This video is clever. Very clever. Using a John Oliver-style snappy narrative and pic montage, it puts the plight of koalas in the spotlight. Watch. Laugh. Enjoy. See you in a minute or two.
The video was written and created by The Juice Media a Melbourne-based satirical video production group, and partly funded by a not-for-profit group called the National Parks Association of NSW (who are not to be confused with the NPWS). They're angry about a thing called Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs).
What's an RFA? They're deals that were struck between state and federal governments 20 years ago that allow industrial logging of public forests. As you can imagine, RFAs are bad for many species, especially koalas, whose numbers have declined by an estimated 30 percent in NSW over 20 years.
"We're running a campaign asking for native forest logging to end, and for all forests to be protected with a view to increasing community access," NPA NSW senior ecologist Dr Oisin Sweeney told The Huffington Post Australia.
"The problem for us is getting beyond the echo chamber."
You mean, excuse the pun, getting beyond the "eco chamber" of environmental activists, and engaging the wider public?
"Right," Dr Sweeney said. "Young people are notoriously difficult to engage. Stodgy policy documents don't grab them, so we thought we'd make something really funny and shareable to reach that demographic."
Mission accomplished. This is no stodgy policy document, all right. It's cutting satire which brutally takes the piss out of government and/or corporate spin videos with lines like:
"Here's a koala in a tree. You like that, hey? Well f--k you then, because Australia's koala population is declining so rapidly, your grandkids will only ever see one of these furry bastards in a showbag."
It's all part of our FK'IT (Future Kids Intergenerational Theft) policy: making sure there'll be less good sh-t for our kids to enjoy.
The video was released Monday and is already edging up towards a million views. People seem to be sharing it for the humour value. But hopefully, they take away the key messages. Messages like:
- The koala population in NSW has declined by a third since RFAs were introduced almost 20 years ago. Numbers are similar in other states.
- Australia has the highest rate of land-clearing in the developed world, and this has increased in recent times due to legislation enacted by the Baird government in NSW and the former Newman government in Qld.
- Timber jobs are declining too due to automation. So logging of native forests pretty much does nobody any good.
"The evidence is overwhelmingly stacked that the RFAs haven't worked," Dr Sweeney said. "Multiple studies and analyses have shown that the benefits we DON'T count from forests are worth many multiples of what the timber is.
"Yet timber is the only thing we put a value on. Twenty years on [from the first RFAs], we think can do better in evaluating the costs of logging."
What next? Well, as the RFAs come up for renegotiation, Oisin Sweeney and others are asking people to sign a petition which asks governments to "complete the switch to plantations and alternative fibres for our wood needs so that our native forests can be protected for wildlife, recreation and human benefits like clean, abundant water".
It's also worth noting that The National Parks Association of NSW has in the past proposed creating a "Great Koala National Park", which would turn large areas of state forests (which can be logged) into reserves. You can watch a video about that below.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST AUSTRALIA