Sunday, February 13, 2011

Update: Save our Forests

A few posts ago I re-posted about how the British government is planning to auction off Forestry Commission land, here what's happened so far.

The Save Our Forest campaigned asked people to write to their MPs and I was in a rather beneficial position of being in two constituencies as I was (at the time) moving from one to the other. My 'old' constituency was Edinburgh South with Mr. Ian Murray and my new constituency is Edinburgh East with Ms. Sheila Gilmore.

As to date no reply from Mr. Murray but Ms. Gilmore replied labelling the proposal 'an act of environmental vandalism'. She also told me about what Labour were doing and directed me to Mary Creagh MP, Labour's Shadow Environment Secretary, newly launched site: This Land is Our Land (can't help feel they could have picked a less patriotically cheesy name - especially since it references one of the US's most famous folk song...but I digress). But what bothered me the most in Ms. Gilmore's response was she concluded by:
"It is important to reemphasise that this issue is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and although the Scottish Government recently consulted on proposals to sell off Scottish forests, my party colleagues in the Scottish Parliament opposed these plans and they have now been withdrawn."
I replied thanking her for her reply to my email but also reminding her that it shouldn't matter if this proposal won't effect Scotland or not.  I reminded her that she should show concern for forests not only here in her own constituency and country but to those around the world as well. We all interconnect and I am not borrowing this from some snazzy mobile phone company. We as in every living creature and planet are connected and what happens here effects those across the world.

Finally an updated from the Save the Forest campaign themselves:

Breaking news! The government have announced they will pause forest sell-offs for a few months. It's a brilliant sign, but our forests are still in danger. If we keep working together, we can save our forests forever - not just for a few months.

The government is still going full steam ahead with changing the law to clear the way for a 100% sell-off. It looks like they hope the fuss will die down if they pause a few sales here and there - so they can press on with quietly scrapping legal protection for our public woodlands.
Please forward this e-mail and ask your friends to sign:
http://www.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-forests

Picture yourself in the last forest you visited. Remember how you felt, what you saw, how peaceful it was. Now imagine hearing that this beautiful place has been auctioned off. We just can't let it happen!

By working together, bit by bit, we are protecting our woodlands for future generations. Since 38 Degrees members voted to launch this campaign, we've spread the word, emailed our MPs, and chipped in to pay for opinion polls and adverts. It’s starting to work - today is a time to celebrate. But we also need to keep the pressure building.
Please sign the petition and pass the message onto your friends, so that future generations might know the sensation of what it feels like to be dry under a canopy of thick tree leaves while it rains above.

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