When Australia and its island state Tasmania signed the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement in 2011, it seemed to offer a peaceful conclusion to the fight over the country's natural forests that had raged for decades. That agreement, which expanded the protected area of Tasmanian forests and provided resources for logging companies to develop alternative plantation-based pulp production, may be in danger if Tasmania's new state government gets its way.

Will Hodgman, whose term as the premier of Tasmania started at the end of March, announced plans this week to repeal the agreement and open up around 400,000 previously protected hectares of forest for the timber industry.

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