Archives

Tagged ‘Logging‘

WWF-endorsed logging companies trade in illegal timber

WWF timber scheme allows illegal logging, forest destruction and fails to prevent human rights abuses

25th July 2011

Click here to read this release in FrenchSpanishGermanNorwegian, Bahasa.

Click here to read Pandering to the Loggers

Read WWF’s response to the report

Click here to read coverage of this report on the BBC and the Guardian

WWF’s flagship scheme to promote sustainable timber – the Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN) – is allowing companies to reap the benefits of association with WWF and its iconic panda brand, while they continue to destroy forests and trade in illegally sourced timber, a new briefing by Global Witness reveals. While GFTN is intended to reduce and eliminate such practices over the first 5 years of membership, systemic failures blight the scheme’s ability to deliver for forests.

The Global Witness briefing, Pandering to the Loggers, discovered that major Malaysian logging company Ta Ann Holdings Berhad, which is a paying member of the scheme, has forest operations destroying rainforest at the equivalent rate of 20 football pitches a day, including orang-utan habitat within the boundaries of WWF’s own ‘Heart of Borneo’ project. Another member, UK building supplier Jewson, had failed to eliminate illegally sourced timber 10 years after joining the scheme. A third timber company, the Swiss- German Danzer Group, has a subsidiary which has been repeatedly involved in conflicts with local communities resulting in human rights abuses, including allegations of rapes and beatings by state forces, yet the Danzer Group continues to enjoy membership to the scheme.
Global Witness has found systemic problems with GFTN including:

  • GFTN lacks transparency and accountability; the scheme is opaque, with little or no information in the public domain about the performance of individual participating companies, or the impact of the scheme itself;
  • GFTN’s membership and participation rules are wholly inadequate, allowing some companies to systematically abuse the scheme;
  • GFTN lacks proper monitoring and enforcement mechanisms;
  • There is no adequate procedure in place for independently evaluating the scheme on forest sustainability.

“When a landmark scheme created in the name of sustainability and conservation tolerates one of its member companies destroying orang-utan habitat, something is going seriously wrong,” said Tom Picken, Forest Campaign Leader at Global Witness. “Through government grants, taxpayers are footing a large part of this scheme’s annual £4m [US$ 7m] budget and they have a right to know their money isn’t being spent greenwashing bad practice,” continued Picken.

Global Witness is calling for an independent and comprehensive evaluation of GFTN rules, transparency procedures and the scheme’s impact on forests. WWF must make membership of the scheme conditional on companies following sustainable, ethical and legal practices and prohibit any company from participating if it continues to destroy natural forest, trade in illegal timber, or is involved in human rights abuses.

“WWF should publicly disassociate itself from any company using timber from illegal or unethical sources. It’s shocking that one of the world’s most trusted conservation groups deems it acceptable to take money from such companies,” said Picken.

“This investigation raises bigger questions about the underlying strategy and efficacy of such voluntary schemes. To protect the world’s remaining forests and avoid duping consumers, initiatives should focus on reducing overall demand rather than certify ever-expanding areas of forest being felled,” said Picken.

/Ends

Contact:

Tom Picken, Campaign Leader Forests, +44 (0)781 055 8247 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +44 (0)781 055 8247      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, tpicken@globalwitness.org;

Oliver Courtney, Communications Officer, +44 (0)773 932 4962 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +44 (0)773 932 4962      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, ocourtney@globalwitness.org;

Patrick Alley, Director, +44 (0)207 492 5880 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +44 (0)207 492 5880      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, palley@globalwitness.org.

Notes to editors:

1) The Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN) is WWF’s flagship scheme to promote the global trade in legal and sustainable timber products. It is one of the world’s biggest and best-funded schemes of its kind. The scheme’s stated objective is to ‘turn the global marketplace into a positive force to save the world’s most valuable and threatened forests’ by helping companies to produce and trade in ‘credibly certified’ wood products. In return for commitments to improve the legality and sustainability of the wood products they harvest, buy or sell, companies that pay to participate in GFTN benefit from technical assistance available to members and from association with WWF and its world-famous panda brand.

