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FORESTS: No More Ancient Forest Logging, Anywhere, Anytime

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FOREST CONSERVATION NEWS TODAY
No More Ancient Forest Logging, Anywhere, Anytime 
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Forests.org a project of Ecological Internet, Inc.

http://forests.org/ -- Forest Conservation Portal
  http://forests.org/blog/ -- Forest Conservation Blog
    http://forests.org/news/ -- Forest Conservation Newsfeed    

September 29, 2006
OVERVIEW & COMMENTARY by Dr. Glen Barry, Forests.org

There exists a terrible, painful split within the forest 
conservation movement between those working to preserve with 
full protection all the world's remaining ancient forests, and 
those that believe that certified industrial forest logging of 
the world's last forest wildlands adequately protects these 
resources and their ecological values. The latter have worked 
for two decades and have failed both to demonstrate ecologically 
sustainable forest management on any scale, and to acknowledge 
and adapt to new science that indicates selective logging 
irreversibly diminishes biodiversity and ecosystems, including 
ancient forests' ability to hold carbon.

The same groups that greenwashed the sell-out of British 
Columbia's ancient temperate rainforests to logging interests 
(most major environmental groups and foundations) are at it 
again - this time working with a voracious largely clearcut 
logging industry in Canada's boreal forests. These formerly 
massive forests are being devastated by intensive logging that 
is both unnecessary - for throw away products like Kleenex 
tissues - and is ecologically devastating. The forest sell-outs 
are wheeling and dealing with big foundation money to legitimize 
industrial ancient forest logging. The forest conservation 
movement must not allow a deal in Canada's boreal forests, 
Africa or anywhere else that justifies continued diminishment of 
these critical global ecological systems. The answer is to end 
ancient forest logging, not try to reform it yet again.

Be warned, any deal with industry that allows continued 
industrial forestry for token protected areas in Canada will be 
vociferously blocked by bright green activists. Ending all 
ancient forest logging anywhere and anytime it is occurring is a 
global imperative if the Earth System (Gaia if you will) is to 
continue to function. Too many large, contiguous old-growth 
forest blocks have been lost already to maintain an operable 
biosphere. All that remain must be protected, and secondary 
forests restored and allowed to again become old-growth.

What is needed is more programs that pay for forests to not be 
industrially developed - that offset the opportunity costs to 
local governments and peoples for deciding to maintain their 
large natural forest ecosystems in an intact condition. We need 
to follow the example reported on below in Bolivia and pay for 
the biodiversity and ecosystem benefits including carbon 
sequestration these vital Earth organs provide. 

Those working to "certify" desecration of the world's ancient 
forests as being "environmentally friendly" do not understand 
the magnitude of the threats posed by both forest loss and 
diminishment, and climate change. The future of the Earth and 
humanity is at stake. Saving the Earth and humanity requires 
among other things large contiguous forest ecosystems. And we 
must be willing to pay for it. Ecological Internet will maintain 
its campaign to confront those - even our mislead environmental 
brethren - that carry out or are greenwashing ancient forest 
logging. This is the last warning, expect a major campaign soon.
g.b.

Comments to:
http://www.rainforestportal.org/issues/2006/09/no_more_ancient_forest_logging.asp#comments
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RELAYED TEXT STARTS HERE:

ITEM #1
Title:  Carbon credit sale funds rainforest communities
Source:  Copyright 2006, Edie
Date:  September 28, 2006
Byline:  Goska Romanowicz

Bolivia received $25m for the sale of carbon credits it had 
earned by saving Amazon rainforest from logging in the first 
ever such deal for the impoverished South American country. 

The project in the Noel Kempff Mercado national rainforest park, 
one of Amazonia's biggest and most intact protected areas, began 
a decade ago but its results have only just been revealed by the 
Bolivian government's special investigator in this matter, Louis 
Aliaga. 

The money has gone to communities living in the protected area 
as compensation for lost revenue from agricultural land and 
logging which resulted from the protection of the forest. 

Bolivia's government ministries had worked with local 
communities, but also with logging companies to realise the 
project, which is helping preserve the rich biodiversity of the 
area as well as preventing the carbon dioxide stored in the 
forest from escaping into the atmosphere and contributing to the 
greenhouse effect. 

