In the previous post, Malaysian timber conglomerate Ta Ann was highlighted as one of the firms bankrolled by HSBC to devastate Sarawak’s rainforest. Numerous complaints of malpractice have been made against this rapacious company, which is linked to the Sarawak First Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud – himself the focus of numerous allegations of extreme corruption and rampant cronyism.
Ta Ann has spread its malevolent tentacles overseas, and has been operating in Australia since 2006, where it has established itself as the main agent of deforestation of Tasmania’s ancient forests. For instance, between 2006-11 Ta Ann logged out 88 areas defined as High Conservation Value. There has been much resistance to this onslaught on the forests, with two direct action blockades in Tasmania in the last week.
Activists from environmental group Groundswell locked themselves to a Ta Ann veneer plant last Sunday, closing the production line.
A few days later, another Ta Ann mill was locked down by a group of local people.
Tasmania’s amazing forests have long been a frontline in the grassroots struggle against deforestation, and it’s heartening that this tradition is being continued in response to Ta Ann’s onslaught on Australian biodiversity.