Tagged ‘Forests‘

Montana Logging Collaborative Fails Restoration Goals

The Wildlife News

March 23, 2015

 by George Wuerthner

The Forest Service (FS), the timber industry and some environmental groups formed a collaborative groups several years ago known as the Southwest Crown of the Continent (SWCC). The goal ostensibly is to promote healthy ecosystems, but the real goal is to increase logging in the Seeley-Swan and Lincoln areas. The SWCC “restoration” objectives appear to be in direct conflict with sound science and well established principles.

The Southwestern Crown Collaborative

The collaborative first misinterprets ecological parameters to create a problem that they can solve with logging. Then the logging creates extra problems like spread of weeds on logging roads, which in turn requires more management. It is a self-fulfilling management that damages our forest ecosystems, and wastes tax payer money to subsidize private timber interests.

The Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) program supported by the SWCC collaborative has the following goals.

Reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire

Improve fish and wildlife habitat

Maintain or improve water quality and watershed function

Maintain, decommission, and rehabilitate roads and trails

Prevent or control invasions of exotic species, and

Use woody biomass and small-diameter trees produced from restoration projects.

Unfortunately this is not “restoration” rather it is degradation.

The first goal to cut risk of “uncharacteristic wildfire demonstrates a failure to understand wildfire ecology. . There are  no uncharacteristic wildfires occurring in the SWCC. The bulk of this area consists of forests like lodgepole pine, subalpine fir, western larch and so forth that naturally burn as mixed to high severity fires. They burn in large fires whenever there is drought coupled with warm temperatures, low humidity and high winds—assuming an ignition. That is the way these forests replace themselves. There is nothing unusual about any of the fires that have burned and will burn in this area.

Then the second objective is “improve fish and wildlife habitat”. Ironically large severe wildfire fire is one of the major factors that creates dead wood. Dead wood is critical to many wildlife species. Fires also create the patchy age forest stands that is important for many wildlife species. Fires are even important for aquatic ecosystems.  Dead wood in streams is important for bull trout and other fish. Fire promotes the young forests that snowshoe hares like–hence also lynx. Etc. So if the FS reduces the “risk” of wildfire–especially large fires, it is harming wildlife and fish habitat.

Next we come to maintain or improve water quality and watershed function. Again this is a good goal, but when you put in a bunch of roads and disturb the forest floor with logging equipment you are not improving water quality. Even temporary roads can cause significant run-off of sediment. Cutting of the sub-surface water flow by road construction can also cause more surface flow leading to greater erosion and sedimentation in streams. So “treating” the forests here automatically degrades the water.

Of course, one of the justifications I hear all the time for logging is that after cutting the trees the FS will close roads. Yet one doesn’t have to create logging roads, so you can close them, nor do you need to cut trees to close roads. If existing roads are causing problems for water quality or wildlife than the FS legally should close them, and they don’t need to log to do this.

Another goal is to prevent and control invasions of exotic species. A very laudable goal. But the biggest factor in the spread of weeds is disturbance from logging roads and equipment. So in treating the forest, you create the problem you need to solve. This is great for creating an endless job for the FS but it’s not in the public interest.

Finally the last objective is to use woody biomass from “restoration” projects. This last aim acts as if biomass is somehow unnecessary for forest ecosystem function. Nothing could be further from the truth. The removal of biomass harms forest ecosystems, nutrient cycling, wildlife habitat, etc. There is a deficiency of dead wood in many of our forested landscapes, particularly the heavily logged Seeley Swan Valley.

In short, the SWCC is clearly not using good science, and ignoring the multiple ways that logging harms the environment. Furthermore, since nearly all timber sales are money losers, this policy just foster greater dependency by communities and industry on government largess or welfare. It’s time to wean the Montana timber industry off of the government teat.

‘Trespassing’, Collecting Honey Among Charges Against Nagarahole Tribal People

The Hindu

Sept 5, 2014

by Divya Gandhi,

The State actively prosecutes but ‘Prosecuting them for using forest violates Forest Rights Act’

Between 2001 and 2011, as many as 192 cases were registered against tribal communities living in and around Nagarahole National Park. But their “offences”, which include trespassing forest land, collecting honey and growing ginger in the forest, are, in fact, their rights enshrined in the Forest Rights Act.

A report by a High Court-appointed committee on the status of tribal communities in and around Nagarahole, submitted recently to the Karnataka government, speaks of the “absurdity” of cases booked against tribal people for “trespassing” forests, which they have been living inside for generations.

Booking a large number of cases against tribal people is part of a historical culture of “violence” against the communities, which “takes on different forms,” says the report by the committee, chaired by political studies professor at the University of Mysore Muzaffar Assadi. In the 1970s, it took the form of multiple displacements for tribal families and also the destruction of their homes, crops and settlements “so as to erase their historical presence in the forest region”.

Prosecuting tribal communities for living in and using forests is a violation of the Forest Rights Act that gives them rights over land and forest resources, says Nitin Rai of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment. “The Act was enacted to rectify the immense historical injustices reaped on Adivasis and forest-dwellers. Draconian conservation laws have criminalised everyday life of Adivasis, who have lived in these forests for centuries.” But ironically, these very laws are constantly bent for industrial and infrastructural projects, he said.


‘Withdraw cases’

All pending cases against tribal people booked on “flimsy ground” should be withdrawn to help build trust between them and the political apparatus, says the report. An advocates’ collective should be appointed to fight cases of tribal people in different courts, it adds.

Cases booked also pertained to setting fire to the forest, to poaching wildlife and birds, and felling trees.


Just Conservation

Some background on the Park:

The name Nagarahole is derived from the winding river which flows through the Park (In Kannada the word ‘Naga’ means snake and ‘Hole’ means stream). Nagarahole National Park is located in the foothills of the misty blue Brahmagiri mountain range and straddles the picturesque districts of Kodagu (Coorg) and Mysore. Initially constituted as a Sanctuary in 1955, it was subsequently enlarged and conferred the status of a National Park in 1974. The Southern end is drained by the Kabini river (a tributary of the Cauvery) which has now been dammed to create a large reservoir, much of which lies within the park and which today separates Nagarahole National Park from Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

Hunter-gatherer tribes have inhabited these forests for several centuries. Of the 1500 or so people that live within the park and an approximate 5 to 6 thousand on the fringes, most are tribals called Jenu Kuruba, Betta Kuruba and Yerava. These tribals later took to slash and burn farming and collecting non-timber forest products for sale to urban markets. Today, many of these people work as labourers in coffee plantations or farms and also engage in seasonal work provided by the Forest Department.

Between 1870 and 1980, 14% of the area of the present Park was clear-cut to raise monocultures of teak. Dense secondary forests now occur in places where these plantations failed. Until recently, both the moist and dry deciduous forests have been selectively logged.

The long term management goal of the British was to replace natural forests with the more profitable teak and they actively pursued this until Independence. Between 1947 and 1955, the new Indian Government’s policy turned to harvesting as much of timber as possible, and to grow more food. Tribal and non-tribal people were encouraged to occupy Nagarahole’s ‘hadlus’, they were encouraged to cultivate rice and in addition provided cheap logging labour. There were no wildlife protection laws and hunting of predators was actively encouraged. In 1955, hunting of large mammals became illegal, but logging and encroachments into the Park continued. It was only in 1974, when Nagarahole was declared a National Park and tough new wildlife protections laws came into force that the situation started to change. In a complete reversal of roles, the management now tried to curb poaching, livestock grazing and removal of illegal encroachments! Between 1970 and 1980 about a 1000 squatters were moved out of the Park into resettlements. Forest product exploitation was regulated in response to lobbying by wildlife conservationists and a core zone of 200sq. km. was demarcated to the exclusion of forestry activities and tourism.



Further Reading:

Eviction Slip by Mark Dowie:

Interview with Jenu Kuruba tribal leader:

The Green Climate Fund’s Redress Mechanism: A cautionary tale from Nagarahole:

McKibben’s Divestment Tour – Brought to You by Wall Street [Part V of an Investigative Report] [A Thinking Person’s Nightmare]

The Art of Annihilation

September 4, 2014

Part five of an investigative series by Cory Morningstar

Divestment Investigative Report Series [Further Reading]: Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VIPart VIIPart VIIIPart IXPart XPart XIPart XIIPart XIII


“Of all our studies, it is history that is best qualified to reward our research.” — Malcolm X


Prologue: A Coup d’état of Nature – Led by the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

It is somewhat ironic that anti-REDD climate activists, faux green organizations (in contrast to legitimate grassroots organizations that do exist, although few and far between) and self-proclaimed environmentalists, who consider themselves progressive will speak out against the commodification of nature’s natural resources while simultaneously promoting the toothless divestment campaign promoted by the useless mainstream groups allegedly on the left. It’s ironic because the divestment campaign will result (succeed) in a colossal injection of money shifting over to the very portfolios heavily invested in, thus dependent upon, the intense commodification and privatization of Earth’s last remaining forests, (via REDD, environmental “markets” and the like). This tour de force will be executed with cunning precision under the guise of environmental stewardship and “internalizing negative externalities through appropriate pricing.” Thus, ironically (if in appearances only), the greatest surge in the ultimate corporate capture of Earth’s final remaining resources is being led, and will be accomplished, by the very environmentalists and environmental groups that claim to oppose such corporate domination and capture.

Beyond shelling out billions of tax-exempt dollars (i.e., investments) to those institutions most accommodating in the non-profit industrial complex (otherwise known as foundations), the corporations need not lift a finger to sell this pseudo green agenda to the people in the environmental movement; the feat is being carried out by a tag team comprised of the legitimate and the faux environmentalists. As the public is wholly ignorant and gullible, it almost has no comprehension of the following:

  1. the magnitude of our ecological crisis
  2. the root causes of the planetary crisis, or
  3. the non-profit industrial complex as an instrument of hegemony.

The commodification of the commons will represent the greatest, and most cunning, coup d’état in the history of corporate dominance – an extraordinary fait accompli of unparalleled scale, with unimaginable repercussions for humanity and all life.

Further, it matters little whether or not the money is moved from direct investments in fossil fuel corporations to so-called “socially responsible investments.” The fact of the matter is that all corporations on the planet (and therefore by extension, all investments on the planet) are dependent upon and will continue to require massive amounts of fossil fuels to continue to grow and expand ad infinitum – as required by the industrialized capitalist economic system.

The windmills and solar panels serve as beautiful (marketing) imagery as a panacea for our energy issues, yet they are illusory – the fake veneer for the commodification of the commons, which is the fundamental objective of Wall Street, the very advisers of the divestment campaign.

Thus we find ourselves unwilling to acknowledge the necessity to dismantle the industrialized capitalist economic system, choosing instead to embrace an illusion designed by corporate power.


Land Grabs, Green Illusions, and Privatization of Forests

As one example (of hundreds) of land grabs under the guise of conservation carried out by NGOs within the non-profit industrial complex, in December of 2011 Kenya’s Samburu people were violently evicted. The eviction occurred following the”purchase” of the land by two American-based charities, the Nature Conservancy and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). The two US “conservation” NGOs “gifted” the Samburu’s 17,100 acres of ancestral lands to Kenya’s government (November 2011) in order to create a national park to be run by the Kenya Wildlife Service.

