Untouched Natural Forests Store Three Times More Carbon
An important new Australian study, reported upon in a new book entited "Green Carbon:The role of natural forests in carbon storage", finds that "untouched natural forests store three times more carbon dioxide [ark] than previously estimated and 60 percent more than plantation forests" and that first-time "logging resulted in more than a 40 percent reduction in long-term carbon compared with unlogged forests." They conclude that "in Australia and probably globally the carbon carrying capacity of natural forests [search] is underestimated and therefore misrepresented in economic valuations and in policy options."
This resoundingly confirms Ecological Internet's forest campaign's key principle: sustaining intact ancient primary forests, by virtue of their holding of carbon and species, is a requirement for global ecological sustainability. This Earth Action Network's shared commitment to ending ancient primary and old-growth forest logging has been validated by the emerging ecological science. And we hope this motivates you to continue taking action and to participate regularly in future email protest campaigns.
What does this mean for the forest and climate protection movement? It means if you -- like Greenpeace and WWF -- support first-time Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) industrial logging of ancient, primary forests and establishment of mono-culture plantations that replace regenerating natural forests; you are aiding and abetting the destruction of the Earth's climate and biodiversity. It means that if you are working for avoided deforestation and forests' inclusion in carbon markets, and not specifying payments will be made only for strict forest protections and not for first-time industrial management, you are failing both the climate and ancient forests. Or if you work to set-up a carbon market while you allow your own ancient forests to be logged -- as Australia does -- you will not succeed in reducing emissions. Each of these activities has been the target of recent Ecological Internet campaigns.
Or perhaps most troublingly, if like Rainforest Action Network and ForestEthics, you continually negotiate away large primary forests to industrial forestry for vague promises of protection elsewhere -- as was done in Canada's Great Bear Rainforest and most recently with the sell-out of 50% of Ontario's Boreal forests -- you are greenwashing the destruction of the Earth and all her life. Years after the Great Bear sell-out, senior RAN management thought they had achieved FSC certification, when in fact it was just vague promises of "ecosystem based management". Such ecological ignorance cannot be tolerated by these self-appointed representatives of ancient forests and the Earth.
The era of first-time industrial logging of ancient primary forests is over. This is the motivation of our most recent Clayoquot Sound alert. There 93% of Vancouver Island's ancient primary temperate rainforests have been destroyed, yet FSC apologists such as EcoTrust and ForestEthics work for "certified logging" of the rest, which we now know releases huge amounts of carbon.
Most of the mainstream and even "radical" environmental movement simply have their ecological science wrong. They have falsely accepted the comforting yet unproven notion that achieving environmentally advantageous industrial forest management in primary forests is possible, and is a better climate and forest conservation campaign strategy than working for full, complete protection of all remaining primary forests from industrial forestry. Ecological Internet has concluded quite the opposite -- that it is better to work for what is needed and sufficient, even if we risk failure, than to accept what is insufficient and actually enables the ecological damage, even if achieved.
As the science continues to crystallize that all industrial logging of primary forests releases huge amounts of carbon and thus the purported environmental benefits are a myth, Ecological Internet will continue our campaign targeting FSC logging apologists including those previously named. Their putrid efforts to legitimize continued ancient forest logging is shameful -- particularly in the face of impassioned yet reasoned, ecological science based opposition -- and they must stop, and work to end ancient forest logging while restoring natural forests with old-growth characteristics. Or they are the forest and climate crises.
We expect those in the environmental movement that support FSC certified logging to immediately respond to the ecological science, and justify their continued apologist behavior for loss of primary forests, and its impact upon climate. Failure to do so will mean continued campaigns including disruption of their self-congratulatory campaigns and events.