EcoInternet’s “End Ancient Forest Logging” Campaign Targets World Bank, WWF and Greenpeace for Their Role in Promoting Ancient Primary Rainforest Logging

— Do WWF and Greenpeace members realize they are supporting industrial logging of the world's last ancient rainforests? Until this changes, they should cancel their memberships.
By Rainforest Portal, a project of EcoInternet, http://www.rainforestportal.org/
Contact: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org
For years the World Bank, WWF and Greenpeace have put their faith in protecting the world's remaining ancient primary forests by reforming criminal industrial logging practices. These ancient forest logging apologists' policies of pursuing “sustainable forest management”, “forest certification” and “improved forest governance” has been pursued for nearly two decades. Yet, ancient forest logging remains out of control, severely damaging ecosystems and the climate, and providing few if any local benefits to rainforest dwellers. The climate crisis makes maintaining all intact rainforests even more important.
“The scientific literature and years of failed, ecologically and socially devastating tropical rainforest logging clearly show there is no such things as 'sustainable certified' ancient forest logging; and global ecological sustainability, successful climate change mitigation, maintaining fully intact rainforest ecosystems and species, and future survival of local rainforest dwellers and their eco-development options sadly depends upon confronting the global ancient forest logging apologist industry,” explains EcoInternet's Dr. Glen Barry.


“Logging primary forests for the first time results in species composition, structure and dynamics that are irreversibly diminished and much of their carbon is released. It is time to stop working to reform and instead shut down ancient forest logging, compensating not yet over-developed countries for this avoided deforestation and diminishment, and supporting community based small-scale eco-forestry activities.”
Africa's Congo Basin provides an example of ill-advised international forest conservation policy. The Congo contains the world's second largest rainforest; a haven for vital global biodiversity and ecosystem services, and a safeguard against runaway global warming. About 400 mammal species live there, including the world's largest populations of lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and forest elephants. Some 655 bird species and over 10,000 plant species can be found.
It is terrible that in the DRC, Greenpeace supports a moratorium but not an end to industrial logging, that WWF continues to advocate and work with loggers to facilitate the “certified” diminishment of these ancient intact rainforests, and that the World Bank has failed to enforce the logging moratorium and continues to subsidize national policy and institutions that promote industrial logging of ancient forests. In a Bank-mediated 2002 logging moratorium deal, DRC's government agreed to not issue any further logging licenses in return for $90 million in aid. Since then an estimated 100 logging contracts covering 15 million hectares have been issued. Many are being legalized in a review subsequently initiated by the World Bank.
WWF, the global conservation organization, promotes industrial forest certification throughout the world's last natural, large and intact ancient forests. WWF works with and takes money from logging companies — including some of the world's worst ecological abusers — to help get their primary rainforest logging operations certified. The supposed best forest certification is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) which is closely associated with both WWF and Greenpeace. Greenpeace chairs FSC's international board, and advocates ancient forest certification widely throughout the world. Recently both organizations sold our large areas of temperate rainforest in British Columbia, Canada, to “sustainable” logging. There are serious and ongoing problems with FSC including repeated issuing of inappropriate certificates and certifiers certifying whatever they want. The rules on 'High Conservation Value Forests' are just one set of rules that are routinely violated, and FSC's principles make no claims of ecological sustainability.
The ultimate aim of EcoInternet's “End Ancient Forest Logging” campaign is to get the World Bank, other donors and mainstream conservation bureaucracies completely out of the business of supporting industrial ancient forest logging — and in particular to stop supporting national forestry institutions and policy that perpetuates the industrial logging model. Only then can a united campaign stop sending mixed messages and shut down industrial ancient forest logging companies.
“Sadly, these groups are a big part of the ancient forest loss and diminishment problem. After years of these concerns being ignored, and now blocking of our protest emails, we are calling for a boycott of new, and cancellation of existing, WWF and Greenpeace memberships, and for the World Bank to be barred from ancient forest policy making. This is the beginning of a sustained campaign.”

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18 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Glen I cancelled a monthly standing order that i have had for years to WWF purely on this issue, specifically FSC .