In the above video (1:58) Nakuru Lemiruni sends a message to those responsible for evicting the Samburu tribe from their land. AWF, using funds from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), claimed they purchased the land with the understanding that no one resided on it. When the Samburu protested and took legal action, the land was swiftly “gifted” to the government. Police officers carried out the vicious eviction/attack on a Friday market day, when the men were away, leaving women, elders and children alone in their homes. Fanning out across the 17,000-acre Eland Downs Ranch, the police burned the Samburu families’ homes to the ground, along with all their possessions. Identified in the Kenyan media as “squatters,” the evicted Samburu families then petitioned a regional court to recognize their ancestral claims to the land where they lived and grazed their cattle. The suit has been filed by the Samburu against the AWF and the former President. [Source]

Pension funds began investing in commodities (including food and farmland) only recently.Capital allocated to agriculture investment grew from approximately $6 billion in 2001 to $320 billion in 2011, with hedge funds accounting for a further $100 billion. In 2011, investors expected these numbers to double within a few years. By the end of 2012, this figure rose from $320 to $428 billion. [Source]

“Farmland values across the globe between 2002 and 2010 have risen up to 1,800%, according to the Global Farmland Index compiled by U.K.-based real estate firm Savil. The biggest upswings have been in emerging markets, such as Romania and Hungary.” Global farmland offers potential for asset deals, Sept 26, 2013

The broad gains in commodity markets seen during recent years – dubbed the commodity “super cycle” – have taken a hit in 2013. It was Calpers (California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Ceres Board Member, partner) that helped pioneer pension funds’ foray into indexes that track wheat, energy, metal and other commodities. The money flooded in from big institutions (pension funds and college endowments), turning the market on its head. Economists blamed these new “index speculators,” who had no stake in the underlying commodities, for creating a volatile market. [Source] As of August 2013, the funds decreased from $428 million (2012) to $363 million (Barclays).

Yet not all “commodities” are created equal.

“Timber has attracted $60 billion of institutional money, or almost double that of agriculture, as governments and mills sold “sizable” assets, he said. The lumber market is valued at $425 billion…” Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2012


“Farmland has become the darling of alternative investing, sending hedge funds and wealthy investors into bidding wars for plots of land once deemed ordinary. And it is not just big money getting in on the game. From Stockholm to Chicago to Vancouver, ordinary investor money is pouring into fields around the world.” – BBC Capital, June 6, 2013


“According to numerous surveys within the industry, pension fund managers are seeking to invest in farmland – a new asset class offering annual returns of 10–20% – as never before.” June 20, 2011, Grain, Pension funds: key players in the global farmland grab

Included in such “green” portfolios will be massive land grabs and the appropriation of natural resources under the guise of conservation. “Sustainable” plantations (biomass/biofuels/agrofuels; feed for industrialized livestock), REDD+, Carbon Development Mechanisms (CDM) and so-called carbon sink projects comprise a green façade to justify the long-term objective of acquiring control of communally owned territory in the global South. In the long term, the goal is unbridled corporate capture of fertile land with access to cheap and plentiful water and labour, for producing export food crops that will deliver guaranteed high profits. Geo-engineering will place a further emphasis on food gentrification and large-scale monoculture industrial plantations – undoubtedly playing a pivotal and leading role in the accelerating obliteration of Earth’s natural biodiversity. Sovereign nations, peasants, farmers, campesinos, Indigenous Peoples and whole cultures will be annihilated in the process – a feat of 21st century corporate colonialism.

 “Farmland investments are particularly attractive as prices are supported by solid long-term fundamentals that have little to do with the performance of traditional assets such as equities. In the long-term, farmland values rise as demand for food weighs against a limited supply of good quality land, with farmland prices having been shown to rise in line with population growth and economic expansion in developing nations. This effectively generates a return on investment in the long term, regardless of the performance of the wider economy.” — DGC Asset Management, 2011


“They see in farmland what they call good ‘fundamentals’: a clear economic pattern of supply and demand, which in this case hinges on a rising world population needing to be fed, and the resources to feed these people being finite.” — Pension funds: key players in the global farmland grab, June 20, 2011


“Of a total $23 trillion of asset under management within the pension fund space, around $100 billion is believed to be invested in commodities, of which between $5 billion and $15 billion is invested directly into farmland investments. A majority of analysts project that institutional investments in farmland and commodities are expected to double by 2015.” — DGC Asset Management, 2011


“The Global AgInvesting Conference hosted at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan in June attracted some 600 institutional investors representing agriculture investment assets under management of almost $11 billion, and with plans to expand those holdings to almost $20 billion by 2014, a rise of almost 70%. Over 200 attendees were from the pension fund sector, and the majority intend to invest in farmland as the mainstay of their agricultural investment strategy.” — DGC Asset Management, 2011

According to Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management, agricultural land represents an $8.4 trillion market, of which institutional investors currently own approximately $30-$40 billion. This represents a fragment of the (monetary) value of farmland globally, estimated at about $8.4 trillion. Key regions targeted include Brazil and Argentina. Thus far, only 6 percent of institutional investment in primary agriculture has been in Africa due to geopolitical barriers. Yet, it is critical to note that investors perceive Africa as “having the most scope to open new areas of arable farmland.” [Institutions are blazing a trail in CIS farming, December 2, 2013, Source]

An industrialized economic system that voraciously consumes Earth’s natural resources, with zero regard toEarth’s replenishing cycles/laws of nature, ensures that agriculture is one clear and unmistakable source of pay-off for institutional investors. The new surge in money will push up global food prices (as we have already witnessed), hitting hardest those most vulnerable. As an example of investment driving up the market, food costs in 2012 came within 10 percent of the record set in February 2011 (United Nations Food Price Index). According to the World Bank, it is estimated that global food production will need to rise 70 percent to feed an additional 2 billion people on the planet. This will be a most miraculous attainment considering that as global temperatures increase beyond any temperature witnessed during the Holocene, agricultural yields will only further decline. Translation: food will be afforded, more and more, only by the wealthy.

“I see a massive change in agriculture coming … the returns on land over the long term equate to those received over the last 500 years by royal families… as food scarcity issues are likely to arise in the future, such land will rise in value too.” — Laguna Bay Pastoral chief executive Tim McGavin, Nov 18, 2013

Farmer loses farm. Investor or corporation now leases out farm (as well as related farming and irrigation infrastructure). Farmer now rents farm, etc. from investor or corporation while “the returns on land over the long term equate to those received over the last 500 years by royal families”.

Welcome to 21st century agro-colonialism.

And although Friends of the Earth knows full well that divestment does not address the finance of land-grabs (view Friends of the Earth endorsement in the civil society statementon the finance of land grabs, June 2012: Land grabbing by pension funds and other financial institutions must be stopped),they make no mention of it when promoting (one example) the divestment campaign led by

 “Pension funds are, at present, reported to be the largest institutional ‘investors’ in farmland worldwide. Yet the money used here is workers’ retirement savings. This means that wage earners and citizens may be implicated in massive violations of the human rights of local farming communities, including their rights to food, land, water, an adequate standard of living, their cultural rights and their right to self-determination – in breach of international law.” — Friends of The Earth Press Release, June 2012

More and more tragedies involve land grabbing, which is happening at an unprecedented rate all over the planet under the guise of “conservation” and “green economy.” For example, Hundreds Left Homeless in Olkaria Eviction in Kenya due to a large-scale geothermal project that has attracted both multinational and bilateral donors, with the World Bank being the main financier of the project. (Another video of the July 26, 2013 attack on the Maasai village in Olkaria is here). The short documentary film, Seeds of Discontent, exposes how a Swedish investment firm, Dutch pension fund and Norwegian church endowment actively engaged in land grabbing in Mozambique.

In Canada, the Algonquin people are fighting threats to land and water from an open-pit mining project for hybrid car batteries. Toyotsu Rare Earth Canada (TRECan), a Canadian subsidiary of Japan-based Toyota Tsusho Corporation, plans to build an open-pit Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE) mine directly next to Kipawa Lake, the geographical, ecological, and cultural centre of the Kipawa First Nation. Rare earths are a group of 17 elements found in the Earth’s crust. They are used to produce electronics for cell phones, wind turbines, and car batteries. Rare earths are notorious for their environmentally costly extraction process, with over 90 per cent of the mined raw materials classified as waste. [Source: Toyota Prius Not So Green After All]

Welcome to the “green economy”: classist, racist and utterly disgusting.

Yet another example in Canada, the Alberta Conservation Association is just one of thousands of NGOs working with corporations (in this case Shell, Suncor, the Canadian Government – see partners below) to commodify Earth’s last remaining resources under the guise/greenwash of conservation. The newly acquired and named “Shell Forests” are just a few examples.

As with the Keystone XL oil pipeline campaign, one is wise to watch the stock market in order to gain a sense of where the economic growth is expected to boom. In addition to both Warren Buffett’s and Bill Gates’s fairly recent stock acquisitions (in addition to their newly acquired/built rail empire) of John Deere and GMO crops, amidst the global rush to control the planet’s water, Buffett has been “loading up on the agricultural giant” Archer Daniels Midland (a focus on soybeans and ethanolFebruary 20, 2013) while eyeing farmland in Africa with plans to expandMonsanto’s biotechnology for “drought-tolerant corn” onto the Saharan landscapes.

 “Brazil’s agricultural sector remains one of the most exciting markets around. Don’t take our word for it. George Soros, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, all major investors and farmers in the Bahia region of Brazil, believe Brazil to be the best location for their alternative investments…. The buzz around Brazilian farmland has sparked interest from a wide range of different institutions, from hedge funds to private investors, pension funds and even foreign government entities from China, India, Europe and Africa have been making agricultural land enquiries within Brazil.” — Brazil’s Farmland is Still Ripe for Investment, March 18, 2013

In stark contrast, what lies beyond “modern” industrialized agriculture mirrors what we left behind in our collective past – a simple, nourishing work and respect of the soil, the land, the plant, the crop. In fact, millions of farmers are already advancing agriculture for themselves utilizing the same methods that have worked to feed humans for the past 10,000 years. [Source]

There has been a steady, building backlash against pension funds investing in massive land grabs (that have increased and continue to increase food prices, displace peasant farmers, and increase poverty and hunger). Because of this backlash, pension funds have been “afraid to go into the field alone, and they want to spread their bet or their risk by having partners join them.” In some societies not yet absorbed into the (pathological and insane) industrialized western mindset, land is sacred and the sale of land in some societies is not acceptable. [March 6, 2013, Pension funds join forces to invest in farmland. Source]

A Future of Unprecedented Coups

Ukraine, the most recent state to fall to a US-backed coup, was/is not only coveted for strategic geographic/geopolitical position (aka control of oil/gas), but also for its rich black soil. Soil is the new oil of the 21st century. “Ukraine, formerly the breadbasket of the Soviet Union, is now a major crop producer for the world market. The country has over 32 million hectares (ha) of arable land, which is equivalent to roughly one third of the arable land in the entire European Union (EU). Its location on the Black Sea and its fertile black soil – it possesses 25 percent of the world’s so-called Chernozem – make Ukraine attractive to agricultural producers and investors. Moreover, agriculture is now considered as a main business opportunity in the Black Earth (Invest Ukraine, 2011).”Oligarchs and transnational capital have taken over the land with their share in the GDP at 42.3 percent, against 5 percent for farmers (Ministry of Agriculture, 2012). [Source]

