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.
(Canada) - In what they gratuitously herald as the 'world's largest conservation agreement', twenty Canadian forestry companies and nine environmental organizations including Greenpeace have announced an agreement that will temporarily suspend for three years any new logging in 29 million hectares of Canadian boreal forest [search] – about the size of Montana – to plan for possible protections of woodland caribou [search]. 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."
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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.
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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.