What we're protecting
So-called Victoria is home to globally significant forests.
These forests are not only important for biodiversity and the wildlife that relies on them, but they are vital for our water security, for carbon storage, and they are of great cultural significance to First Nations peoples.
From biodiverse forests in the Wombat State forest and Central West area to the magical forests of Far East Gippsland - the forests of Victoria are like none other on the planet. As well as being unique places to visit, our native forests also create a healthy, liveable environment for every Victorian.
But many of these forests are under imminent threat. Thousands of hectares of native forests are still being logged every year by the Victorian State Government, and more than 85% are wood-chipped to make cheap cardboard and packaging products which end up in landfill.
The Victorian state-owned logging company VicForests is heavily subsidised by tax-payers' money. This is in spite of overwhelming support for an end to native forest logging.
Our forests are worth so much more standing. That’s why more than 30 forest conservation groups have joined forces to form the VFA - so we can see the permanent protection and restoration of forests once and for all.
Victoria’s forests are home to hundreds of species of plants and animals which are directly impacted by logging. Species such as the Greater Glider, Koala, Leadbeater’s Possum, Sooty, Powerful and Masked Owls, rare frogs and reptiles, galaxias, and so much more.
Many of these species need large old hollow-bearing trees to survive. Their habitat continues to be targeted for logging despite massive declines in their numbers from past logging, bushfires, and climate change.
Mountain Ash forests are one of the most carbon dense in the world storing up to 10,000 tonnes of carbon per hectare. Since colonisation, less than 2% of Victoria's Mountain ash forests now remain. If we end logging in the Central Highlands it would save 3.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year and achieve 5% of the emissions cuts needed to meet Australia's carbon reduction target for 2020.
Melbourne relies on the forests in the Central Highlands for water supply. Studies have shown water catchments can be heavily impacted by logging.
For First Nations Peoples
The forests of so-called Victoria are on a number of sovereign Aboriginal . Forests hold spiritual and cultural significance for First Nations peoples. They hold stories, are meeting places, and the animals are totems for the Traditional Custodians. The forests are rich repositories of food, fibre and medicinal plants which are fundamental to the cultural heritage of First Nations peoples.
The VFA supports the return of the forests to the custodianship to First Nation peoples and acknowledges the important links between First Nations justice and environment campaigns. We must dismantle the systems which continue to oppress First Nations people, and end destructive practices which continue to desecrate forests on stolen land.
For safety against bushfires
The links between logging and bushfires are well known and understood. Younger forests are much drier and burn hotter than older mature forests. Communities living close to forests are increasingly put at risk by logging close to towns.
The 2019/2020 bushfires wiped out more than a billion native animals. Logging must end to reduce the future risk of bushfires.
Forests hold important values for local communities and provide sustainable, long-term employment through nature-based tourism. Logging undermines key industries in these communities including apiary businesses, ecological educators, tourism operators and fish hatcheries.