Environmental Colonialism | So-called “Conservation”

“It is no secret that millions of native people around the world have been forced off their homelands to make way for oil, mines, timber, and agriculture. But few people realize that the same thing has happened for a cause which is considered by many as much nobler: land and wildlife conservation. Indigenous peoples evicted from their ancestral homelands, for conservation initiatives, have never been counted; they are not even officially recognised as refugees. The number of people displaced from their traditional homelands is estimated to be close to 20 million – 14 million in Africa alone. These expelled native peoples have been living sustainably for generations on what can only be reasonably regarded as their ancestral land.” [Watch: Conservation Refugees – Expelled from Paradise (24:18)

One NGO at the helm of stealth land grab ventures is Conservation International. Since its inception in 1987, Conservation International has continued to use “its considerable financial resources, political influence and environmental sweet talk to quietly access, administer and buy biodiverse areas throughout the world and put them at the disposal of transnational corporations.” [Conservation International: privatizing nature, plundering biodiversity, October 2003] Not to be lost is the fact that Conservation International has utilized the same soft power strategies in their ecotourism ventures (also dependent on Indigenous knowledge/peoples) as they have in their land/big pharma exploits in partnership with Monsanto and Novartis. [Further reading: Fundacion Pachamama is Dead – Long Live ALBA [Part I of an Investigative Report]

 “REDD+ is driven by profit interests and is structured to allow polluters to continue polluting while increasing profits and enclosing lands.” — A colonial mechanism to enclose lands: A critical review of two REDD+-focused special issues, Joanna Cabello and Tamra Gilbertson, June 12, 2012

21st century market-based climate mitigation strategies are merely business opportunities to further corporate power. By normalizing such opportunistic exploitation, rather than exposing/rejecting it, one is complicit in promoting, thus prolonging, the dominant development model that is unjust, unethical, genocidal and ultimately, suicidal. The WWF certification schemes are but one set of such false solutions and green illusions. At present, WWF et al are waiting for the windfall that is slowly beginning to come into fruition under the much sought-after market mechanism REDD (which stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).

It must be understood that REDD will not mitigate further ecological degradation and collapse (under the guise of so-called conservation). Rather, REDD will only serve to further strengthen corporate power as well as gained access and control of the Earth’s last remaining forests.

“This is an effort to address the varying assumptions from the academic journals – that REDD+ can be fixed with more governance, finance and/or community engagement – through a critique of the wider neoliberal climate regime, issues of ‘governance’ as an unproblematised category, and by exploring, from de-colonialist and environmental justice perspectives, the issues of real participation and sustainability. We conclude that REDD+ is framed within an epistemological understanding of forests and lands which supports the domination of nature by humans for economic profit, regardless of financial input, governance and/or participation from communities, and therefore will not be a successful means of climate mitigation or forest protection.” — A colonial mechanism to enclose lands: A critical review of two REDD+-focused special issues, Joanna Cabello and Tamra Gilbertson, June 12, 2012 [Emphasis added]

[Further reading on REDD: Fundación Pachamama is Dead – Long Live ALBA | Part II]

Millions of hectares of forest in Indonesia and Malaysia have been grossly and violently exploited. Cleared for palm oil (to manufacture processed foods for the wealthy states plagued with obesity), the palm oil plantations have destroyed whole communities, cultures, and thriving living ecosystems along with the flourishing wildlife within them. The degradation and pillage that have resulted are so severe that palm oil investors are now turning to the west coast of Africa as the industry’s next frontier. A recent forest burning in Sumatra resulted in one of Southeast Asia’s worst air-pollution crises in history, blanketing neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia with record levels of smog. As a result, in May 2013 Indonesia extended a moratorium on the issuance of new plantation and timber concessions in primary forests and peatland. Desperate to ensure growth of the vile industry, Norway has agreed to provide the country with up to $1 billion in financing to “help reduce deforestation.” [Source]

Everything Changes. Everything Stays the Same | Green Colonialism and Forest Policies in South India, 1800-1900

“Going green” has become a popular slogan in the discourse of environmental conservation, and one that has been gaining wider popularity as global warming begins to threaten the very existence of the biotic world. The global environmental crisis has created a context in which the protection of forests has become a top priority in environmental conservation strategies. The preservationist and restorationist discourses advocate forest conservation as a means to save the Earth from environmental disaster. However, in spite of this strong emphasis on the preservation of forests, their destruction continues. In most of the present-day developing countries of Asia and Africa, this contradiction between advocated preservation and effective destruction of forests is a legacy of British colonial rule.

In a bid to expand the knowledge frontier on forest conservation, the British government appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Dr. H. Cleghorn in 1851, which produced a report on the condition of Indian forests. It’s the main point was that the process of deforestation was due to the irrational exploitive methods of the natives, most notably the shifting cultivation practised by the tribes. The committee strongly advocated state intervention to restore the forest cover, as the very welfare of the country depended upon its existence. The preservation and expansion of green cover, they argued, was necessary to save India’s climate and irrigation systems.

Dr. Cleghorn, first conservator of forests in the Madras Presidency, brought out his classic book, Forests and Gardens of South India, in 1861. It hardly discussed desiccationist ideas (the notion that cutting down a tree reduced the amount of rainfall on the spot where the tree had stood), but rather concentrated on silviculture and plantations. Nevertheless, again Cleghorn identified the shifting agricultural practices of tribes as mainly responsible for deforestation and the consequent ecological changes. It is important to note that this desiccationist discourse was informed by a presumption of racial superiority, where the colonizers branded the native farmers as destroyers of forests. Thus, desiccationist discourse was used not only as a justification for colonial forest policies, but also as a means to control the access of natives to forests.

The history of desiccationist discourse in South India shows how the British imposed scientific and moral hegemony over forests by blaming deforestation on the forest utilization pattern of the Indians although it was actually the colonial state that was responsible for the severe deforestation of South India. The desiccationist discourses of colonial scientists emanated from a context of anxiety over the wood requirements of the colonial state. Existing studies on desiccationist discourse in India project it as a moral reflection of the colonial scientific community. The history of colonial forest policies, however, indicates that it was rather a means to spread alarm and thereby facilitate the expansion of state control over forests. Desiccationist ideas were articulated not by scientists alone, but also by different sections of the colonial bureaucracy and policy makers. The narrative of the climatic influence of forests was a contested issue within the colonial bureaucracy at one level, and by the local people at another. The desiccationists advocated the protection of forests mainly on mountain slopes, where rivers originate. Their ideas, however, were used as a justification for the expansion of state control over most of the forest landscape in South India. The alarmist narratives were used as a catalyst for the imposition of the state’s administrative and legislative control over forests, but the main guiding force of colonial forest policies was the seeking of revenue and resources.

This legacy has had an explicit influence on the forest policies of independent India. Most policy interventions since independence – including social forestry, joint forest management and community forest management – have been justified with desiccationist discourse. [1] [Source: Green Colonialism and Forest Policies in South India, 1800-1900]

In 2013, the song remains the same.

Just as South India demonstrates how the British imposed scientific and moral hegemony over forests by blaming deforestation on the forest utilization pattern of the Indians (rather than those responsible: corporations and capitalism), today’s industrialized nations impose scientific and moral hegemony over Earth’s forests with the ultimate goals being 1) the implementation of REDD 2) the commodification and corporate capture of the Earth’s last remaining forests, and 3) the continuance of an ongoing genocide of Indigenous Peoples. And just as the British empire was responsible for the degradation they blamed on the Indians, today this transfer of responsibility is undertaken by NGOs. NGOs as key instruments of empire are utilized to manipulate the Indigenous Tribal peoples by convincing them that their ancient methods of burning are the primary drivers of climate change and destroying the planet, thereby guilting (and bribing) Indigenous Peoples into signing away their rights for their ancestral land, thus imposing REDD, thus imposing moral hegemony. In South India, the history of colonial forest policies indicates that it was rather a means to spread alarm and thereby facilitate the expansion of state control over forests. Today, climate change (very real) is grotesquely exploited by the elites as the ultimate catalyst for the commodification of Earth’s remaining resources.



The colonial scientific community’s discourse on the climatic importance of forests continues to this day, as does the underlying racism that attempts to pardon the colonizers’ greed, self-centeredness and voracious pillage.

It is critical to recognize that the push towards the illusory green economy is not driven by the vital necessity for the privileged to live within their means, rather it is serving as a driver for the infinite expansion of industrial production. This must be achieved by producing more raw materials to supply more sweatshops/factories, hence requiring more energy supplied by so-called “green” biofuels/biomass. The key words being “more”: more, more, more and more. The call of scientist Kevin Anderson (Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research) for a required and planned recession by developed states goes ignored.

Blue Gold

 major investment banks think the number of people served globally by investor-owned water companies is expected to rise 500% over the next 10 years.” — Energy & Capital, A Background and Primer for Water Investments, Source


“Water as an asset class will, in my view, become eventually the single most important physical-commodity based asset class, dwarfing oil, copper, agricultural commodities and precious metals.” — Willem Buiter, Citigroup’s top economist, 2011


Photo: July 18, 2014.Water shut-offs continue in Detroit

“A major international conference in Edinburgh aimed at conserving wildlife is coming under fierce attack from campaign groups for trying to sell off nature to multinational corporations. The first ‘World Forum on Natural Capital’ later this month is due to attract business and conservation leaders from across the globe to debate how to give natural resources a monetary value in order to try and protect them. ‘The presence of big business, such as RBS, Coca Cola, Rio Tinto and KPMG, at the World Forum on Natural Capital exposes the event’s real purpose – putting a price on nature so that a small minority can profit…. [B]illions of people around the world depend on free access to forests, rivers and fertile soils for their survival. Putting a price on these common resources leaves all of us more exposed to the forces of the global economy.'” — Nick Dearden, Bid to ‘sell off nature’ to companies under fire, Nov 13, 2013 [Emphasis added]

Water investments represent yet another “sustainable”/green fund responsible investment that would be considered a “green” alternative to fossil fuel investment. Such investment funds are also marketed as “clean technologies.”

“They transform water from a resource openly available to all into a private good whose access must be negotiated and is often based on the ability to pay. Water grabbing thus appears in many different forms, ranging from the extraction of water for large-scale food and fuel crop monocultures, to the damming of rivers for hydroelectricity, to the corporate takeover of public water resources. It also inheres in a model of development which is underwritten by a trade in virtual water.” [Source]

The December 21, 2012 article titled The New “Water Barons”: Wall Street Mega-Banks and the Tycoons are Buying Up Water at Unprecedented Pace, published by The Market Oracle, must be considered essential reading. Author Jo-Shing Yang observes:

“A disturbing trend in the water sector is accelerating worldwide. The new ‘water barons’ – the Wall Street banks and elitist multibillionaires – are buying up water all over the world at unprecedented pace. Familiar mega-banks and investing powerhouses such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Macquarie Bank, Barclays Bank, the Blackstone Group, Allianz, and HSBC Bank, among others, are consolidating their control over water. Wealthy tycoons such as T. Boone Pickens, former President George H.W. Bush and his family, Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, Philippines’ Manuel V. Pangilinan and other Filipino billionaires, and others are also buying thousands of acres of land with aquifers, lakes, water rights, water utilities, and shares in water engineering and technology companies all over the world….


