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"Free Trade" and Forests:
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF EDUCATION AND ACTION: NOVEMBER 4, 1999
International activists have announced a call to action for November 4,1999 against the WTO's Global Free Logging Agreement, against the practices of the timber multinational Boise Cascade, against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and in support of indigenous peoples.
The organizers of the respective actions have joined together to denounce the current practices of globalization and neoliberalism as exemplified by so-called "free trade" agreements. These agreements devastate the environment, undermine indigenous culture, destroy local community control and lead to massive poverty. The November 4 actions will promote healthy ecosystems, strong communities and solidarity with indigenous peoples.
A DAY OF PROTEST AND EDUCATION
Activists have called November 4 a day of protest against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and in support of the indigenous peoples of Chiapas, Mexico. On November 4 Trade Ministers from 34 Latin American countries are meeting in Toronto, Canada to discuss the FTAA, which is being hailed as the southward expansion of NAFTA. A mass mobilization against the FTAA is also taking place in Toronto on that day.
Chiapas: On January 1, 1994, the day that NAFTA went into effect, the indigenous people of Chiapas staged an uprising. Under the banner of the Zapatistas, the indigenous peoples of Chiapas continue the struggle to maintain their land and dignity, liberty and democracy against the economic policies of neoliberalism. Yet the Mexican government's low intensity warfare against the Zapatistas continues.
On November 4, 1999, forest protection activists from around the world will be joining together to let their governments know that they will not accept the WTOs attack on forests. Activists will be holding press conferences, meeting with elected officials, conducting teach-ins and hitting the streets in protest.
FORESTS ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK: THE "GLOBAL FREE LOGGING AGREEMENT"
The World Trade Organization's (WTO) 135 member countries are meeting in November to write new international trade and investment agreements. One of the most contentious agreements is the "global free logging agreement" being spearheaded by the Clinton Administration. This agreement could dramatically impact our ability to protect the world's remaining forests.
The "global free logging agreement" will lead to forest destruction and the removal of forest protections by: (1) rapidly eliminating tariffs on all wood products without putting necessary environmental protections in place -- this will increase consumption, production and unsustainable logging; (2) discussing the elimination of forest protection laws that the WTO considers "non-tariff trade barriers." Vital forest protection laws that could be eliminated include: laws to protect forests from invasive pests, recycled content requirements for office and news paper, eco-labeling and "smart wood" laws, and bans on the export of raw logs and wood chips.
TIMBER CORPORATIONS LEADING THE CHARGE
On November 4, many activists will protest the "global free logging agreement" by identifying it's corporate sponsors. Boise Cascade is a poster child example of U.S. multinational timber corporations that over-cut their corporate timberlands and thousands of acres of public forests. These multinational timber corporations hope that the "global free logging agreement" will aid them in their attempts to reduce forest protections at home while looking for new, cheap sources of wood overseas and ever increasing markets for their products. Boise Cascade has invested $200 million in Chile to build the world's largest chip mill and oriented strand board mill. The project's sourcing area is located in the heart of Patagonia, containing some of the world's most intact temperate rainforest.
More background information to follow on FTAA plans in Toronto, Boise Cascade Corporation, and information for activities in other countries.
For More Information, Ideas, Background Material, Press Releases, etc.:
Contact Antonia Juhasz, American Lands Alliance (GFLA) at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 547-9230, Jake Kreilick and Matt McGovern-Rowan, Native Forest Network (Boise Cascade) at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 542-7343 and Orin Langelle, ACERCA - Action for Community & Ecology in the Rainforests of Central America (FTAA), at email@example.com or (802) 863-0571 (ACERCA in Toronto after Nov 1 (416) 597-8408 x 3060).
For more information on the "global free logging agreement," visit American Lands' web page at http:/www.americanlands.org
For more information on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) visit ACERCA's web page at http://www.acerca.org
Boise Cascade web site: http://www.bc.com.
Thanks to the Public Information Network for this information. See their Boise Cascade profiles at: http://www.endgame.org/boise.html http://www.endgame.org/global-boise.html
The Native Forest Network Northern Hemisphere Web Site: http://www.nativeforest.org
Source: ACERCA Fri, 29 Oct 1999 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Action for Community & Ecology in the Rainforests of Central America POB 57 Burlington, VT 05402 USA (802)863-0571 (ACERCA in Toronto From Nov 1-4th (416) 597-8408 x 3060) (802) 864-8203 Fax Email: email@example.com http://www.acerca.org
ACERCA is a project of the Alliance for Global Justice and a member of the Native Forest Network
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