Help Patagonia Save One Of Australia's Biggest Rainforests

by: Lucy Jones | 1 year ago | News

Bob Brown in the takayna/Tarkine rainforest. Image Source.

Patagonia needs you! The outdoor clothing company wants to save one of the last truly wild places in Australia and they need your help. The takayna/Tarkine region of northwestern Tasmania is home to one of the most naturally and culturally significant rainforests in the country. Most of this forest looks the same today as it did hundreds of millions of years ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The area, which takes its name from the Indigenous takayna people who lived in large numbers on the coast, also contains one of the highest concentrations of Aboriginal archeology in the southern hemisphere.

According to a nearby UN monitoring station, the air that blows across the shores of the Tarkine’s beaches is the cleanest in the world. In 2013, this site was added to the National Heritage List but the Australian Government failed to protect the entire recommended area from the damage caused by off-road vehicles. The government reopened the area to off-road cars since it was heritage listed and even proposed to cover ancient shell middens with rubber mats to protect them from vehicles. Today, the forest is also under threat from destructive extraction industries like logging and mining. 

An area that has been logged inside the takayna/Tarkine rainforest. Image Source.

Patagonia has teamed up with the Bob Brown Foundation to help save this forest by getting it listed as a World Heritage Area. The company is raising awareness about the takayna/Tarkine via a documentary that is screening (for free!) all around Australia this month. The film centers on a rural doctor and runner who jogs deep into the forest to discover and document logging operations.

“Wild places continue to decline worldwide. Throughout our company’s 45-year history, we have fought for the protection of wild places to preserve environmental and cultural heritage values for future generations,” Dane O'Shanassy, the Country Director for Patagonia Australia, said in a statement. “The campaign to protect takayna/Tarkine has been running for more than 40 years. At present, neither the Tasmanian government nor the Australian government support the nomination of takayna/Tarkine as a World Heritage Area, but pressure from a global community of supporters may be a catalyst for them to reconsider this approach and demonstrate the desire to see the region protected.” 

So what can you do to help? Firstly, you can head here to sign the petition for World Heritage protection of the takayna/Tarkine. Once you’ve done that, you can write a letter to your local MP saying that they’ll only get your vote if they support the protection of the takayna/Tarkine rainforest. Together your voices can make a difference because, in the wise words of former Greens leader and environmentalist Bob Brown:

“Nature is the salve for our souls. We owe it to everyone who comes after us, and ourselves, to protect what little is left of wild nature on planet Earth, which, so far as we know, is the only living place in the universe. The Tarkine is our test.

I, for one, am here to defend the wildness which was the universe of the takayna people when they, like the forbearers of us all, lived in awe of and harmony with this one planet which cradled us into existence. What a simple and sensible thing that we should want to stir the world into action to protect the wildness of the Tarkine.” 

Head here to learn more about Patagonia and Bob’s mission to save the takayna/Tarkine rainforest and to book tickets to a documentary film screening in your nearest city. 

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