“Now, in 2012, we are seeing this trend of global consolidation of water by elite banks and tycoons accelerating. In a JP Morgan equity research document, it states clearly that ‘Wall Street appears well aware of the investment opportunities in water supply infrastructure, wastewater treatment, and demand management technologies.’ Indeed, Wall Street is preparing to cash in on the global water grab in the coming decades. For example, Goldman Sachs has amassed more than $10 billion since 2006 for infrastructure investments, which include water. A 2008 New York Times article mentioned Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and the Carlyle Group, to have ‘amassed an estimated $250 billion war chest – must of it raised in the last two years – to finance a tidal wave of infrastructure projects in the United States and overseas….


“In 2008, Goldman Sachs called water ‘the petroleum for the next century’ and those investors who know how to play the infrastructure boom will reap huge rewards, during its annual ‘Top Five Risks’ conference. Water is a U.S. $425 billion industry, and a calamitous water shortage could be a more serious threat to humanity in the 21st century than food and energy shortages, according to Goldman Sachs’s conference panel. Goldman Sachs has convened numerous conferences and also published lengthy, insightful analyses of water and other critical sectors (food, energy).


“Goldman Sachs is positioning itself to gobble up water utilities, water engineering companies, and water resources worldwide. Since 2006, Goldman Sachs has become one of the largest infrastructure investment fund managers and has amassed a $10 billion capital for infrastructure, including water.”


Many pension funds have forayed into the water investment sector. As an example, Canadian pension funds CDPQ (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which manages public pension funds in the province of Québec) and CPPIB (Canada Pension Plan Investment Board) have acquired England’s South East Water and Anglian Water, respectively. [Source] There are also several water indexes, index funds and hedge funds. Credit Suisse partnered with Ceres partner General Electric (GE Infrastructure) in May 2006 to establish a U.S.$1 billion joint venture to profit from privatization and investments in global infrastructure assets. [Source]

The 2011 Ceres report Aqua Gauge is telling. All definitions within the paper are sourced from “Water for Business: Initiatives Guiding Sustainable Water Management in the Private Sector” (WBCSD, IUCN, 2010). The paper also notes thatBloomberg has announced plans to launch a water-focused data service that would provide supply-and-demand models, water data, and news and briefings on water scarcity. [“Our research notes, analyst reactions and market outlooks enable investors to identify upcoming changes and validate opportunities for growth.” [Bloomberg’s once-launched water-focused data service has since been removed:]

The list of corporations that Ceres is strategically aligned with is far more telling. Goldman Sachs (Ceres Financial Services Companies), JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS (Bruno Bertocci of UBS serves on the Ceres 21CI Advisory Committee, acronym for The 21st Century Investor), Deutsche Bank (Ceres INCR member), Credit Suisse, Macquarie Bank, Barclays (Ceres financial backer), Allianz, HSBC, Bank of America (Ceres Company), Morgan Stanley, the very water barons highlighted by Yang in the above article, are all associated with Ceres funders / associates / partners / members / prominent conference speakers.

It is of interest to note that Ceres highlights many of these same banks, Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Fortis, Merrill Lynch, Mitsubishi UFJ, and Morgan Stanley as the “carbon trading leaders.” [Source: Ceres 2008 Banking Sector Report.] At this point you may wish to remind yourself that many trusted NGOs are partners with Ceres and many have served on the advisory board since its inception.

Note that in 2013, “Morgan Stanley created the Institute for Sustainable Investing with the goal of mobilizing capital to address sustainability challenges at scale, building on the firm’s existing efforts. The Institute focuses on developing sustainable investing products and solutions, thought leadership and cross-sector partnerships. As part of the Institute’s launch, Morgan Stanley announced a five-year goal of $10 billion in total client assets in investments that seek to deliver market-rate returns and positive environmental and social impact. Ceres President Mindy Lubber serves on the Institute’s Advisory Board, which is chaired by Morgan Stanley’s Chairman and CEO James Gorman.” [Emphasis added] [Source]

The Ceres president serving on Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing advisory board is yet another fine example of the interlocking directorate – a contagion that thrives in the non-profit industrial complex. (The Rebecca Adamson example will follow.)

While water investments continue to skyrocket, Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc., a Ceres coalition member, and Allianz (Ceres associate)represent two of the “best” recognized water-focused mutual funds: The Calvert Global Water Fund [Class A (CFWAX)] has returned a whopping 27.65 percent over the past year; 15.98 percent over the past three years; and 16.06 percent over the past five years. [Source] The same fund (CFWAX), having held $42 million in assets in 2010, now holds assets of $564.86 million as of July 4, 2014. [Source] The Allianz Global Water Fund [Class A (AWTAX)] has had a staggering return of 25.12 percent over the past year; 11.10 percent over the past three years; and 14.34 percent over the past five years. [Source] The same fund (AWTAX) having held assets of $54 million in 2010, now holds assets of $348.3 million as of June 30, 2014. [Source] These two Ceres associates hold positions number two (AllianzGI ) and number five (Calvert) for “Best Mutual Funds” under the fund category of “Natural Resources” by U.S. News.

It is critical to note that Calvert has held a position on the Ceres Board of Directors from 2001*-2006 via Julie Fox Gorte.Gorte’s background is extensive and not limited to the following:

“Gorte serves as Chief Social Investment Strategist and Vice President at Calvert Variable Series, Inc. – Calvert VP Small Cap Growth Portfolio, Calvert Variable Series, Inc.- Calvert Social Small-Cap Growth Portfolio, Calvert Variable Series, Inc. – Ameritas Growth Portfolio, Calvert Variable Series Inc – Calvert VP SRI Equity Portfolio, and Calvert Variable Series, Inc. – Calvert VP SRI Balanced Portfolio. She served as Vice President and Chief Social Investment Strategist at Calvert Group, Ltd., Calvert Variable Series, Inc – Ameritas Small Company Equity Portfolio and Calvert Variable Series, Inc. – Calvert VP Mid Cap Value Portfolio. She served as a Vice President and Chief Social Investment Strategist at Calvert Investment Management, Inc. and Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc. Prior to that, Dr. Gorte served as Director of Calvert Asset Management’s social research department, where she managed its team of social and environmental analysts as well as shareholder advocacy.” [Source] [*Several requests to Ceres for annuals reports prior to 2001 have been unsuccessful.]

Today Gorte serves as the Senior Vice President of Sustainable Investing at Pax World Management Corporation. Under Pax, Gorte has continued her board member status on Ceres from 2006 to present. “Gorte oversees environmental, social, and governance-related research on prospective and current investments as well as the Pax’s shareholder advocacy and work on public policy advocacy. She serves as Portfolio Manager of Pax World Funds Series Trust III – Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund.” [Source]

Not to be outdone, Rebecca L. Adamson, President, First People’s Worldwide, serves on the Board of Trustees of Calvert. In the March 13, 20123 article, The Corporate Buy-In, the author writes:

“As I wrote in Too Good to be True, Rebecca Adamson’s value to energy extraction corporations is that of broker, helping multi-national corporations to corrupt tribal leadership through corporate buy-ins. By making grants to tribes through investments in Adamson’s international NGO First Peoples Worldwide, Shell Oil and other notorious corporations pave the way for industrial development in the Fourth World.”

At this juncture it must be noted that Calvert has given financial support to Ceres since, at minimum, 2001, and possibly from inception.

One of the world’s largest banks, JPMorgan Chase, has been at the helm of those aggressively pursuing water and infrastructure investment worldwide. JPMorgan’s own analysts estimate that the emerging markets infrastructure is approximately U.S.$21.7 trillion over the next decade. [Source] Ceres works closely with JPMorgan Chase and many other powerful banks and financial institutions in achieving their goals:

“Stakeholder engagement: Ceres, working with our coalition of investors and advocacy groups, engages with a number of financial services firms including Bank of America, State Street, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan [sic] Chase and Citi to help them assess their performance on environmental and social impacts and risks, and identify opportunities for improvement.” [Source]

In the June 16, 2014 article titled Wasted Energy: Fossil Fuel Divestment, author Jay Taber notes that “divestment won’t change a thing environmentally. It will only change ownership of some shares from public institutions to private ones – like the banks we bailed out with our tax dollars. Given the money to be made on the booming fossil fuel industry, I’m sure the banks will be delighted to acquire these shares, and in turn leave the public with no voice at future shareholder meetings.” It is more than likely that Yang (author of the aforementioned Water Barons article) would agree. In the 2008 article, Why Big Banks May Be Buying up Your Public Water System, Yang astutely notes:

“I detailed how both mainstream and alternative media coverage on water has tended to focus on individual corporations and super-investors seeking to control water by buying up water rights and water utilities. But paradoxically the hidden story is a far more complicated one. I argued that the real story of the global water sector is a convoluted one involving ‘interlocking globalized capital’: Wall Street and global investment firms, banks, and other elite private-equity firms – often transcending national boundaries to partner with each other, with banks and hedge funds, with technology corporations and insurance giants, with regional public-sector pension funds, and with sovereign wealth funds – are moving rapidly into the water sector to buy up not only water rights and water-treatment technologies, but also to privatize public water utilities and infrastructure.”

Yang’s words will serve to be prophetic as the divestment campaign unfolds.

Ceres has done a formidable job in serving the corporate interests that fund their work. With skillful precision, Ceres strategically and effectively exploited and continues to exploit the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced in order to secure and further all “climate wealth” opportunities for the oligarchs. In the wave of urgent reports published in November of 2012 [Oligarchy Sends Signal for Green Economy], Ceres promptly seized the moment. On November 20, 2012 the Guardian published the articleInfluential Investors (CERES) Call for Action on ‘Serious Climate Danger’:

“A coalition of the world’s largest investors called on governments on Tuesday to ramp up action on climate change and boost clean-energy investment or risk trillions of dollars in investments and disruption to economies. In an open letter, the alliance of institutional investors, responsible for managing $22.5 trillion in assets, said rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions and more extreme weather were increasing investment risks globally. The group called for dialogue between investors and governments to overhaul climate and energy policies.”

Author Yang perhaps summarizes Cere’s work best:

“The elite multinational and Wall Street banks and investment banks have been preparing and waiting for this golden moment for years. Over the past few years, they have amassed war chests of infrastructure funds to privatize water, municipal services, and utilities all over the world. It will be extremely difficult to reverse this privatization trend in water.”

The Thinking Person’s Nightmare



During the last four years, Americans have been coerced into focusing on a single, symbolic campaign to Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline. This campaign was funded in large part by the Tides Foundation, which distributes the funds (from other foundations) to qualifying NGOs and groups. The number one funder of the Tides Foundation leading up to and during this time period was none other than the NoVo Foundation, founded on monies provided by Warren Buffett. [“NoVo was created in 2006 after Warren Buffett pledged to donate 350,000 shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stock to the foundation.”] It is maintained by Warren Buffett’s son, Peter Buffett (co-chair) and partner Jennifer Buffett (president and co-chair).

