Coming out of the climate election we all needed, one thing we know to be clear is this: community organising holds us together, strengthens our resilience, and gets the wins.
With many of our most iconic landscapes, like the Alpine Ash forests and Snow Gum woodlands of north eastern Victoria, facing an existential threat from climate change-driven fire regimes that are seeing more frequent and more intense blazes tearing through our park, we have precious little time left to make sure they are protected.
Our incredible Members, volunteers and paid staff at Friends of the Earth are deeply connected to the regions on the climate frontline in the state. Many of us are now campaigning and organising in the communties we grew up in and places we call home. And, after years of lockdown we are finally back out in the places we love fighting for their protection, and laying foundations for transformative system change out of extractive industries.
By making a tax-deductible donation before June 30, you’ll be supporting Friends of the Earth’s work alongside people from the city to country who are committed to a future in which we can all thrive.
In the high country of Victoria, we are collaborating with a 5th generation mountain cattle grazing family to protect old mountain forests near the Dargo High Plains. We have raised the issue in the media, lobbied government, and recently held the first ever community walk in to the Little Dargo River. We feel that we are well placed to win this campaign, and working with unusual allies builds our power to campaign effectively and influence all parties.
Cam Walker - FoE Campaigns Coordinator
The state government logging agency, VicForests, intends to log a total of 11 “coupes”, or sections, of mature forest in the upper Little Dargo River, probably this spring. These coupes are located in a series of clusters, where separate sections of bush will be harvested, creating a large zone of cleared land over time. Extensive roading networks will be needed to access the coupes.
The state government’s current transition plan out of native forest logging by 2030 offers communities too little and comes far too late. VicForests are going hell-for-leather and destroying our last remaining forests while they can, compromising the long-term wellbeing of all Victorians in a time of climate and economic crisis.
We're calling for a rapid, just transition into ecologically sound alternatives can support thriving regional communities.
"I grew up in the regional community that I’m now organising in. I am heartbroken to see so much of the forests I loved exploring as a child completely destroyed by logging. Our work in the Forest Collective gives me the opportunity to protect the special ecosystems left in our region, while also working to improve the overall wellbeing of my community. That’s deeply rewarding."
Kim - Forest Collective Transitions Coordinator in Murrindindi
By coordinating the development of a community-led transition plan away from native forest logging, Friends of the Earth Members like Kim will work in partnership with regional people in their communties in affected areas and support them to promote environmentally sound and socially just alternatives to logging.
To protect forests, stop logging, and create better outcomes for our communities, we also need to urgently support citizen scientists to continue to monitor species like South Gippsland Koala. With perhaps less than 2000 left in the wild, Strzelecki Koala habitat in Mullundung Forest, which is also sadly scheduled for logging by VicForests.
By working with communities, and building awareness of the significance of the Strzelecki Koala we have successfully protected precious koala habitat in the east of the state.
I'm from South Gippsland - the heart of Strzelecki koala country! I found out about the work to raise awareness of the plight of the Strzelecki koala while I was working to stop the expansion of a quarry in our area. FoE put together an online petition for us that really helped get the word out and we were successful in averting the destruction of some valuable native forest!
Anda - Strzelecki Koala Action Team volunteer
Can you make a donation today to support Friends of the Earth Members and volunteers to protect the paces they love?
Your donations will support research, citizen science and continued lobbying to protect what remains of Victoria's native forests. But most importantly, your funds will support us to keep organising alongside communties, building relationships and creating the powerful alliances that hold us together in times of climate crisis.