  2. Dave says:

    Someone should propose these tropical countries be paid for not logging to conserve carbon and species. The money should go to the poor and indigenous who would have got the logging, milling and transport jobs. How much would it cost compared to the Iraq War. Maybe you are the guy for such a Positive Plan instead of only negative. Al Gore for a buddy? Movie stars? Don't remain obscurity, You are TOO Important!
    RESPONSE: If you read the alert and press release carefully, that is exactly what it proposes. It's called paying for avoided deforestation. Thanks for the kind words.
    Glen

  3. craig hart says:

    Forget “sustainable” logging of old growth forest. Such a policy is unworkable. Instead the industrialized nations (G8) could all institute a reasonable carbon tax, the money from which , along with research for alternate enery sources, could pay poor countries to keep their forests intact. The clean air mechanism is another way to save forests, as long as it is used properly, and not to finance or support such oxymoronic projects such as “sustainable ” palm oil or a proliferation of ethanol gluts.

  4. Matt Small says:

    It's really disappointing to read things like this. It's great that you feel strongly about the protection of forests but I feel this is a bit wide of the mark. What is happening in the Congo basin at the moment is a tragedy. Entire human populations as well as thousands of species are becoming extinct due to the current practices of logging these forests wholesale. & that's without thinking about the contribution to climate change….
    There is a recent Greenpeace report on the state of the Congo basin & what they are campaigning for. Please read it. & check out the webpage: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/congo-report-110407
    I understand the frustration that things aren't happening fast enough to protect these forests but solutions are needed fast that do not allow the continued destruction and chaos as its happening now. FSC certification allows for vast global improvements in forestry. It may not be ideal that GP or WWF are sanctioning sustainable forestry but it is an essential part in the overall picture.
    There are very powerful global interests in these forests and some very passionate people fighting for them. Before asking people to do something like this, question who they would help & delve a little further. And before asking people to stop taking action, think of what action is necessary. & do that instead! There are many ways you can take possible action; if you disagree with Greenpeace, email them & suggest what could be done better. Same with WWF. If you disagree with the World Bank click here: http://write-a-letter.greenpeace.org/204

  5. peskykerrybug says:

    I have been borrowing Glen`s Alerts to write to various governments telling them to demand vociferously that the West PAY THEM to conserve original forests – as a kind of moral obligation history tax – to compensate them… saying that if they start demanding, we will support their demands from our side of the great divide…
    Glen! I agree you are very important what you say, & your ability to say it so coherently, succinctly & smoothly!!! What you do IS important – because there isn`t any one else doing what you do (which is speak for us all) as far as I can see – not inside the belly of the beast anyway!
    I also love it that, as well as posting off your long wordy intelligent reasoned letters (Does Prince Charles know that you exist? He would LOVE your stuff!) I can also wipe out every word of your model letters and say it my own way. “Please stop cutting down trees! If you cut down all your trees – we will all die.”
    Please do some bigger & bolder Action Alerts for us to participate with…

  6. Nigel says:

    Well said Glen – but you are opening a “can of worms” attacking
    Greenpeace….be warned!!
    Nigel

  7. Glen Barry says:

    Here is a copy of an email sent to two Greenpeace forest campaign members – Grant is the Chairman of the Board for FSC:
    *********
    Pat and Grant,
    I noted in your recent emails no mention of the rationale behind Greenpeace's support of FSC and certified, sustainable ancient forest logging in general. I am well aware of the good works of Greenpeace – my first environmental job was canvassing for Greenpeace 20 years ago. I love Greenpeace. But I am so disappointed in the failure of your organization to at least present a statement saying why you have chosen to support ancient forest logging. How does logging industrially protect ancient forests?
    I have gotten several responses from various Greenpeace staff, and not one meaningfully engaged on the topic. Do you have any such policy statement of when in a particular situation you support ancient forest logging and when you do not? My intuition is that it is a largely not thought through and rather ad hoc. What experience and science does Greenpeace have to support its stance?
    I also note a harsh, threatening tone in replies I have received. How dare an organization question Greenpeace. Well, in an era of runaway, abrupt climate change; your support of logging ancient forests which both releases carbon and damages future carbon sequestration, makes you a valid target of protest. We will not be intimidated in asking hard questions.
    This can be defused by Greenpeace publicly announcing they are working to end industrial ancient forest logging. Otherwise the campaign which has had enormous support will intensify and damage your membership base. Following the blocking of the protest emails which were petering out anyway, we have officially called for forest conservationists to cancel their Greenpeace memberships. We will continue to intensify the campaign until ancient forest logging is history.
    Please look past your individual and organization's self-interest and think how logging millions of year old ecosystems that evolved naturally serves the environment. And stop acting as though you have been victimized – now you know how other environmentally damaging activities that you protest against and disrupt feel. The FSC and Greenpeace are so insular that the only option was to protest and we will be pursuing many other avenues to disrupt your support for ancient logging in coming months/years.
    I hope to receive materials justifying your policy and a statement that Greenpeace supports an end to ancient forest logging, then the campaign will be all over.
    Regards,
    Glen

  8. Tommy Twotone says:

    Greenpeace, WWF and the World Bank need to be more concerned with the ecological requirements for global sustainability and less with building their organizations. Environmental groups should tell the truth and work for what is adequate and sufficient to address the myriad global ecological crises, not lesser, easy policies which often make things worse. EcoInternet should be congratulated for taking on the ancient forest logging promoters that are so called forest conservationists.