As it has been clearly and unequivocally demonstrated that the Euro-American Left, collectively, far prefers fiction over reality, perhaps it is futile to explain that the Tides Foundation also channels hundreds of thousands of dollars into Ceres. In 2010, TIDES granted $100,000 to Ceres, specifically earmarking the funds for a “tar sands campaign.” [TIDES 990, 2010] In 2008, Ceres received $50,000 from Wallace Global, also designated for a tar sands campaign. [***Further information on the relationship between the Tides Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, Ceres and NoVo’s stocks in Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway is disclosed in an upcoming segment of this investigative report.]

Tides 990 2010 Donation to Ceres Tar Sands Campaign

And all while, Warren Buffett built an entire 21st century American Rail Empire with absolutely no dissent. “Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation is the parent company of the BNSF Railway (formerly the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway). The railroad is now wholly owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which is controlled by investor Warren Buffett.” [Source] As the crude-via-rail industry (ignored by the NGOs) continued to skyrocket, the non-profit industrial complex continued to declare glorious victories while key segments of the KXL pipeline (much of the pipeline having already been built before the campaign even began) quietly went into operation. And while a theatre performance worthy of the Palau de la Música Catalana was playing to a sold-out audience (quite literally), Ceres was expanding its tentacles throughout the globe.



Next: Part VI


[Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation, Counterpunch, Political Context, Canadians for Action on Climate Change and Countercurrents. Her writing has also been published by Bolivia Rising and Cambio, the official newspaper of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. You can follow her on twitter @elleprovocateur]







The (Illusory) Green Economy – A Critical Analysis by Dr.Joanna Boehnert

The work of environmental scientists supporting the UN’s GEP will give scientific authority the project, but the important decisions will have already been made. The project is a deepening commitment to neoliberal free markets. On a macroeconomic level “the subordination of social and environmental considerations to macroeconomic policy imperatives” is the fundamental basis of neoliberalism (Nadal, 2012, p.15). Once “macroeconomic objectives are determined, every other policy target is chiseled in accordance” (Ibid., p. 15). The lessons of the recent economic crisis in regards to the fallibility of the financial sector are entirely ignored.


The architects of the project have failed to acknowledge the most expansive systemic dynamics of capitalism and ignored the political and historic context. Despite claims by the UNEP, the UN’s GEP is not policy neutral (Ibid., p. 23).


The UN’s GEP is supported by the financial and corporate sectors because they recognize the programme as a continuation of the neoliberal model, an expansion of the scope of market and also an exceptional opportunity to create entirely new financial instruments. Similarly to the financial deregulation that set up conditions for the dramatic plunder of public wealth during the current economic crisis, the UN’s GEP establishes new markets that will lead to new avenues for financial speculation. The speculative bubble during the 2008-2009 period has been estimated to cost governments globally at least $12 trillion (Conway quoting IMF, 2009) leaving several bankrupt national governments and severe economic austerity in its wake. This is the context in which the UN’s GEP is operating. The designers of the project have closely aligned themselves to the same financial institutions that played leading roles in the economic crisis.


Meanwhile, scientific institutions, environmental NGOs and government agencies are working to build institutional infrastructure to give scientific authority to the UN’s GEP. …The historical critique of capitalism presented by John Bellamy Foster (2002) and others describes that the appropriation of the commons is an integral aspect of capitalism. Capitalism is always looking for new means of producing profit from activities that were otherwise not managed through commodity relationships.


The Indigenous People’s Kari-Oca 2 Declaration describes the UN’s GEP as ‘a continuation of colonialism… a perverse attempt by corporations, extractive industries and governments to cash in on Creation by privatizing, commodifying and selling off the Sacred and all forms of life and the sky’ (2012, p.1-2). The programme of re-visioning of the commons as sets of commodities ripe for exploitation is diametrically contrary to the environmental rhetoric used to sell the project.

[TIPNIS] Alvaro Garcia Linera: Geopolitics of the Amazon – Part IV

[TIPNIS] Alvaro Garcia Linera: Geopolitics of the Amazon – Part IV

[To see the Table of Contents, click here. A glossary of terms and acronyms appearing in the text will be found here. Translated by Richard Fidler, Life on the Left]

Three colonialist fallacies of opponents of the proposed TIPNIS roadway

The first fallacy is the argument that with the highway the coca leaf producers will invade the TIPNIS. There is at this point no type of coercive measure that prevents them entering the Park using the roads that already exist within it; however, they are not doing so. Moreover, the unions of coca producers were the very ones that in 1990 defined with the government a “red line” within the TIPNIS that they voluntarily agreed not to cross. Since then, any compañero who crosses that line, instead of counting on the support of his union and federation, is liable to be removed from where he is living by the law enforcement agencies, as has happened in recent months. Compliance with this demarcation is now the responsibility of the coca leaf producers themselves, and not the result of any public force or law that prevents them from approaching.

[TIPNIS] Alvaro Garcia Linera: Geopolitics of the Amazon – Part II

[To see the Table of Contents, click here. A glossary of terms and acronyms appearing in the text will be found here. Translation by Richard Fidler, Life on the Left]

December 12, 2012

Capitalist Subsumption of the Amazon Indigenous Economy

Finally, in addition to the vertical nature of this despotic power there is a territorial dependency of the regional power structure itself. The major part of the Bolivian Amazon lies in the department of Beni, and the major productive activities in the region today are ranching, timber extraction and chestnut harvesting.

[TIPNIS] Alvaro Garcia Linera: Geopolitics of the Amazon – Part I

Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler, Life on the Left

December 11, 2012

Revolution and Counterrevolution in Bolivia

Bolivian leader replies to critics of the Morales government’s development strategy


Álvaro García Linera is one of Latin America’s leading Marxist intellectuals. He is also the Vice-President of Bolivia — the “co-pilot,” as he says, to President Evo Morales, and an articulate exponent of the government’s policies and strategic orientation.

In a recent book-length essay, Geopolitics of the Amazon: Patrimonial-Hacendado Power and Capitalist Accumulation, published in September 2012, García Linera discusses a controversial issue of central importance to the development process in Latin America, and explains how Bolivia is attempting to address the intersection between economic development and environmental protection.

WATCH: Indigenous Peoples Aggressively Targeted by Manipulative NGOs Advancing REDD Agenda

© SommerFilms 2010

In an exclusive interview (August, 2010) with documentary filmmaker Rebecca Sommer, Chief Aritana Yawalapiti explains how his people and his region are aggressively targeted and lied to by NGOs (ISA). This video demonstrates how disturbingly manipulative and deceptive NGOs can be when seeking compliance for their funders, in this particular instance for REDD+ projects.

The Following Anti-REDD declarations (compilation) and commentary below are by Kjell Kühne:

If you are against REDD, you are not alone. Around the world, a growing number of communities, organizations and movements as well as experts are not limiting themselves to asking critical questions about REDD any more, they have explicitly declared their opposition to the mechanism. A coalition of indigenous peoples’ organizations has called for a global moratorium on REDD projects. Bolivia has a mandate (from the Cochabamba People’s Summit) to not let REDD pass at the UNFCCC level.

Belém Letter, October 2009, Belém, Brazil.
Peoples Agreement, April 2010, Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Amigos de la Tierra Latin America and Caribbean Position on REDD, August 2010, Paraguay.
Declaración de Cancún, December 2010, Cancún, Mexico.
Declaración de Cancún de la Vía Campesina, December 2010, Cancún, México.
Declaration of Patihuitz, April 2011, Patihuitz, Mexico.

Brazilian environmental and social movements oppose REDD offsets, June 2011, Brasilia/Bonn.

Letter from the State of Acre, October 2011, Rio Branco, Brazil.Open Letter of Concern to the International Donor Community about the Diversion of Existing Forest Conservation and Development Funding to REDD+, October 2011.

Quem ganha e quem perde com o REDD e pagamento por serviços ambientais?, November 2011, Brazil

Indigenous Peoples Condemn Climate Talks Fiasco and Demand Moratoria on REDD+, December 2011, Durban, South Africa.

Pronunciamiento CAOI, March 2012.

No REDD+! in RIO +20: A Declaration to Decolonize the Earth and the Sky, June 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Here is a more complete list with an analysis of the elements and arguments of each of the declarations.

Some resources that explain some of the reasons why REDD is not a smart choice for people and the planet:

REDD Monitor, continuous, Chris Lang.

REDD Myths, December 2008, Friends of the Earth, English, Spanish.

Reaping Profits from Evictions, Land Grabs, Deforestation and Destruction of Biodiversity, November 2009, Indigenous Environmental Network, English, Spanish.

REDD Realities, December 2009, Global Forest Coalition.

REDD: The realities in black and white, November 2010, Friends of the Earth, English, Spanish.

NO REDD! A Reader, December 2010, English, Spanish.

Why REDD is dangerous, Kjell Kühne, January 2011.

Key Arguments Against REDD act sheet, Global Justice Ecology Project, June 2011.

Why REDD+ is bad and will make the climate crisis worse, Kjell Kühne, Powerpoint presentation, November 2011.

No REDD Papers: Vol. 1, November 2011.

REDD Fairy Tales, Global Forest Coalition, November 2011.

Juggling with Carbon, Kjell Kühne, Video, December 2011.

A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests, January 2012, English, Spanish, Documentary.

REDD: la codicia por los árboles, February 2012, Spanish, Documentary.

REDDeldia, August 2012, Spanish, Website.

When Environmentalists Collaborate

The Wages of Compromise

March 01, 2012

Spring is in the air in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.  Crocus and daffodil add a splash of late winter color. Trees are budding. Days grow longer, the sun makes a cameo appearance…and, like swallows to Capistrano, the usual suspects cadre of eco-wonks/lawyers return to Eugene and the University of Oregon for the 30th Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference   (E-LAW) March 1 – 4, 2012.

“Compromise is often necessary, but it ought not to originate with environmental leaders. Our role is to hold fast to what we believe is right, to fight for it, to find allies, and to adduce all possible arguments for our cause. If we cannot find enough vigor in us or our friends to win, then let someone else propose the compromise, which we must then work hard to coax our way. We thus become a nucleus around which activists can build and function.” — David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club. This year PIELC officially celebrates the 100thAnniversary of Brower’s birth.

E-LAW is part employment bazaar for newly-minted attorneys seeking jobs in the ever-expanding (much thanks to E-LAW) field of Environmental Law. It is also part gathering of actual non-paid, in the trenches eco-activists who are the ones who generate the resistance that leads to all those legal jobs. What matters to the job seekers and the already employed panelists who draw a paycheck derived from a cornucopia of foundation-funded groups and what motivates the volunteer or underpaid activists sometimes coincide and sometimes the activists are featured panelists; but, most of the time the disconnect is palpable. Invariably, PIELC becomes living proof of the Upton Sinclair dictum.

