UNESCO says all of Tasmanian forest to stay protected

June 23, 2014
Approximately 5,000 Tasmanians attend a rally to oppose the delisting of Tasmania's World Heritage forests in Hobart, Tasmania on June 14, 2014

The UN's cultural body on Monday rejected a controversial Australian attempt to revoke World Heritage status for parts of the Tasmanian Wilderness, which would have opened them up to loggers.

Delegates at UNESCO's World Heritage Committee voted to turn down the request at a gathering in Doha, where they are considering additions and changes to the UN list of cultural and natural wonders.

Australia's conservative government asked UNESCO to revoke its World Heritage listing for 74,000 hectares (183,000 acres) of the forest, claiming the area was not pristine.

One of the last expanses of temperate in the world, the forest covers nearly 20 percent, or 1.4 million hectares, of the southern island state.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott believes too much forest is locked up and favours more access for loggers.

The area slated for delisting is part of 120,000 hectares added last year to the Tasmanian Wilderness area under the previous Labor government—the culmination of a long battle waged by environmentalists.

Up to 5,000 people protested against the attempted de-listing outside Tasmania's state parliament in Hobart on June 14.

Earlier at the Doha gathering UNESCO warned Australia that another of its World Heritage sites—the Great Barrier Reef—could be put on an endangered list if more is not done to protect it.

Explore further: Australians rally over future of Tasmania forest

Related Stories

Australians rally over future of Tasmania forest

June 14, 2014

Thousands of Australians rallied Saturday against the proposed logging of protected forests in rugged Tasmania ahead of a UNESCO World Heritage meeting where the issue will be discussed.

UNESCO warns Australia over Great Barrier Reef

June 18, 2014

UN cultural agency UNESCO on Wednesday warned Australia that the Great Barrier Reef could be put on a list of endangered World Heritage Sites if more is not done to protect it.

Australian natural wonders under UNESCO spotlight

June 15, 2014

Australia is home to some of the most pristine environment on Earth, but two of its most high-profile protected areas face threats to their status as World Heritage Sites at a UNESCO meeting starting Sunday in Doha.

Australian PM says too much forestry 'locked up'

March 5, 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott was accused Wednesday of mounting "a massive assault on the environment" after he warned too much Australian forestry was closed to logging and there were enough national parks.

Recommended for you

Mountain glaciers shrinking across the West

October 22, 2017

Until recently, glaciers in the United States have been measured in two ways: placing stakes in the snow, as federal scientists have done each year since 1957 at South Cascade Glacier in Washington state; or tracking glacier ...

Carbon coating gives biochar its garden-greening power

October 20, 2017

For more than 100 years, biochar, a carbon-rich, charcoal-like substance made from oxygen-deprived plant or other organic matter, has both delighted and puzzled scientists. As a soil additive, biochar can store carbon and ...

Cool roofs have water saving benefits too

October 20, 2017

The energy and climate benefits of cool roofs have been well established: By reflecting rather than absorbing the sun's energy, light-colored roofs keep buildings, cities, and even the entire planet cooler. Now a new study ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.