FORESTS: No More Ancient Forest Logging, Anywhere, Anytime
FOREST CONSERVATION NEWS TODAY
No More Ancient Forest Logging, Anywhere, Anytime
Forests.org a project of Ecological Internet, Inc.
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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.
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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
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
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
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,
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
"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],"
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
"Farmers support the idea but only if they can count on
receiving money for this over the long term such as decades," he
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
"The challenge is how to make this (reforestation) happen
quickly and effectively," said Richards.
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."
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."
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
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
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
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
That doesn't seem like too much to ask.