2) GFTN states that its 288 members trade 252 million cubic metres of wood products, representing around 16 per cent of the globally traded volume of forest products with combined annual sales of US$68 billion. There are currently around 75 ‘forest members’ – logging companies – from Russia, Latin America, Africa and Asia, which between them hold the rights to log an area of forest larger than the UK. The remaining members are classed as ‘trade members’ – processors, traders and retailers of wood products.

Rainforest Action Network Expands Misleading Greenwashing of Primary Forest Logging

EI PRESS/SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASE
Rainforest Action Network Expands Misleading Greenwashing of Primary Forest Logging

RAN’s recent “rainforest safe” book and luxury shopping bag campaigns show they value greenwashing primary forest logging and sustaining old growth timber markets more than ecological science showing without primary forest logging ban biosphere collapses. Ecological Internet renews demand that RAN stops promoting primary forest logging as a false solution to rainforest loss and diminishment, and resigns from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) immediately.

June 12, 2010
Contact: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry

Despite escalating international protest, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) continues to promote Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of first time industrial logging of primary forests. RAN’s new “Rainforest Safe Summer Reading List” [1] and “Gucci Shopping Bag” [2] campaigns falsely claim FSC certified paper products are free of rainforest destruction. In fact, most FSC products come from the first time industrial logging of primary forests or from toxic, industrial monoculture plantations which displace old forests. Virtually all of FSC’s tropical timbers and fibers come from such sources.

“The world’s rainforests, biodiversity, ecosystems, climate and biosphere are in a state of severe crisis and are collapsing; and the best Rainforest Action Network can do is continue lying regarding where FSC certified products come from, and shilling for primary forest books and shopping bags? As America’s largest rainforest protection group, RAN raises and expends more monies on behalf of rainforests than any organization, yet continues to insist FSC logging of primary forests ‘protects’ rainforests. This old forest logging appeasement will continue to be challenged by biocentric ecologists. Unless this NGO greenwash ends, and we join forces to end primary forest logging, the future of Earth and all life are at stake,” states Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet President.

After years of protest against RAN’s support of FSC, and several broken promises to address the matter, RAN is still unable to answer the question of how logging 500 year old trees in millions of year old ecosystem – in this case for children’s books and high-end Gucci shopping bags – meaningfully protects rainforests. RAN’s “market campaigns” completely miss the point that over-consumption in general and paper in particular is the problem. Having co-founded, been long-time active members, and being one of the leading radical supporters of FSC; RAN and FSC are unable or unwilling to state publicly the exact percentage or even an approximation of FSC certified products which come from primary and old growth forest loss and severe ecological diminishment when selectively logged for the first time.

“With FSC having certified over 133 million hectares, Ecological Internet stands by our analysis – using the national certification figures, the only information FSC provides on the matter, and what is known about forestry practices in each country – to estimate 60% of FSC timber comes from first time industrial primary forest logging. This means that FSC and RAN’s past and planned certification is destroying for throw-away consumption an area two times the massive state of Texas,” says Dr. Barry.

“This is greenwash of an unmatched immensity, and all RAN (and Greenpeace [3]) supporters are responsible for this destruction of the last primary forests to make Gucci bags, books and toilet paper. Ecological Internet understands this campaign makes some conservationists feel uneasy, yet this is ecological skullduggery of unimagined magnitude. This behavior by any other segment of society would be held to account as well. All environmental groups – and their members and donors – supporting FSC primary forest logging must stop their policy of promoting logging of 500 year old trees for throw away consumer items.”

### MORE ###

Primary rainforests have tremendous species numbers, carbon stores and provide ecosystem services – water, nutrient and energy cycling – required for a habitable Earth. When primary rainforests are lost or diminished through first time industrial harvest – be it outright deforestation or ‘selective’ first time logging – local ecological and social conditions deteriorate, regional weather and species distributions change, and the global biosphere and its ability to maintain conditions for life are weakened. Recent ecological science makes clear old forests continue to sequester new carbon, and that selectively logging primary forests leads to more forest fires.