The 1,523,000 ha Noel Kempff Mercado national park, which has 
been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000, is the site of the 
largest forest-based carbon projects in the world, ran by 
several NGOs including the Friends of Nature Foundation and the 
Nature Conservancy.


ITEM #2
Title:  Forests Worth Far More Alive Than Dead
Source:  Copyright 2006, Inter Press Service
Date:  September 27, 2006
Byline:  Stephen Leahy

Boreal forests provide 250 billion dollars a year in ecosystem 
services like reducing atmospheric carbon and water filtration, 
but which have gone unacknowledged by governments and industry, 
experts say. 

Governments need to begin accounting for those services before 
allowing timber, oil and gas and mining to carve up the world's 
remaining northern forests, argues the Edmonton, Canada-based 
ecological economist Mark Anielski. 

The globe-spanning boreal forest is the last great forest 
ecosystem -- larger even than the Amazon. The boreal is also the 
largest terrestrial storehouse of carbon, making it one of the 
world's best defences against global climate change. 

"The boreal is like a giant carbon bank account. The forests and 
peatlands store an estimated 67 billion tonnes of carbon in 
Canada alone -- almost eight times the amount of carbon produced 
worldwide in the year 2000," Anielski told IPS. 

Storing carbon and absorbing carbon dioxide are just one of 16 
ecological services the boreal provides. 

"We couldn't calculate values for them all -- such as providing 
food and habitat for bees that perform valuable services like 
pollination," said the researcher, who presented his findings at 
Canada's 10th National Forest Congress Sept. 25-27. 

Other services like waste recycling and soil formation also went 
uncounted. 

"This 250-billion-dollar estimate is a very conservative 
number," Anielski noted. 

Most of the world's original wild forests have been logged or 
developed, and today, only about 20 percent remains, mainly in 
the boreal and Amazon region. Canada's portion of the boreal 
represents more than 1.3 billion acres -- over 25 percent of the 
remaining intact forest on the planet. 

"If these ecosystem services were counted in Canada, they would 
amount to roughly nine percent of GDP [Gross Domestic Product]," 
he said. 

That represents more than the GDP contribution of Canada's huge 
mining sector, at four percent, or its booming energy industry, 
at 5.6 percent. 

Most of the Canadian boreal is in public hands, but just eight 
percent is officially protected. There is growing pressure to 
expand industrial logging, hydropower, mining and oil and gas 
development in the boreal. 

"It is high time for everybody to realise that Canada is not an 
endless sea of virgin forest anymore. Almost half of the forest 
is either logged or fragmented," said Peter Lee, executive 
director of Global Forest Watch Canada, an environmental group 
in Edmonton, Alberta. 

Global Forest Watch and the World Resources Institute in 
Washington are part of an international effort to map and 
document the extent of the world's remaining forest using 
satellite data. Satellite pictures also clearly reveal forest 
cover loss through fires and logging. 

New satellite pictures show massive clear-cutting of the boreal 
forest in the province of Ontario. Despite a government 
commitment to sustainable forestry, photos from space show big 
holes in the forest cover exceeding 260 hectares in size, where 
nothing is left but rocks and broken tree branches. 

Ontario allows clear-cutting up to 750 hectares while Russia, 
home to the majority of the boreal, allows only 50 hectares. 

Concern over the Canadian boreal has grown such that a large 
coalition of environmental groups and industry, including some 
forestry companies, has joined the Canadian Boreal Framework, 
which calls for protection of at least 50 percent of the forest. 

"Canada is one of the only countries in the world that still has 
an opportunity to get it right, to protect our boreal forest and 
ensure a sustainable, conservation-based economy," said Tzeporah 
Berman of ForestEthics, an environmental group active in Canada, 
the United States and Chile. 

While efforts gain momentum to preserve existing Canadian 
forests, the U.S. could offset nearly 20 percent of its current 
emissions of CO2 by turning marginal farmland into forests. 

