Federal and State Governments

The Old Forests Appeal is an online petition that highlights the value of protecting old forests in the fight against global warming.

Please, read the text below and click to sign yourself or your organisation onto the appeal.

The appeal will be presented to Australian politicians and industries to highlight the value of old forests in the fight against climate change.

We, the under-signed individuals and organisations, call on Australian state and federal governments to recognise the importance of protecting old forests in the fight against global warming.

Forests are the lungs of the earth, drawing in carbon and releasing oxygen, essential to sustain life on our planet.

Forests that are allowed to grow old can store far more carbon. Australia's remaining old and undisturbed natural forests represent vast carbon stores. Research indicates that Australian old growth forests can store up to 1200 tonnes of carbon per hectare. Old forests continue to sequester carbon in soils as they age, contributing to a major terrestrial carbon sink.

Research shows that it is better, for climate change, to leave old growth forests in the ground rather than logging them and converting them to regrowth or plantations. A forest that is regularly harvested will have on average much less carbon than an undisturbed forest. Because old growth forests are able to store much larger amounts of carbon, conversion of old growth forests to younger forests will lead to massive carbon losses to the atmosphere and a major climate change impact.

The logging industry claims that wood products sourced from old growth forests store carbon and hence, balance out the effects of conversion. In reality, only a fraction of wood sourced from old growth forests goes to long lasting timber products. (Forestry Tasmania Annual Reports) The vast majority of wood from these forests (approximately 80%) goes into short lived products such as paper and cardboard etc, which decompose and release carbon very quickly. Carbon storage in wood products can never make up for the loss of carbon storage in old growth forests.

Destroying the earth's old growth forests will seriously aggravate the risk of dangerous climate change. Current logging practices will see lead to vast greenhouse emissions, decimate our planets biodiversity and displace human communities who have coexisted with their environments for millennia.

Protecting our old forests now is one of the fastest, cheapest and most effective ways to reduce greenhouse emissions and secure the vital ecological services that human societies rely upon.

We call on our respective governments to act now to protect all remaining old forests and to take real steps to reduce greenhouse emissions in the interests of future generations and the web of life that shares this planet.

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The The Old Forests Appeal petition to Federal and State Governments was written by Lilia and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.