“It’s difficult to get a man to understand something  when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” —Upton Sinclair

Many environmental topics – local, national and international are featured among the many panels and plenary sessions.  Excellent panels on Civil Liberties and Activism always are on the agenda, as are ones addressing threatened Species. Many prominent issues are left unaddressed. And, as Earth First! co-founder Mike Roselle (now in Appalachia fighting the good fight against the abomination of Mountaintop Removal coal extraction) always notes, “The real work at any of these gatherings is done in the hallways and bars.”

So, here’s a summary of the local and national ones that I see are the hot points issues right now; the ones getting the mountain lion’s share of the funding and attention:

The Great Rainforest Heist: Greenpeace, WWF, RAN, FSC and REDD+ Conspiracy to Log Earth’s Last Primary Forests for Their Protection

August 10, 2011

By Earth Meanders, a project of Ecological Internet

CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry

WHEN GOOD RAINFOREST GROUPS GO BAD you get monoculture and secondary forest plantations where ancient intact primary rainforests once stood, called sustainable forest management and carbon forestry, by BINGO’s (big NGOs) and United Nations greenwashers, paid for with your membership fees and taxes. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is primary forest logging greenwash by money-sucking environmental bureaucracies. Rainforests and other old forest must be protected and restored for local and global ecology and local eco-development from standing forests.

Please donate now to Ecological Internet’s “End Primary Forest Logging Campaign” at in order to help turn this draft document into a polished, photogenic, researched and footnoted report on BINGO’s Increased Old Forest Greenwash. Relax, there are typos, but wanted to get this out right now in draft.


What would you say to me if I told you the world’s pre-eminent environmental organizations, widely perceived as the leading advocates for rainforests and old growth, have for decades been actively, indeed intimately, involved in logging the world’s last old forests. Would you call me a liar? Tell me I am mentally ill? Or because of the cognitive dissonance would you simply ignore me, thinking it impossible? Well here goes nothing…

There is a global conspiracy to log the Earth’s last primary forests – destroying ancient forests for disposable consumer items – while claiming it is “sustainable forest management” and “carbon forestry”. A number of public forest advocacy groups are going so far as to actually claim that industrial first-time primary forest logging is good for climate, ecosystems and local peoples.

This essay is not the result of top secret research – it is all public record. For three years of campaigning and this essay, Ecological Internet, the organization I head, has been simply connecting pieces of public record information to see just how big NGOs (BINGOs), and the United Nations have been selling out old forests under the radar. They have been selling out primary rainforests and other old growth in broad-daylight, the perfect crime, for decades – and things are getting much, much worse as moves to allow primary rainforests to be cleared for toxic monoculture plantations gain strength.

If you are a Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network (RAN), or World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund (WWF) member – you are funding the greenwash destruction of 320,000,000 acres of primary rainforest and other old forest logging. These groups co-founded and have been active members in the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for two decades, an organization that exists to build markets for primary and other old growth forest timbers. Some 70% of FSC forest products – supposedly the best of forest certification – come with primary forest timbers in them, destroying an area of primary rainforests and other old forests across an area the size of South Africa (or two times the size of Texas)!

Primary rainforests cannot be logged in an ecologically sustainable manner – or for that matter even acceptably. Primary forests logged industrially for the first time – FSC certified or otherwise – are destroyed. What remains is permanently ecologically diminished in terms of composition, structure, function, dynamics, and evolutionary potential. Logged primary forests’ carbon stores, biodiversity and ecosystems will never be the same in any reasonable time-span. Selective, industrially logged primary rainforests become fragmented, burn more and are prone to outright deforestation.

FSC certified forestry destroys ancient naturally evolved ecosystems that are priceless and sacred. Old forests have a prominent role in making the Earth habitable through their cycling of energy, water, and nutrients. The Forest Stewardship Council is a non-democratic, unaccountable, unrepresentative organization that exists solely to greenwash the final first-time industrial logging and marketing of Earth’s original, naturally evolved, and last primary rainforests and other old forests – in order to turn them into tree plantations.

Increasingly both FSC and REDD+ are moving towards certifying and funding the conversion of natural primary forests to be cleared and replanted as plantations. They call it carbon forestry and claim it is a climate good. We ecologists know this destroys primary forests when they become greatly ecologically reduced from first time industrial logging, and are on their way to being plantations. Toxic mono-cultures of trees are not forests, much less when planted on cleared primary rainforests. There is far more carbon stably stored in old forests than toxic monocrop tree plantations, most of whose timbers are in the landfill decomposing within months of harvest.

There is no doubt that these groups – Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace and WWF – are involved in this primary forest logging. Five minutes on Google can confirm this for anyone interested, as each of the old forest logging apologists takes credit for founding and supporting the FSC publicly on their websites. Despite claiming credit, there is little justification for doing so. The logging apologists are closed-mouth regarding their justifications for doing so – but presumably they believe that by industrially logging primary forests they are ending deforestation, and claim that their rules for doing so make it acceptable and superior to other ways of murdering primary forest ecosystems.

But being the best ecocidal rainforest destroyer is nothing of which to be proud. All such deadly old forest certification schemes must stop in order to ensure enough intact terrestrial ecosystems exist to power Earth’s biosphere. For nearly 20 years the FSC has certified as “well-managed” and “sustainable” primary old forest logging on a massive scale. Competing certifiers make similar claims, as do old school non-certified primary forest loggers. FSC legitimatizes this larger trade in old forest timber products, and a false market for green products from the destruction of ancient trees.

FSC is primary forest logging with Greenpeace, RAN and WWF greenwash, corruption, conflicts of interest, bad ecology, and ecocide. 500 year old trees in 60 million year old primary rainforests and other old forests are chopped for toilet paper, lawn furniture and other such “necessities” with these groups’ greenwash and marketing clout. The rainforest logging apologists – with little or no accountability, transparency, or openness are killing Earth’s last old forests. They – particularly WWF – boast they are creating markets for ancient trees industrially pillaged from primary forests, and such market forest logging campaigns are thus little better than illegal logging, which at least is honest that it is about the money for old forest timbers.

After 20 years of working prominently with various stakeholders in the rainforest movement, I have seen a whole generation of promising activists and groups sell out for good paying jobs, saying logging old forests protects them. None have fallen as dramatically or treacherously as Greenpeace and RAN and their staff (you sort of expect this corporate greenwash bullshit from WWF and the United Nations) who suckle on the teat of rainforest logging everyday for decades. The UN’s “Avoided Deforestation” work – which is now known as REDD+ – is to pay to marketizes rainforests claiming “sustainable forest management” of primary forests – turning them into secondary forests and always ultimately into tree plantations – is a public good and helps ecology.

Ecological Internet and others feel strongly based upon the urgency of emerging ecological science and our closeness to global ecological collapse that it is better to fight like hell in any way we can to fully protect and return to native tenure standing old forests as the most desirable forest protection outcome. The Earth is already undergoing global ecological collapse and it is deeply irresponsible for organizations committed to the environment to carelessly make false old forest logging prescriptions that worsen the problem.

The BINGO old forest greenwashers sound just like get-out-the-cut forest managers – we need these resources, better to log them legally than legally, primary forests exist to be logged. Where is their former channeling of the spirit of Edward Abbey, John Muir and the other conservation greats upon whose back they stand? Somewhere along the line these groups lost sight of ecology truth, didn’t keep up with the science, had no metrics or systems to identify, monitor and handle their failed forest policy, perhaps didn’t think it mattered because it was win-win and economical.

So the rainforest logging apologist lent their names and logos to those murdering rainforests, ecosystems, their plants and animals, to wipe our asses. They turned to the dark side, using business and PR techniques to market ill-gotten old forest timbers as sustainable. They sold their souls. They have bullied critics, censored and stonewalled their brothers’ and sisters’ forest protection. They have lost their souls and legitimacy as old rainforest protection voices. And they must be stopped from doing so any longer with public monies.


FSC was created in 1993 to “promote responsible management of the world’s forests”, yet has failed miserably. FSC certifies as “sustainable” the logging of over a hundred million hectares of primary and old-growth forests – hundreds of year old trees in millions of year old naturally evolved ecosystems – for lawn furniture, toilet paper and other throw-away consumer items. Many environmentalists initially supported FSC, expecting it would reduce logging of primary and old growth forests, and result in more community based eco-forestry. Instead, FSC and members have built a massive market for continued business as usual industrial primary forest timbers – with minor, cosmetic changes – in order to certify as acceptable murdering old forests for consumption.

FSC has become a major driver of primary forest destruction and forest ecological diminishment. Despite certifying less than 10% of the world’s forest lands, their rhetoric and marketing legitimizes the host of other ghastly certifiers like PEFC, SFI and others, as well as traditional non-certified ancient forest timber. It is expecting far too much of consumers to expect them to differentiate between the variety of competing claims to being green and environmental sustainability – when in fact none are as they all include old growth forest timbers.

FSC and old forest logging apologist pals policies seeking to prevent primary forests from being deforested, by allowing them to be heavily industrially and selectively logged for the first time, becoming either secondary forest or toxic mono-crop tree plantations, is not old forest protection. Deforestation and ecosystem diminishment of forests are both of profound concern ecologically – much of great importance is lost when primary forests are logged for the first time.

Standing old forests are a requirement for global ecological sustainability and local advancement. Yet, FSC is about getting out the primary forest cut – recall best estimated as 70% FSC timber and fiber from planned and past logging of 320,000,000 acres (120,000,000 hectares) – and is particularly threatening now as FSC and old forest logging apologist friends claim carbon forestry (logging primary forests to plant new plantations) is a climate change solution.

FSC’s relatively minor improvements upon the murdering of old rainforests legitimate the entire trade, FSC certified or not. While other certification schemes may be even worse, this is not the issue, as industrial first-time primary forest logging cannot be done ecologically sustainably and should not be happening at all. FSC’s claims to being the best destroyer of primary forests is like killing someone more humanely, treating your slaves better but refusing to release them, or being half pregnant. Like past battles to end monarchy and slavery before them, and continuing efforts to resist their recent forms found in fascism and human trafficking, the task before us is to fully END the stripping of Earth of its protective covering. Not doing it marginally better.

These independent estimates of FSC’s dependence upon old forest logging, one published in German already and the other by myself in publication, were able to make reasonable estimates from FSC’s own national certification data which is collate and released, and what is known about each country’s forest types and industry. If they are wrong after three years of complaint, they would have trotted out the figures and shown us. Conveniently, none of the culprits say they collect information regarding whether any particular FSC certified forest that was logged was primary, old growth or other old forests.

After years of campaigning against Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network – two key co-founders and supporters of FSC’s primary forest logging – and FSC itself; Ecological Internet’s genuine forest ecology concerns have been met with nothing but stonewalling, censoring and vilification. No one within FSC will say how many hectares of primary forests FSC has certified for industrial logging, how much more is planned, and explained in detail how logging primary forest protects them.

Despite tens of thousands of people from around the world asking, none of the organizations who routinely campaign against other close-lipped forest destroyers, feel obligated to explain how logging primary forests protects them. Nor can they provide any other reason to justify, or to otherwise defend, the ecology, strategy and tactics of continued prominent membership in FSC primary forest logging.