An estimated 115 million acres of land in the lower United 
States that is poor for agriculture but good for growing trees 
could store enough carbon to reduce the country's current 
emissions of 7.075 billion metric tonnes by nearly 20 percent, 
according to the report "Agricultural and Forestlands: U.S. 
Carbon Policy Strategies" released recently by the Pew Centre on 
Global Climate Change. 

"There is lots of land out there and we are tapping so very 
little of our ability to sequester carbon," says report co-
author Ken Richards of the School of Public and Environmental 
Affairs at Indiana University. 

"It would cost about 50 dollars per metric tonne of carbon 
stored," Richards told IPS. 

Most of the 50 dollars per tonne of carbon cost is compensation 
for landowners. 

"Farmers support the idea but only if they can count on 
receiving money for this over the long term such as decades," he 
said. 

Many U.S. government conservation programmes either fail to get 
funding at all or are funded for short periods of time. There 
have been at least nine programmes that could have stored carbon 
on farms in the past few years but they never received the 
necessary funding, he said. 

This re-foresting of the United States would bring many other 
benefits, such as erosion control, water quality protection and 
improved wildlife habitat. 

"Over longer time horizons, agricultural and forestlands can 
produce biomass-based substitutes for fossil fuels, thereby 
further reducing emissions," the Pew report notes. 

It would also be good for farmers in the U.S., where 
agricultural overproduction has kept crop prices low for many 
years. 

"The challenge is how to make this (reforestation) happen 
quickly and effectively," said Richards.


ITEM #3
Title:  Are Kleenex tissues wiping out forests?
Kimberly-Clark takes heat from Greenpeace and other 
environmental groups for misleading the public on its 
sustainability practices, reports Fortune's Marc Gunther.
Source:  Copyright 2006, CNN Money
Date:  September 27, 2006
Byline:  Marc Gunther

Question: When you wipe your nose with a Kleenex, are you 
helping wipe out ancient forests?

Answer: That depends entirely on who you ask.

The environmental groups Greenpeace and the Natural Resources 
Defense Council say that Kimberly-Clark (Charts), the world's 
largest tissue manufacturer, has failed to keep its promises to 
protect ancient forests in Canada. Kimberly-Clark calls itself 
an environmental leader. Be warned: digging through the 
competing claims in this controversy is not easy.

But one thing's evident: Kimberly-Clark's credibility has taken 
a hit, and that's a problem for the $16 billion a year forest 
products firm whose brands include Kleenex, Huggies, Scott, 
Pull-Ups, Cottonelle, Viva, Kotex and Depend.

The environmentalists make a slew of accusations but three stand 
out. The first is that K-C makes disposable tissue and toilet 
paper from wood that comes from old-growth forests in coastal 
British Columbia and from boreal forests in Ontario, Alberta and 
Saskatchewan. (These forests are habitats for countless wildlife 
species as well as a way to curb global warming.) 

The second is that K-C does not use enough recycled fiber. And 
the third and potentially most serious charge is that K-C has 
misled the public - in the argot of the environmental movement, 
K-C stands accused of "greenwashing."

Greenpeace activists have launched an extensive campaign against 
Kimberly-Clark. They have enlisted the support of nearly 600 
businesses (most quite small), picketed hotels that buy K-C 
tissues and toilet paper and filed a complaint with the SEC.

"This is a company that claims to be a leader on the 
environmental front," says Richard Brooks, a Greenpeace campaign 
coordinator, who is based in Vancouver. "Unfortunately, when you 
dig into the claims, you come up with a very different story."

Foot-in-mouth disease
Kimberly-Clark says that's unfair. The company "is committed to 
strong environmental stewardship, sustainability and corporate 
responsibility," says David Dickson, a K-C spokesman. As 
evidence, he notes that Kimberly-Clark has ranked No. 1 among 
personal care companies in the Dow Jones Sustainability World 
Indexes for the past two years.

K-C also says that the vast majority of the fiber that it 
purchases comes from residual waste (sawdust and chips) from the 
lumber production process. And the company says that its use of 
recycled fiber is in line with industry practices. You can read 
its forestry policy here. 

