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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.”

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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.

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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

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