All global ecological indicators show Earth and humanity have surpassed the amount of primary, old growth and other intact terrestrial ecosystems that can be lost and still maintain a habitable planet. RAN’s lack of primary forest protection vision and minor market campaign tinkering would be laughable if it wasn’t greenwashing industrial primary forest logging of the ecosystems necessary for humanity’s shared survival. These books and shopping bags promoted by RAN are likely from clearcut FSC certified primary boreal forests, or from industrial tropical tree plantations displacing native forests and peoples.

### ENDS ###

Please join Ecological Internet’s campaign to get “Greenpeace and RAN Out of FSC Primary Forest Logging Now!” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/oldforests and Ecological Internet at http://www.facebook.com/ecointernet

[1] RAN’s “Rainforest Safe Summer Reading List” – http://ran.org/content/rainforest-safe-summer-reading-list . Falsely states” “FSC certified or recycled paper [allows] parents the assurance of knowing that their childrens’ books are not contributing to the loss of Indonesia’s or other endangered rainforests.”

[2] “Gucci’s Luxury Packaging Gets a Green(er) Makeover” http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/06/gucci-luxury-packaging-gets-a-greener-makeover.php

[3] “RELEASE: Greenpeace Partners with Industry Logging Canadian Boreal Forests”
http://forests.org/blog/2010/05/release-greenpeace-partners-wi.asp

DISCUSS THIS RELEASE: http://www.rainforestportal.org/blog/ and http://www.facebook.com/ecointernet

FOREST RELEASE: Greenpeace Partners with Industry Logging Canadian Boreal Forests

EI PRESS/SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASE

Greenpeace Partners with Industry Logging Canadian Boreal Forests

Along with ForestEthics and other foundation-dependent primary forest logging apologists, Greenpeace negotiates weak agreement that legitimizes continued old growth forest logging in exchange for vague promises of possible future protections. Old forest greenwashing must end.

May 21, 2010

Contact: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry

(Canada) – In what they gratuitously herald as the ‘world’s largest conservation agreement’, twenty Canadian forestry companies and nine environmental organizations including Greenpeace has announced an agreement that will temporarily suspend for three years any new logging in 29 million hectares of forest – about the size of Montana – to plan for possible protections of woodland caribou. In return the nine environmental groups have vowed to stop protesting the companies involved (listed below), including ending their ‘Do Not Buy’ campaigns.

More troubling, the agreement provides much needed legitimacy to timber and pulp industry efforts to log much, if not all, of the remaining 43 million hectares of Canada’s old growth Boreal forests, and ultimately much of the caribou habitat after the moratorium lapses. The agreement uses fancy, meaningless worlds like “ecosystem-based” and “sustainable forest management” to describe first time industrial logging of primary forests for toilet paper and other throw-away consumer items.

Ecological Internet (EI) President, Dr. Glen Barry, labeled the agreement “disgraceful”, saying it “traded temporary, vague protections for business as usual industrial forestry across huge expanses of primary and old growth forests.” Ecological Internet advocates a global permanent ban on industrial-scale logging in primary forests both in temperate and tropical forests, and will continue the campaign to end these practices in Canada’s ecologically priceless Boreal forests.

“Greenpeace’s commitment to ‘sustainable’ and ‘ecosystem based’ forest management—for consumer items including toilet paper and lawn furniture from old forests—is an ecological crime, as we know we have already lost more primary forests than necessary to maintain global ecosystems and the biosphere. The agreement accepts not only FSC, but industry’s own certification of antiquated logging practices. This will not stand, and local communities, provincial governments and First Nations are encouraged to reject this forest greenwash.”

### MORE ###

The Canadian Boreal Forest is North America’s largest primary forest, holding massive amounts of water, threatened wildlife and migratory birds, and containing 25% of the world’s remaining intact ancient forests. It is also the largest terrestrial storehouse of carbon on the planet, storing the equivalent of 27 years worth of global greenhouse gas emissions. Globally 60% of boreal forests have been diminished and fragmented, largely from logging resulting in more fires.

Ecological Internet and allies vigorously condemn Greenpeace Canada’s greenwash endorsement of continued ancient boreal forest logging, largely to make throw away paper items. They completely fail to understand that all primary and old growth forests are endangered and of high conservation value. Instead they perpetuate the ecologically criminal myth that old forests can and should be industrially logged for the first time in an environmentally acceptable manner.

