"alan morris" <>, <>
Thu, 7 Jun 2007 12:05:57 +1000
Alan raises the issue of tree planting as a part of the solution to the
greenhouse effect and rightly raises some concerns about tree planting per
se. Ever since Bob Hawke launched the 'one billion trees' programme tree
planting has been seen as the solution to all of the world's problems.
Unfortunately tree planting can cause more problems than it solves. The
proliferation of monocultures of pine or various eucalypt species has
negative impacts on the environment. Theses plantations are usually
approved on 'cleared land'. This cleared land often has scattered old
growth trees of great significance to birds, mammals and reptiles. They are
in the way so get the chop. Then the site is nuked with herbicides,
sometimes broad scale from a helicopter, and then the trees are planted.
The species are usually not native to the region or if they are the
provenance is not right. If you plant Forest Red Gums from another area the
genetic make up would be different to that of the locals. Cross pollination
of plantation trees with remnant native trees is never considered as a
threat, but it is.
Now to greenhouse - all of these plantations are going to sequester carbon
and therefore will help with reducing the greenhouse effect - WRONG - unless
the plantations are never harvested. Harvesting and processing produces
large amounts of carbon so any benefits of carbon storage are lost at the
harvest and processing stages. If carbon trading is to be implemented then
credits should only be given to landowners who protect old growth forest,
regenerate natural vegetation or plant trees in an ecologically sustainable
way that will never be harvested.
Timber plantations are necessary to take the pressure of native forests (and
their birds) but they don't deserve, and shouldn't receive, greenhouse
All birders (including twitchers) should consider all of their activities in
light of the greenhouse effect (as should every Australian) but people have
to make up their own minds about how they will address their impact on the
planet. Turning on each other only plays into the hands of those
(particularly politicians) who love to divide and rule.
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