Here's the problem, though. It's hard to trust Kimberly-Clark 
because the company's actions have not lived up to its rhetoric. 
The company has often said - prominently in its 2005 
sustainability report and as recently as March, 2006, in its 
proxy statement to shareholders - that its corporate policy 
"prohibits the use of wood fibers from ... ecologically 
significant old-growth areas, including ... temperate 
rainforests in coastal British Columbia."

Several months later, Greenpeace researchers who dug into U.S. 
Customs records and questioned K-C suppliers issued a report 
called "Chain of Lies" saying that K-C was, in fact, purchasing 
wood fiber from the coastal forests in British Columbia.

Subsequently and to its credit, K-C did an internal review and 
found that it had, in fact, "purchased a small amount of wood 
chips" that were "derived from logs harvested from the British 
Columbia coastal area."

Oops.

The company also said that its policy had since 2003 permitted 
the use of wood that is harvested sustainably from the B.C. 
coastal forests - thereby undercutting the claims it made in 
2005 and 2006.

By e-mail, Dickson, the K-C spokesman, conceded that "some of 
our recent public statements have reflected a higher standard 
than this policy requires and have overstated our actual 
practices (emphasis added)."

Translation: K-C misled the public.

It did so, moreover, at a time when it was being watched by 
Greenpeace, the NRDC and Domini Social Investments, a socially-
responsible mutual fund company that had been asking K-C to 
improve its forestry practices.

Raising the bar
"There is no doubt that K-C has misled the marketplace about the 
ecological attributes of the paper products it is selling," says 
Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist with NRDC, who observed 
what he calls "severe clear-cutting" when he visited forests in 
northern Ontario that supplied K-C.

So what are we to think now, for example, about the question of 
whether K-C could use more recycled fiber in its products. 
Recall that the company says its practices are in line with 
industry standards. But the NRDC Web site says:

"Kimberly-Clark relies on recycled sources for just 19 percent 
of the pulp it uses to make toilet paper, facial tissue, napkins 
and paper towels in North America. Yet the tissue paper product 
industry uses an average of 60 percent recycled material in 
manufacturing. Most of Kimberly-Clark's at-home tissue brands, 
such as Kleenex, contain no recycled fiber at all." K-C responds 
that the comparison is misleading because it makes more high-
quality paper than the industry as a whole. 

Interestingly, K-C's practices aren't just being analyzed by 
green groups. They are of interest to Wal-Mart (Charts), its 
biggest customer. Lee Scott, Wal-Mart's CEO, recently told me 
that he had met with Tom Falk, CEO of Kimberly-Clark, to ask 
whether K-C could use more recycled fiber, reduced its packaging 
and, generally, clean up its operations. To be fair, Scott also 
told me he came away impressed with Falk's commitment to the 
environment.

Is there a way out of this for K-C? Environmentalists want the 
company to agree to buy more pulp that is certified as 
sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). That's a 
non-profit group that provides third-party audits of wood and 
paper products. (Wal-Mart printed its annual report last year on 
FSC-certified paper, Home Depot (Charts) has agreed to buy only 
FSC-certified wood and J.P. Morgan Chase (Charts) has backed 
FSC.)

Finding a resolution
Kimberly-Clark says there isn't enough FSC-certified pulp 
available to meet its needs, and so it relies on third-party 
audits from other organizations like the Sustainable Forestry 
Initiative (SFI). But environmentalists charge that the SFI is 
an industry-backed group and not as exacting as the FSC. In 
time, they say, more FSC wood will become available. (We warned 
you that this was complicated.)

Domini - the investment firm owns shares in Kimberly-Clark - 
made a simple proposal to the company this year. Domini asked K-
C to study the feasibility of phasing out wood that is not 
certified by the FSC over the next 10 years, and to set goals 
and timetables for using more FSC-certified pulp as well as 
recycled fiber.

K-C says there's no need for a study.

"They're not ignoring us, but we have not yet seen the company 
substantively address our concerns," says Adam Kanzer, general 
counsel for Domini, who has dealt with dozens of companies on 
social and environmental issues. "We don't expect any company to 
be 100 percent perfect. We do expect the companies we hold to 
take responsible steps that are necessary to reduce their 
environmental impact."

That doesn't seem like too much to ask.

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