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Saving the Tarkine Points for a letter to your local MP

We depend on healthy natural ecosystems for our health- we all need clean air, clean water, a stable climate, regular contact with nature and the biodiversity that nature provides to be truly well.

Ecosystems like the Tarkine protect our health:
The Tarkine acts as a carbon sink, as trees absorb CO2 and release O2, which protects us against further climate change (a major global health threat).

The large forests provide clean air and water, and soil protection from salinity and erosion.
Providing a biodiverse ecosystem which acts as a buffer against climate threats. As many as 1/3 of all medicines have come from forests and there may be many more plants of potential medicinal and nutritional value in these diverse living systems.

Spending time immersed in nature of high wilderness value is good for us both physically and mentally. Activities such as bushwalking, kayaking or swimming protect us from the many diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Researchers have also found
that time in nature elevates mood, reduces anxiety and enhances focus, i.e. it makes people happier and less stressed.

The vast expanse of the Tarkine means that tourism jobs are available for the local community, and provide a source of long- term employment in healthy environments.
Destruction of the Tarkine by mining will cause many adverse health and environmental effects:
Deforestation and ecosystem alterations will lead to the redistribution of microorganisms and pathogens, which predisposes to the emergence of new infectious diseases, to which humans have had no prior immunity.

Increased traffic, especially involving heavy, diesel-fuelled vehicles will cause local air pollution. The WHO has recently advised that diesel-fuelled engine emissions are carcinogenic, causing bladder and respiratory cancers.

Mining activities will release thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, thus adding to climate change health impacts.

The west coast of Tasmania receives heavy rainfalls, meaning that pollutant minerals from mining can easily leach out of the ground and into local river systems.
Water contamination of the river systems will lead to the loss of fish and other aquatic food sources, thus potentially harming the health of people ingesting this heavy-metal laden seafood.

The fabric of local communities will be torn by new workers brought in to live in mining camps rather than local towns. Social problems will be compounded by the lack of wilderness and the natural landscape for recreation and health.