Australia: the paper tiger?

Asia Pacific Rainforest Summit opens in Sydney

Press release - 10 November, 2014
Tuesday 11 November, 2014: With Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s Asia Pacific Rainforest Summit opening in Sydney, Greenpeace is calling on the Minister to deliver tangible results.

“Before the election, Greg Hunt pledged to deliver a global deal to protect rainforests,” said Greenpeace Forest Campaigner Jessica Panegyres. “Today’s announcement of $6 million in funding must be seen in the context of the government’s clear-felling of environmental budgets this year and this summit will show whether the Australian government has a real concrete plan for the region, or is just a paper tiger.”

“The forests in our region are disappearing fast and Australia has a vital role to play in protecting them,” said Panegyres. “Urgent action to protect rainforests is a not only a life-line for forest-dependent peoples and critically endangered animals such as the Sumatran tiger, but is essential for us all. Forests are critical to averting dangerous climate change.”

The test for the Australian Government is whether it commits to three concrete actions to tackle deforestation in our region:

- Commit significant finance for forest conservation and land tenure reform in our region. Funding for forest protection needs to come in addition to cuts in emissions from fossil fuels, not through 'forest offsets'

- Support Indonesian government efforts to enforce forest conservation and anti-corruption laws and enact legislative frameworks to effectively protect natural forests and peatlands.

- Develop policies that ensure “deforestation free products” for Australian consumers and help level the playing field for companies that have committed to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuses from their supply chain. This includes enforcing the Illegal Logging Act and adopting ‘deforestation-free’ procurement policies. 

Read the Rainforest Summit Briefing