VICTORY: Chile Drops Reservation to CITES Trade Ban on Endangered Trees
The rainforest movement and Forests.org have registered another major victory, as the government of Chile has decided to safeguard from logging the endangered and ecologically special alerce tree – withdrawing reservations for CITES Appendix 1 listing. The alerce, Fitzroya cupressoides, is unique to the coastal temperate rainforests of southern Chile and the mountains of western Argentina – only 15 percent of the habitat remains. The slow growing species can live for thousands of years, and the trees are a national monument in Chile. Local Chilean activists tirelessly exposed major illegal logging of this species, and asked their government for additional protections for the species.
In September of 2004, Forests.org's network (including YOU) requested that the Chilean government immediately end the extraction and commercialization of the ALERCE. ( http://forests.org/action/zold/chile/ ). And this is what has been achieved. It is very much hoped that the government's withdrawal of reservations for CITES Appendix 1 listing for the alerce is a first step in major protections for Chile's Valdivian rainforest – the alerce's primary remaining habitat. The Valdivian rainforest is one of only five remaining temperate rainforests in the world and the only one in South America.
According to local activists, Forests.org's massive email protest network was substantially responsible for successfully stopping a road through the Valdivian rainforest a few years ago. This current victory again demonstrates that Forests.org's network is alive, well and growing in effectiveness – despite having enlarged our focus as EcoInternet (EI) to other ecological sustainability issues. As a project of EI, Forests.org remains well connected with local forest conservation movements throughout the world, and together the world's largest little forest conservation network is being heeded by government's worldwide.
The era when ancient forests and their species are devastated with impunity is drawing to an end. Thank you for your participation – onward and forward to global forest conservation and ecological restoration!