Old forests must be protected and restored for global ecological sustainability. Forests logged industrially for the first time are permanently ecologically damaged in terms of composition, structure, function and dynamics. Real solutions to the Boreal forest/paper crisis require shrinking demand, increasing recyclables, and only accessing new fiber from regenerating secondary forests and mixed species, non-toxic, locally supported plantations.

EI calls upon Greenpeace to immediately cease and desist globally from negotiating agreements with industry that continue the production of throw away consumer items from Earth’s dwindling old forests. Ecological Internet calls upon Greenpeace to work for full protection of primary forests, restoration of old growth forests, and dramatic reduction in paper and timber use globally. Ecological Internet’s message remains end primary forest logging. Expect further protest urging Greenpeace to realize the forest protection movement has moved past claims of sustainable forest management in primary and old growth forests.

### ENDS ###

Environmental organization that signed to the agreement include: Canadian Boreal Initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Canopy (formerly Markets Initiative), the David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, Greenpeace, Ivey Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Pew Environment Group’s International Boreal Conservation Campaign.

The companies that signed the agreement include: AbitibiBowater, Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, AV Group, Canfor, Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company, Cascades Inc., DMI, F.F. Soucy, Inc., Howe Sound Pulp and Paper, Kruger Inc., LP Canada, Mercer International, Mill & Timber Products Ltd, NewPage Port Hawkesbury Ltd, Paper Masson Ltee, SFK Pulp, Tembec Inc., Tolko Industries, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd, Weyerhauser Compnay Limited?all represented by the Forest Products Association of Canada.

DISCUSS THIS ALERT: http://forests.org/blog/ and http://www.facebook.com/ecointernet

FB ALERT & RELEASE: Protest Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network’s Censoring of Facebook Criticism of Their Support for Primary Forest Logging

ECOLOGICAL INTERNET PRESS/SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASE and FACEBOOK ALERT!

Protest Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network’s Censoring of Facebook

Criticism of Their Support for Primary Forest Logging

Genuine and growing concern with their ongoing, publicly undefended support

for Forest Stewardship Council “certified” primary forest logging –

destroying an area two times the size of Texas – deleted, blocked and

reported to Facebook as terms of use violations.

March 22, 2010

From Earth’s Newsdesk, a project of Ecological Internet (EI)

http://www.facebook.com/ecointernet

Greenpeace US and International, as well as Rainforest Action Network, are

censoring comments of concern regarding their support for “sustainable

forest management” of old forests including primary rainforests on Facebook

and their blogs. Ecological Internet has been at the vanguard of working to

protect and restore primary and old growth forests globally by ending their

industrial logging and other developments. Unfortunately this has required

campaigning to confront Greenpeace[1] and Rainforest Action Network[2] – two

of the strongest supporters of continued primary forest logging.

“As Greenpeace condemns censorship by Nestle[3] of a YouTube video showing

their use of oil palm at the expense of orangutans, and RAN blasts Facebook

censorship of its use of tar sands financier RBC Bank’s logo, both groups

are systematically removing criticism of their support for first time

industrial primary forest logging from their facebook pages and blogs. To

who are these groups accountable,” asks Dr. Glen Barry? “For years these

groups have inconsistently promoted logging primary forests – and have

gotten away with ignoring genuine widespread concern that such old forests

are key to solving the biodiversity and climate change crises.”

Global ecological sustainability depends upon a consistent, ecologically

credible position on protecting old forests. Please visit and become

temporary ‘fans’ of the following Greenpeace (GP) and Rainforest Action

Network (RAN) facebook and blog sites, demanding the censorship end, that

they please resign from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) immediately,

and commit to ending industrial old forest logging. Please be polite yet

pointed that further censoring, stonewalling and vilification is

unacceptable.

RAN Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rainforestactionnetwork

RAN Blog: http://understory.ran.org/

Greenpeace US Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/greenpeaceusa

Greenpeace International Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/greenpeace.international

Please fan and post copies with EI at: http://www.facebook.com/ecointernet

%d bloggers like this: