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no. 42

Current Issue | Back issues

Glen Barry, John Seed and Ruth Rosenhek, Co-Editors

Produced in partnership with Forests.org, Inc.

CHILE: Massive Rainforest Logging Project Called Off 19 Dec

After frenzied campaigning which raised logging of Chile's forests as a major international issue, the project that threatened to make woodchip from threatened temperate rainforests has been called off. We have supported the many groups working on this campaign, and all those that have responded to alerts over the past several years share in this victory. This is the most recent in a string of stunning successes for the Worldwide forest conservation movement. There is hope that global forest sustainability can and will be achieved, before large forest wildernesses become a thing of the past. g.b.

BORNEO: Rainforest on Verge of Total Destruction 19 Dec

The battle to save some portion of Borneo as intact, contiguous rainforest appears to have been lost. Malaysia and Indonesia have essentially destroyed this globally significant rainforest. Consumers of tropical timbers; i.e. buyers of plywood for new home construction in the U.S., are ultimately responsible. Predatory logging companies and complicit consumers are bent upon repeating this pattern of disastrous tropical land management in most of the World's remaining tropical wildernesses. This must not be allowed to happen. The following account of new scientific research provides persuasive evidence that forest sustainability is primarily determined by conditions over large scales-such as bioregions and landscapes.g.b.

INDIA: An Unnatural Disaster 15 Dec

Clearing India's Mangrove Forests Has Left The Coast Defenseless. The thousands of people who died when a cyclone struck the eastern coast of  India last weekend could have been saved if mangrove forests had not been destroyed to make way for shrimp farms, according to coastal geographers.

NEW ZEALAND: New Govt Stops Rainforest Logging 15 Dec

The newly elected New Zealand government has forced the state-owned logging company, Timberlands, to withdraw its plans to log extensive areas of beech rainforests on the west coast of the country's south island. 

USA: Loggers' Suit Alleges Ecological 'Religion'! 10 Dec

Following is an account of loggers taking forest conservation groups to court for allegedly forcing their Deep Ecology religious beliefs on the United States Forest Service. This suit is a shameless debacle. The loss of  logging jobs is tragic but inevitable. The boom is over. How badly the bust treats us all will depend on how zealously we conserve remaining forests and pursue the age of forest restoration. Scientific, economic, spiritual and other means of knowing and understanding this global ecological crisis are equally valid, and critical to finding solutions to these complex issues. g.b.

ECUADOR: Help stop mineral exploration in ecological reserve ACTION 10 Dec

The World Bank is funding a mining survey in the Cotachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve, despite the fact that mining activities are prohibited in protected areas in Ecuador. Given the ecological significance of the reserve in question, World Bank support for this project also breaks its own promise to protect global biodiversity. Please write to the World Bank and tell them to desist.

VIETNAM: Logging Blamed for Floods 10 Dec

Environmentalists are blaming widespread illegal logging as a factor in disastrous flooding that has hit the central coast of Vietnam for the second time in two months.

CAMBODIA: British green group to monitor forests 6 Dec

A British environmental group that for years has campaigned against illegal logging in Cambodia has been appointed an independent monitor of the country's forestry sector.


BOUGAINVILLE: Globalisation -- who needs it? 3 Dec

Bougainville was subjected to a six-year trade blockade by Papua New Guinea following the island's secession from PNG in the early 90's. Forced to depend on their own resources, Bouganvillians revived their disappearing cultural heritage and strengthened their local communities. As a result of the absence of western food and medical supplies, people ate a healthier diet and returned to traditional medicines. "We have proved to [PNG authorities] for six years" says Josephine Haripa, "that we did not need their help". At the time of the WTO's push for further globalisation, this is an inspiring story. From the Earthbeat program on Australia's public broadcaster, Radio National.

Eco-Portal: Full Text Searches of Reviewed Environmental Internet Content

Ecological Enterprise's new Ecological Information web portal, called Eco-Portal, at http://www.Eco-Portal.com/   The Eco-Portal works much like Yahoo, Lycos, or other search  engines -- only sites have been carefully chosen for inclusion.  So rather than getting millions of hits of varying quality when you search for "rainforests" on a major search   engine, on the Eco-Portal you will get several thousand highly pertinent hits--the best that the Internet has to offer on the  topic.

NIGERIA: Help Save Cross River Mangrove and Rainforest ACTION!  23 Nov

There is a window of opportunity to assist in the conservation of the largest remaining rainforest in West Africa, Nigeria's Cross River rainforest. The region includes rare and unique gorillas, drill monkeys, chimpanzees, gray parrots and other endangered animals and plants. The decision has recently been made to halt logging in the area. This progress must be consolidated through complimentary letters. Please respond to this Action Alert. g.b.

INDONESIA: Plundered Forests

The last forests of Indo-Malaysia are being mopped up. Even CNN has the scoop on the logging in Indonesian National Parks. South-east Asian rainforests are toast unless something is done quickly.g.b.

The Health of the Earth 2000

Excerpts from the United Nations Environment Program's report on the environmental health of the planet.

CHAD: Future of pipeline in doubt

The future of the controversial Chad-Cameroon oil development project and pipeline was in doubt yesterday after Exxon announced it was "considering changes" in the consortium which has planned to undertake the venture. 

CHAD/CAMEROON: Shell drops Africa pipeline -- Enviro costs too great ACTION!

Royal Dutch/Shell Group and Elf Aquitaine have pulled out of its oil extraction and pipeline project in Chad ands Cameroon. Exxon and the World Bank are the other parties involved in the project, which plans to export oil from the land-locked African country of Chad via a pipeline through neighbouring Cameroon. RIC and other organisations have been involved in campaigns against the scheme, and the backdown by Shell and Elf confirms that you, dear reader, have the power to help stop environmentally destructive projects. Please keep responding to our action alerts! Continued pressure on the World Bank is now crucial. Link here to Action Alert.

AUSTRALIA: Strike Three 22 Nov '99

Three items which do Australia no credit

Forests clearfelled on Olympic Doorstep

The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, now less than 12 months away, have been billed as the "Green Olympics". Yet NSW State Premier Bob Carr, whose government is responsible for the Games, plans to approve clearfelling on Sydney's doorstep. ACTION Request -- see end of article

The world's worst greenhouse polluter

At the 1997 negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions, an Australian environmentalist wore a paper bag over his head -- he was too ashamed of his government's stand to show his face. Australia won special concessions in those negotiations and is allowed to increase its carbon dioxide emissions. Now, the Australia Institute has found that Australia emits 25% more carbon dioxide per capita than the US and more than double most European Union countries.

Land clearance a "national disgrace"

Australia was one of only two over-developed countries to receive a special deal at the Kyoto global warming conference, allowing it to increase its greehouse gas emissions on the basis that its economy was particularly dependent on fossil fuels. Yet land clearance is responsible for an estimated 15% of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions. It has also been the major cause of Australia's burgeoning soil salinity problem. Land clearance in central Queensland, the subject of this article, is nothing new. It has been proceeding unchecked for years.

Anti-WTO Website OpenedNEW!

Your "one-stop" WTO web site is now up and running: www.seattle99.org . Run by International groups who oppose the destruction of people and environment that untrammeled free trade promises. "We are diverse in our approaches and messages but unified in calling for citizens around the world become involved in setting their own destiny". Forests are threatened worldwide by the WTO's proposed Global Free Logging  Agreement.

CHAD/CAMEROON: Top World Bank team in Cameroon for pipeline talks

In response to concerns of environmentalists, the World Bank held back on further funding of this project so that environmental studies could be done. A high-level Bank delegation is now in Africa investigating. The proposed pipeline is the subject a current Action Alert

GLOBAL WARMING: Carbon Offset Forestry Won't Work

Can we plant more trees as an alternative to reducing the consumption of fossil fuels? Not according to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They believe it won't work. This article explains why. The idea has also been debunked elsewhere. We have run an article on those who benefit from promoting Carbon Offset forestry.(Trading CO2 Emissions for Trees: Who Benefits?)

CLIMATE CHANGE: Early Action Needed to Buy Time

Research commissioned by the British Government predicts bad things for rainforests and other living creatures unless action is taken on global warming. If appropriate action is taken, on the other hand, the global community will buy valuable time to adapt to global warming.The report on this research comes just before the International community meets in Bonn to make progress on implementing the legally binding Kyoto protocol on Carbon dioxide emissions.


International activists have called a day of action against the WTO's Global Free Logging Agreement, against the practices of  timber giant Boise Cascade, against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and in support of indigenous peoples.Organizers of the actions have joined to denounce globalization and neoliberalism as exemplified by so-called "free trade" agreements. The Nov. 4 actions will promote healthy ecosystems, strong communities and solidarity with indigenous peoples.

GAIA: WTO Threatens Forests, Environment and Democracy ACTION!

Free trade is one thing. Free trade at the expense of nearly all national environmental regulation is another. The World Trade  Organization is poised to rule on a "Global Free Logging Agreement" which would reduce tariffs on forest products; lead to increased forest consumption, and greater forest destruction. It would also potentially jeopardize "bans on the use of endangered tropical  timber, safeguards to prevent the importation of invasive species,  and ecolabeling and certification of sustainably harvested timber."  The industrial forest trade is anything but "free"; as the Earth,  indigenous peoples, and the world's populace in general bears the price of failing ecosystems. Following is a well-crafted action  alert from Rainforest Action Network--please take the time to   respond. g.b.