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BEAM screens Forest Defenders doco

Updated: May 27, 2021

7:30pm Saturday 27th March at Tallarook Mechanics Institute

Join us for an inspiring screening of Forest Defenders, a documentary filmed on the frontlines of the battle to save takayna/ the Tarkine, during the 2019/2020 summer of dramatic action and activism.

Forest Defenders is the first in what we hope to be a series of films screened across the Mitchell shire. It is an idea borne out of conversations at BEAM over time, to bring environmentally relevant and current films to a public audience in our region. The motivation is not just to entertain, but to encourage open discourse and to gather, expand and embolden our community to envisage and build a future where our environment takes centre stage.

The film is shot on location deep in the wilderness of south west Tasmania. takayna is its First Nations name, my people call it Tarkine. takayna meets many of the criteria for World Heritage listing: endangered species, First Nations artifacts and pristine forest. The area is so ancient that it has three known plant species that share geographic locations as far flung as South America’s Patagonia, New Zealand and New Guinea, terra that was once part of the super continent Gondwanaland.

Forest Defenders portrays a small group of dedicated non-violent activists, a ‘tree-keeping force’, as they defend takayna from the Tasmanian logging industry. We are presented with the conflict and confrontation that comes with such a meeting of ideologies. The film provides a powerful and beautiful insight into why these spectacular native forests and rainforest are worthy of protection.

BEAM is excited to have Scott Jordan from Save the Tarkine and The Bob Brown Foundation amongst our guest speakers on the night. Scott brings 15 plus years of experience as an activist in the takayna region. He will be joined by guest speakers from local native forest activist group Save The Tallarook Forest. The Tallarook forest is on Taungurung Country, literally up the road from the event location.

The Tallarook Forest is facing its own imminent threat from the bulldozer and chainsaw. VicForests have plans to ‘harvest’ habitat that is home to the many fire ravaged species, including the endangered Powerful Owl and the Southern Greater Glider. Rather than celebrating and protecting habitat that avoided the devastating fires from the summer before last, VicForests only see the Tallarook Forest’s value in wood chips. Native forests also have intrinsic value as carbon sinks, which help to ameliorate climate change, the leading cause of extreme weather events.

The ecology of the Tallarook Forest and takayna are undervalued by their prospective state governments and the logging companies they support. They are priceless resilient ecosystems that provide security on a rapidly warming planet. These are ecosystems we must protect.

Peter Gaffney

BEAM committee member.


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