Environmentalist Miranda Gibson Has Lived in This Tree for More Than a Year to Protect the Forest

by Will Potter on January 13, 2013

in Activism & Activists' Response

Miranda Gibson tree sit Tasmania forestsRecord-breaking Australian temperatures have been so severe that a new color has been added to meteorological heat maps, and wildfires have been raging in Tasmania, destroying more than 100 homes. Through it all, environmentalist Miranda Gibson has maintained the longest-running tree sit in Australian history.

A friend sent in this photo of Gibson reading Green Is the New Red, and it prompted me to read up on the campaign, which I’m embarrassed to say I knew very little about. Gibson’s website, TheObserverTree.org, has a wealth of information, including regular blog entries about her experiences (posted from the tree tops!):

The ObserverTree is a platform situated 60m above the ground in an old-growth Eucalyptustree, in the heart of Tasmania’s southern forests. On the 14th of December 2011 conservationist Miranda Gibson climbed a rope to the top of the tree and vowed to stay untill the forest is protected. Miranda’s upper canopy home is a tree under imminent threat, in a forest due to be logged any day now…

This area of forest is in an area earmarked as one of Tasmania’s future forest reserves. It was promised protection by the State and Federal governments. Yet, if the logging industry has its way, it is going to be logged…

Gibson has lived in the trees for more than a year (395 days, as I write this) and has promised to continue the act of civil disobedience indefinitely until the Tasmanian forests are protected.

The dedication of Gibson and her support crew is truly inspirational. I hope you’ll follow the campaign on her site and Facebook page.

Oh, and what do you know — there are also plenty of activists using bold, creative tactics right here in the United States! And you can join them. For instance, check out the Tar Sands Blockade for more information.

Special thanks to Lilia for the photo!

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