WWF, Greenpeace, and RAN’s forest campaigns have been perhaps mortally compromised. Their forest advocacy efforts are a corrupt shell of their former selves. The rainforest logging apologists have chosen power, prestige and money coming from sitting at the old forest logging mafia’s table, rather than and over protecting rainforest and other primary forests. With rainforests threatened as never before, RAN targets Disney and the Girl Scouts, Greenpeace Barbie dolls, and WWF runs a bad-boy logger club which they call the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN). Posers like Greenpeace and RAN don’t get it because by and large they are marketers and accountants, elite liberal arts grads, and not ecologists.

WWF forest campaign is composed of resource managers, not deep ecologists, and it shows. Not only is WWF perhaps the most power BINGO totally enmeshed with FSC, it also partners with the World Bank and companies that destroy rainforests, and threaten endangered species. Some 20% of the timber industry has lined up to pay WWF $50K, for which they can use the panda logo and continue to log as they were. This is unethical, corrupt and destroying global ecology and local options for advancement.

Greenpeace’s forest protection campaign is all over the place, full of contradictions, and it is nearly impossible to see the strategy of divergent and countervailing forest protection campaign tactics. Greenpeace not only co-founded the Forest Stewardship Council, until recently Greenpeace held the international chairman of the board position for FSC for six years! Greenpeace’s quirky new rainforest campaign says Ken is leaving Barbie (Mattel’s dolls) because of rainforest destruction, yet they leave the door open for “certified” primary rainforest paper pulp for toy packaging. Two years ago Greenpeace openly embraced Kleenex’s clearcut of Canadian old growth forests for toilet paper. Now they condemn Barbie doll for tiny amounts of packaging from primary forests!

The Rainforest Action Network is the smallest of the lot, yet they are a well-known rainforest protector organization in the United States, soaking up most of the money for doing so. RAN similarly says is against primary forest logging, yet promotes FSC paper – full of old-growth – for Disney’s children books. The group is ridiculously under-qualified to be determining global rainforest policy. Their staff is mostly liberal arts grads and accountants that wouldn’t know a rainforest if it bit them in the ass. They are great at raising money, throwing lavish parties, being seen with the right celebrities, trashing opponents, and working to end coal – but their rainforest campaign is in shambles. For the first decade they worked strongly against old forest logging, but now target the Girl Scouts and Disney for relatively small amounts of rainforest destruction, as global stores of ancient rainforest temples burn and require a much larger, more urgent response.

Greenpeace, RAN and WWF must continue to be encouraged to resign from FSC greenwash; and work to end primary forest logging, protect and restore standing old forests, for local and global advancement and ecology. These groups’ vision of sustainable rainforests is logging, turning them into both secondary diminished forest (essentially plantations) and fully replanted mono-crop tree plantations, rather than working to fully protect and restore as much as possible. The rest of the grassroots global rainforest protection movement thinks we need to implement proven ways to keep old forests standing intact for local advancement and global ecology (and vice versa).

Rainforest Action Network continues to censor – and along with Greenpeace stonewall – legitimate global protest by tens of thousands of grassroots forest activists regarding their greenwash complicity in logging 320,000,000 acres of primary old forest for such necessities as toilet paper. I really don’t think young adults with liberal arts degrees should be seeking to discredit PhD professionals on the question of whether primary forests should be logged or fully protected for local community development.

At FSC recent tri-annual General Assembly in Malaysia – the “sustainable” old forest logging greenwash worsened, as FSC voted (seconded by Greenpeace) to start the process to begin certifying plantation timbers from land cleared of primary rainforests as being “sustainable”. FSC Motion 18 which was approved furthers the process of industrial toxic plantations being established on rainforests cleared since 1994, to be certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Just before the vote Ecological Internet’s global network’s carried out a large email protest, which led to the motion’s wording going from essentially preparing to certify plantations on cleared rainforests, to studying it, to the latest revisionary history of completing an unnamed earlier report. Despite how it is packaged, FSC decided last month to begin trying to certify monocrop plantations on land cleared of primary rainforest since 1994.

By crossing the rubric, FSC’s embrace without merit the ideas of carbon forestry – that it is better to log well stored and carbon rich old forests, in order to plant fast growing carbon removal species – they have gone from being misguided on forest policy to being downright dangerous. FSC has already lost European NGO FERN on the issue of carbon forestry – which sees the potential peril of essentially geo-engineering the world’s old forests upon community and ecology – one of the last mighty naturally evolved ecosystems.

FSC plantations on cleared primary rainforest had rightly been excluded since FSC inception in order to not promote primary rainforest being converted specifically for later planting of depauperate plantations, but now the flood gate is wide open. FSC is continually changing the wording of Motion and downplaying its importance, and as usual Greenpeace and RAN aren’t talking, but I reckon they think tree plantations –are better than outright deforestation of primary and old growth forests. So they are trading away ecological jewels – primary forests – to become managed forests and plantations, thinking slowing outright deforestation justifies destroying wild forests.

REDD+, FSC and other certifiers, sustainable forest management, and carbon forestry are all myths and meaningless catchphrases to allow continued western market access to primary rainforest logs. Standing and intact primary rainforest and other old forests are a requirement for sustaining global ecology and achieving local advancement. We must end their logging for full protection and restoration. REDD+ has become all things to everybody – forest logging, protection, plantations, carbon, growth – when all we need is funding to preserve local old standing forests.

These organizations believe their own PR that they are so special – so hip and groovy – they can establish and avidly support with impunity an organization that facilitates the logging of rainforests and other old forests. They don’t have to answer questions about their role in rainforest destruction like others supporting logging do. It is really an abuse of power and trust. The old forest logging greenwashers all follow the same playbook and personally attack the messenger (me!). Shameful, as more old forests and terrestrial ecosystems have been lost than the biosphere can absorb and continue to make Earth habitable. This dispute is about ecological science and not personalities.

Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace and WWF are engaged in a con game for money and influence at the expense of old forests that must remain standing for local peoples and global ecology. Global ecosystem collapse is being abetted by these so called protectors. These organizations’ policies are a carefully calibrated effort to be seen as reasonable by the growing logging industry machine and benefit in donations for doing so. None make a decision without thinking how it affects their bottom line. The only way this old forest greenwash logging machine will be stopped is to make doing so too expensive to them in terms of lost donations, grants, and other support – whose sources are usually unaware of the great rainforest heist.


Here is the honest to Gaia old forest ecology science narrative. The human family must protect and restore old forests – starting by ending industrial-scale primary forest logging – as one keystone response to biodiversity, ecosystem, climate, food, water, poverty and rights crises that are pounding humanity, ecosystems and plants and animals. When naturally evolved old forest ecosystems are logged in any manner other than appropriately small-scaled local community traditional uses and eco-forestry – their ecological function, structure, dynamics, and composition are destroyed forever.

Protecting and restoring old forests – which means ending their industrial harvest – are a keystone response to climate, biodiversity, food, water ecology crises. You can’t take a bulldozer for a rumble through intact natural rainforests, cutting all the big merchantable timbers, and causing huge amounts of collateral damage – and not rip the hell out of ecosystems, plant communities, wildlife populations, species biodiversity, local forest dependent communities advancement potential, and carbon holding potential.

Old forests are a vital part of the biosphere’s eco-infrastructure. Along with other terrestrial, water, ocean, and atmospheric ecosystems, old forests makes Earth habitable and ensure it is fed and watered.
Old forests are perhaps the most important global ecosystem as intact primary, old growth, and regenerating old forests are at the hub of the nutrient, energy, heat, and water transfers and fluxes which power global ecosystems. It is clearly past time for an end to primary forest logging to protect these global ecological processes and local advancement potential from standing old forests.

Industrial old forest logging must end in order to protect and restore ancient forest ecosystems necessary for a habitable Earth. Primary rainforests that have been logged for the first time are on their way to being scraggly secondary forests that are in fact tree plantations, and might as well have been deforested, as their full natural ecological patterns and processes have been destroyed. When primary forests become secondary must is lost and diminished and many local and region ecological processes fail. The impacts of seeing primary forests only as resources to be whacked down has impacted a large enough area globally, with over 80% of old forests being gone or logged for the first time, that old forest logging’s impact is aggregating to diminish, damage and destroyed our one shared biosphere. Old forest logging is one of a handful of ill-advised industrial processes leading to global ecosystem collapse.

There is no such thing as well-managed, sustainable primary forest logging – first time industrial harvest always destroys natural evolution and intact ecosystems. Humanity can, must and will meet wood product demand from certified regenerating and aging secondary growth and non-toxic, native species plantations. Any lesser vision that includes “sustainable forest management” of primary forests is worthy of virulent opposition, as such greenwash destroys local livelihoods and global ecosystem services associated with standing old forests, for throw-away consumer items.

FSC should meet market demand for well-managed forest timbers by certifying only 1) small scale community eco-forestry practiced by local peoples in primary forests, 2) regenerating and aging secondary forests, and 3) non-toxic and mixed species plantations. Further, reducing demand for all timber and paper products is key to living ecologically sustainably with old forests. Only 10% of any given FSC certified product’s content need come from a certified source anyway, this is mixed with conventional fiber sources, and the 10% that is certified content is mostly murdered primary forest.

In light of current and emerging ecosystem, biodiversity and climate science; it is clear that FSC certification for industrial primary and old-growth logging is antiquated and dangerous. By logging old forests and now moving to certifying plantations established on cleared rainforests as being “sustainable”, the Forest Stewardship Council and allies are no longer a force for good, and like all primary forest logging apologists, must disband and be forcefully encouraged and assisted in doing so.

Industrial primary forest logging must end to herald in era of old forest protection and restoration based upon standing forests for local advancement and global ecological sustainability. Logging and otherwise destroying ecosystems is an 8,000 year old disease upon Gaia now perfected and terminal with RAN, Greenpeace, FSC, WWF, and REDD+ greenwash. Like slavery, industrial old forest logging for throw away consumption is a global evil that must end, not be slightly reformed. Old forest diminishment when first industrially logged is nearly as ecologically damaging as outright deforestation, as naturally evolved ecosystems that make Earth habitable are on the path to becoming tree plantations.

There is a zero chance of protecting and ending first time industrial logging of primary rainforests when RAN, Greenpeace and WWF say it is sustainable, even desirable, and continue to greenwash FSC markets for old forest timbers through their presence in the organization. Old forests must be protected and restored in order to sustain global ecology and local well-being. This NGO complicity with rainforest murder must end in order to collapse FSC and all other old forest certifiers, and move onto stopping old forest timber producers and consumers from continuing to do so using whatever means are necessary.

From the perspective of a 60 million year old primary rainforest with 500+ year old trees, it does not matter if being destroyed by illegal or legal logging, certified or not, the Asian timber mafia or WWF, Greenpeace and RAN. There is no such thing as well-managed, sustainable primary forest logging – as first time industrial harvest destroys natural evolution and intact ecosystems. Humanity can and must and will meet wood product demand from certified regenerating and aging secondary growth and non-toxic, native species plantations. If all BINGOs greenwashing FSC withdrew, old logging may well collapse as ratchet up pressure together on even lesser certifiers and old forest logging industry in general.

