Environment Tasmania has today welcomed a decision by the UN's World Heritage Committee (WHC) urging the Hodgman Government to take its Draft TWWHA Management Plan back to the drawing board.
Andrew Perry, Environment Tasmania’s spokesperson for forests, said “What the UN's World Heritage Committee has done here is reiterate the concerns of Environment Tasmania, numerous other eNGOs, and thousands of ordinary Tasmanians. What we’d like to know now is how many voices does the Hodgman Government need to hear before it listens?
The WHC has expressed serious concerns over not only on how the area’s outstanding universal values (OUVs) would be managed and maintained, particularly given its green light to mining and logging, but also on the Government’s plans for tourism developments within its boundary.
“Whereas Environment Tasmania welcomes the new money for parks in the 2015-16 Budget, it will merely be a band-aid for the gaping wounds this Government plans to inflict upon Tasmanian’s iconic world heritage wilderness.”
Environment Tasmania again appeals to the Hodgman Government, for all Tasmanians, Australians, and indeed, the world, to take its Draft TWWHA Management Plan back to the drawing board and reinstate the Wilderness Zone, rule out logging and mining, reign in tourism development, properly recognise and respect its cultural values, and to ensure such a management plan is properly funded.
Extracts from UNESCO WHC Thirty-ninth session:
… Establishment of strict criteria for new tourism development within the property which would be in line with the primary goal of protecting the property’s OUV, including its wilderness character and cultural attributes;
… urges the State Party to ensure that commercial logging and mining are not permitted within the entire property, and that all areas of public lands within the property’s boundaries, including Regional Reserves, Conservation Areas and Future Potential Production Forest Lands, have a status that ensures adequate protection of the OUV of the property;
[that there is] Recognition of the cultural attributes of OUV, as also fundamental for its management;
Requests the State Party to secure adequate funding for the management of the property, taking into consideration the extension of the property as approved by the Committee at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013).
To read the full transcript of this decision, please go to page 52 of the WHC's 39th Session Committee Decisions.