由州政府所支持,期待為當地創造就業與經濟活動機會。

Tasmanian Timber Giant Retreats from Old Growth Logging
MELBOURNE, Australia, September 10, 2010 (ENS)

Australian environmental groups are rejoicing as the new head of Tasmanian timber company Gunns Limited announced the company will move away from logging native forests and develop plantation-based products.

At an industry conference in Melbourne Thursday, Gunns chief executive Greg L'Estrange acknowledged that most Australians support the environmental groups in their decades-long campaign to end logging in the old growth native forests of Tasmania.

"This may well mean transitioning to plantations but move we must, for the conflict must end," said L'Estrange. "Through this inclusive approach we will find joint solutions to age-old conflicts and move beyond to a real, sustainable forest industry."

Gunns is Australia's largest producer of hardwood pulp wood, Australia's largest hardwood sawmiller, Australasia's largest producer of decorative hardwood veneer and also has a chain of retail stores.

In court, on the streets and in the forests, environmental campaigners have battled for decades to keep Gunns from logging Tasmania's old growth forests. They have worked to influence the company's shareholders, banks and customers and successive state and national governments.

Today they are taking L'Estrange's announcement as a white flag.

Wilderness Society spokesperson Paul Oosting said, "Community and environment groups working for decades for the protection of Tasmania's irreplaceable native forests see Gunns announcement as a very welcome breakthrough. We look forward to protecting Tasmania's forests and supporting new lasting jobs by continuing to work with the timber industry to pave a way forward."

Environment Tasmania Director Dr. Phill Pullinger welcomed Gunns' shift, saying, "We now have the best opportunity in decades to resolve the forest conflict in Tasmania.

Environment Tasmania, The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation are engaged in talks with forestry industry representatives on options for the protection of native forests, the creation of a sustainable timber industry and the delivery of an end to the decades-long forest conflict.

"It is vitally important for Tasmania's future that we protect our native forests, create a timber industry that Tasmanians can be proud of, and heal the deep divisions in our community," said Pullinger. "We have to find a solution to the conflict over forestry that is durable, lasting and involves the whole Tasmanian community."

"If Gunns moves out of native forest logging and concentrates on processing its plantations, it will protect jobs in the timber industry," said Lindsay Hesketh, national forest campaigner for the Australian Conservation Foundation.

"It's time to look at forests in Tasmania in a new way because the old way - a battle between jobs and forests - has protected neither," said Hesketh. "It ruptured the community, failed to protect jobs and destroyed Tasmanian's natural heritage. We encourage all players to continue dialogue to find common ground on these important issues."

In 2009, Gunns lost a 7.8 million dollar court case it had launched against 20 defendents four years earlier in an attempt to prevent protests.

In 2006, Gunns dropped its case against Senator Brown.

In a March 2009 settlement Gunns dropped its case against The Wilderness Society and paid the group's legal fees worth $350,000.

In return, The Wilderness Society agreed to pay Gunns $25,000 in damages for a November 2003 protest against logging in Tasmania's Styx Valley where some of the world's largest trees stand. At least 3,000 people showed up at a Styx Valley protest in July 2003, including Senator Brown.

Gunns still has plans to build the $2 billion Bell Bay Pulp Mill, also known as the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill, near Launceston, Tasmania's second largest city.

The proposed mill would use the Kraft process, elementally chlorine free bleaching, and be fed with native eucalypt forest and plantation timber. The mill is supported by the state government which wants the economic opportunities and jobs it will create.

全文及圖片詳見:ENS報導