Together we must end primary forest logging, protecting and restoring old forests. The unholy trinity of REDD+ finance, FSC and BINGO pals for greenwash and “sustainable forest management” are clearing the biosphere’s last old forests. Please Greenpeace, RAN, WWF, and REDD+ tell us how your FSC’s logging of 500 year old trees in 60 million year old rainforests is sustainable and offers any real protection. You tout this as ending deforestation. Yet, are you aware of the tremendous damage and, by definition, ultimate destruction of primary forests that are heavily industrially and “selectively” logged for the first time?

There are others like EI that understand we have already lost more intact terrestrial ecosystems including old forests than the biosphere can bear. We will fight for each old forest and their peoples as resources and people allow, understanding when ecosystem collapse comes, having as many intact ecosystems for restoration as possible will be key to any sort of ecology and human recovery. We ecologists know that primary forests are destroyed when greatly ecologically reduced from first time industrial logging, and that plantations are not forests, much less when planted on cleared primary rainforests.

As Earth burns, any groups engaged in greenwashing primary forest logging and offering no defense of doing so are seriously misguided and in crisis themselves. If you are a RAN, Greenpeace or WWF member your donations support participation in logging primary forests and converting to plantations! Greenpeace, RAN and others’ PR stunts and market campaigns have become old, stale, ineffective and even dangerous. They are inadequate to the ecological crises on hand, and do not use these organizations’ resources and organization well. Campaigning groups need an overall ecology vision of how to achieve global ecological sustainability, to campaign more on sufficient ecological policies (whether initially photogenic or not), and work more to mobilize people protest – and less on quirky, token stunts to raise awareness and funds for themselves.

Local community development based upon standing old forests including small scale eco-forestry is fine. Small scale community eco-forestry has a context of intact primary forests as its context for seed and animal sources, and management mimics natural disturbance and gap species establishment. It is the industrial first time logging – selective logging defined as selecting all merchantable, mature trees – turning primary forests into plantations that is problematic. Ruling elite and their bought shills will not manage, invest, certify or greenwash their way to global ecological sustainability. There is no way other to global ecological sustainability than people power ecology, protecting old forests, powering down, and returning to the land.

The human family – if need be as part of a people’s power Earth revolution – must end primary forest logging, and protect and restore rainforests and all old forests, as a keystone response to biodiversity, climate, ecosystem and poverty crises. Together we will end primary forest logging, herald in an era of old forest protection and restoration, to benefit local people and sustain global ecology. We will fight for each old forest and their peoples, saving and delaying old forest industrial destruction and diminishment, and understanding when ecosystem collapse comes, having as many intact ecosystems for models and seed sources for restoration as possible will be key to any sort of ecology and human recovery. Ecological Internet puts our faith in truth and ecological science over looking good and PR greenwash.


Ending primary forest logging is Ecological Internet’s number one commitment to sustaining global ecology. We will not rest until dead or an end to trade in ill-gotten forest timbers by murdering natural evolved forest ecosystems for trinkets, curios, and ass wiping. Please join with Ecological Internet and others to oppose all forces working to industrially cut or otherwise develop rainforests and other old forests, laying bare the illogical, greedy and lying rhetoric for doing so. Doing so is crucial to our and many species’ survival including Gaia, the Earth System.

As a movement, we must return to the goal of a ban on industrially harvested primary forest timbers. This means continuing to resist and obstruct old forest harvest, businesses involve, timber marketing, purchase, storage, milling, product construction and marketing. The entire supply chain for ecocidal primary forest timbers must be destroyed. More of us must return to the forests to work with local communities to build on-the-ground desire for ecologically inspired advancement from standing old forests, and blockading and physically obstructing the practice of old forest logging.

We must make ill-gotten old wood from life-giving ecosystems to become an unacceptable taboo, like gorilla hand ash-trays only worse. Ending primary forest logging further requires greater international affinity made possible by transnational advocacy networks on the Internet. There is a long proven track-record of using the boomerang effect – whereby local forest protection advocacy efforts that are being stonewalled are expressed simultaneously by the international community. The dual voices make the concern hard to ignore, the first step to ending old forest logging.

The rainforest movement has become split between those logging primary rainforests and others working to fully protect and restore for local and global benefit. I’m old enough to remember when the rainforest movement worked to protect ancient forests and ban their logging, not abet their ‘sustainable’ destruction. What these rainforest logging apologist groups are doing is every bit as alarming as loggers and governments, and they will not be given free rein to continue in their not thoughtful, self-aggrandizing manner any longer. The rainforest, forest, and ecological protection movements must unite behind effort to end primary forest logging for full protection and restoration.

And to those that say these concerns are splitting the movement, just shove it. There is no benefit to Earth from unity in support of ecocidal rainforest policy. Just as working to better the conditions of slaves is no substitute for working for total emancipation, we cannot log and have our old forests too. Even as we protest the loggers and government policies, we must continue to confront our wayward brethren that think that logging primary forests protects them – or risk becoming irrelevant as global ecosystems collapse. Rallying around a false and ecologically destructive global forest policy of logging primary forests for plantations is a must.

Rather than participating in old forest logging, it is better for the rainforest movement to fight to work to protect each old forest and their peoples, understanding that when ecosystem collapse comes, having as many intact ecosystems for restoration as possible will be key to any sort of ecology and human recovery. The grassroots global forest protection movement has to commit to fully protecting and restoring old carbon, species and ecosystem service rich forests as a keystone response to achieve global ecological sustainability.

The goal must remain to maximize the extent, size, connectivity of core terrestrial ecological areas –largely but not exclusively forested – to maximize global and local ecosystem processes, and local material and other advancement from standing old forests. By dragging out the forest protection fight on a forest by forest basis, until ecological collapse becomes publicly acknowledged, we can hold onto more ecosystems, biodiversity, and carbon than logging them now. Soon the human family will catch up with the ecological science and realize old forest destruction and diminishment must end as we ramp upreforestation and ecological restoration for large, connected natural forests adequate to power the global ecosystem.

We must continue to call upon all BINGO FSC members to reject the certification of primary forests by resigning immediately, as many others have recently done. We must continue to call upon Greenpeace, WWF, and RAN to resign from FSC, to fully account for its founding and 20 years of membership, including detailing expenditures and benefits received for greenwashing old forest logging. Further, we must demand FSC immediately stop certifying primary forest logging or disband itself.

Greenpeace, WWF and RAN have been revealed as corrupt greenwashers of the final harvest of Earth primary rainforests and other old forests, and must be stopped for global ecological sustainability and local benefits from greenwashing the destruction of standing old growth forests. This means boycotting these organizations, even their other work as what to do with old forests is such a fundamental ecological issue, until they stop greenwashing the final loss of old forests. And it is past time for the groups’ members to end their memberships as ultimately these big NGO businesses are more concerned with their image and money than having global forest policy that is ecologically valid and correct.

The worst part regarding Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace and WWF greenwash membership in Forest Stewardship Council is their secrecy, lack of transparency, censorship, stonewalling, vilifying critics. Who do they think are? What are they hiding? What benefits are they receiving from old forest logging? Their stonewalling is reprehensible and alarming. Like all public entities they have a responsibility to defend your public positions.

Despite best attempts to portray Ecological Internet campaign and ecological science concerns as being personal and political motivated, this essay and continued growing global protest demonstrates in fact efforts to resist those supporting primary forest logging is a reasonable ecology dispute that must be redressed. We have had bad experiences with the head of RAN’s forest campaign for years, before he worked for RAN and this campaign started, so this is immaterial and we deal with his debilities. There have been a series of personal attacks coming from the other side which refuses to have a specific debate, or even provide any justification, in defense of this ecological travesty known as FSC.

Given RAN and Greenpeace’s irresponsible behavior when questioned on their rainforest ‘protection’ policy that is of global ecological importance how can they be trusted? These liberal arts under-grads and accountants think they are qualified to set policy because they have money and influential friends, but are making dreadful mistakes. Despite founding and actively supporting, they can’t say how much primary forests are being destroyed by FSC. This is ignorance, duplicity, or corruption. These groups are dangerous enemies to old forests and biosphere, profiting from their demise, while acting like and being paid well as the publicly viewed good forest protection groups.

This old forest logging corruption will not stand, it must and will be fully investigated, and end with widespread resignations. Ecological Internet calls upon Greenpeace, WWF and RAN staff to protest their organizations’ greenwash of primary forest logging from within, and resign immediately if they are not heard and NGO primary rainforest ecocide continues. It is time to investigate all three organizations’ involvement with FSC and other activities to support primary forest logging with the timber industry. Until then the awareness building and resistance to greenwash of BINGO old forest logging must continue, tarnishing the not good old forest protection names. EI remains willing to negotiate terms of their resignation from FSC and debate the importance of doing so in a public arena at any time.

In the meantime, Ecological Internet is writing a grant to do a report on the matter based loosely upon this essay. We have a good lead on a funder to investigate BINGO complicity in FSC old growth logging, but need a couple thousand dollars to prepare and do the initial research. We would really appreciate your help turning this document into a fully referenced report based upon FSC logging site visits and full of pictures by donating to our “Ending Primary Forest Logging” campaign at . This is a draft document, put out hurriedly in draft form, before I go to vacation and decide upon Ecological Internet’s future.

Ecological Internet challenges Rainforest Action Network and/or Greenpeace to debate any time and any place of their choosing (which can afford to get to) regarding the efficacy and ecological sustainability of first time industrial logging of primary forests for toilet paper and other consumer items. From dialogue comes truth, reduction in conflict and hate, and right action. Their greenwash of old forest logging will not stand. The secret of their having been compromised is out and nothing can save their policy of logging old rainforests for their protection.

No excuse for Greenpeace, RAN and FSC for not having answered a three year global protest demanding details regarding how their forest campaign policies see logging primary forest as benefiting ecology.
Hundreds of thousands of protest emails and a dozen protests have been ignored simply because the guilty organization are bigger and think they can get away with ignoring us. Even as we protest and demand they resign, let’s hold out our hands to help rehabilitate our fallen brethren. WE have truth, ecology, old forests, Gaia and Internet on our side. Forward!

Greenpeace International and Rainforest Action Network in particular would rightly never accept rainforest or other environmental destroyers unwilling to defend their policies, they would protest until they got answers and it ended. The same is true with the more grassroots, transparent rainforest protection movement regarding RAN and Greenpeace’s failure to defend in detail their support and membership in FSC, which greenwashes the destruction of massive tracts of primary rainforests, old growth and other old forests for consumer products.

The Greenpeace and RAN Out of FSC Primary Forest Logging Now! campaign on Facebook at has been going on for nearly 3 years with picketing and online protests. We will protest there and elsewhere at the time and place of our choosing – as the old forest logging apologists do against the orders of magnitude smaller rainforest destruction by Barbie, Disney and Girl Scouts – until old forest logging apologists unconditionally resign from FSC greenwash of ancient primary forest logging.

ANY continued deforestation or diminishment of old forests – legal or illegal, certified or not – are not ecologically or socially acceptable. At risk is Earth’s continued habitability if old forests continue to be lost and are not restored. Old forest logging certification schemes are ecocidal certified madness as these standing old forests are needed for global ecology and local advancement. BINGO’s will resign from FSC and forest certification of primary forest logging end or protests continue against the greenwashers and all perpetrators of these ecocidal practices. For Earth, we must end old forest logging now.