Following is an extract from my speech to the Timber Communities Australia Conference in Launceston, Tasmania:
“It is a fact of life that if you don’t have your own clear plan, your own vision, you will likely be recruited into implementing someone else’s plan.
Organizations such as WWF and Greenpeace don’t undertake much tree-planting or grow any organic food themselves. These organizations exist to recruit others to implement their plans, their vision of what is best for the environment.
The Federal Coalition Government has been bankrolling these organisations to promote their vision. For example the federal government provided grants to WWF of over $15 million during the period 1996-2003.
We need a new vision. We need a new environment organisation within which we can start discussing and debating the principles I have outlined.
And there is a new environment group just starting up, and working from a radically different value-set than the established groups. The Australian Environment Foundation (AEF) has just formed and embraced the following 6 values based on my five principles:
1. Evidence – policies are set and decisions are made on the basis of facts, evidence and scientific analysis;
2. Choice – issues are prioritised on the basis of accurate risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis;
3. Technology – appropriate and innovative technological solutions are implemented.
4. Management – active management is used when necessary, acknowledging that landscapes and ecosystems are dynamic;
5. Diversity – biological diversity is maintained;
6. People – the needs and aspirations of people are balanced against environmental issues.
Working logically from these basic values and from my principles, could result in some radical outcomes. For example, if we value evidence, and if we are concerned about reducing our ecological footprint, then it logically follows that it is actually better to buy GM than organic. It might actually be better to support the Australian timber industry than to import timber from Malaysia and Indonesia.”
For more information on AEF and its soon to be launched website watch this web-blog.