  9. Michael Sunanda says:

    thanx for deep anaylysis on logging policy on earth now. Very disturbing if we realize how the forests work with balancing earth atmosphere C02/Oxygen for our healthy breathing
    & climate healthy flow for organic life flourishing in bioregions or extinctons who where?

  10. Tiiu says:

    Dear Glen,
    We all see things differently. We all make mistakes. I am uneasy about your confrontational approach. If these of us who do care fight among
    ourselves it is likely to do more harm than good, even when there is good
    cause to criticise another's approach.
    See below.
    Best wishes,
    Tiiu
    RESPONSE: Sorry it makes you uncomfortable. Did you know Greenpeace and WWF are actively working with loggers to clear 60 million year old forests? Confrontation is appropriate in this situation – who will protect these last vestiges of original evolutionary ecosystems on this Earth from people getting money to protect them? My only point in the campaign is to get them to stop, not to rub the mistake in their faces. These organizations are both big bureaucracies and perhaps it is good for them to have a campaign against them like they have launched countless times against others.
    Regards,
    Glen

  11. kerry says:

    YES! Think how much better it would be for the ancient forests IF the POWER & MIGHT of Greenpeace and the WWF was 110% committed in total integrity to a global campaign for TOTAL ABSOLUTE PROTECTION FOR ALL OUR REMAINING ANCIENT FORESTS.
    That is what is drivng this Campaign forwards. At the moment these two mighty organisations have hamstrung themselves with compromise…
    If they CHANGE POLICY (which is something every organisation on the planet is being asked to do right now actually) then they would be able to swing into clear effective action, campaigning strongly & powerfully for
    TOTAL PROTECTION for All Remaining Wild Forest.
    (And not just Ancient ones mate – any treed lands that haved fundamentally self sowed…)
    Glen is not trying to hound these organisations out of existance. They do too much other very valuable work for Glen to want to do that! He… I should say we (because I am in complete agreement with him) We only want them to change policy & get WITH the forests.
    At the moment thay are supporting the loggers. Crazy!
    Perhaps you should know! Glen had a little campaign run against him for promoting lawn-mowers – so he knows how it feels too! But fair play to him. He removed the offending sponsor. He was willing to lose a bit of income for the sake of integrity! Kerpow!
    Integrity matters. It matters ecologically to ancient forests. Integrity is integrity. It cannot be “selectively” destroyed. Logging one tree instead of clear-cutting a hundred – it makes no difference really…
    INTEGRITY MATTERS!
    I am not a Member of either of these organisations but I shall let them know how I feel. I might even join them! So I can cancel my membership!
    It is the wasted opportunity for the forests that galls me about they are doing… Please Greenpeace & WWF – chnage policy om a dime and join with us to push for TOTAL PROTECTION! With UN back-up to enforce it… C`mon!

  12. kerry says:

    Darn it! I just hate spelling mistakes right when I`m finishing with rhetorical flourish and Post with confidence without even reading through… Can I run that last line again?
    Please Greenpeace & World Wildlife Fund – Change policy on a dime and join with us to push for TOTAL PROTECTION OF ALL OUR REMAINING ANCIENT FORESTS – with UN back-up to enforce it. NOW!
    Perseverance furthers!

  13. Glen Barry says:

    Here is the fluff Greenpeace has sent out in response to our publicly revealing their support for industrial ancient rainforest logging — it confirms all our fears (more of a response below):
    ************
    Dear Forest Friend,
    Thanks for your email about the Congo Rainforest. We agree with you about the need to protect the Congo forests from industrial logging and have been campaigning to make sure it happens as soon as possible.
    The threats facing the world's last ancient forests are huge, so it is important that we all combine our efforts to stop those responsible for forest destruction, the logging companies and the financial organisations that fund them.
    Only a few of weeks ago we released a major report called 'Carving up the Congo' that showed the complete failure of industrial logging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in alleviating poverty and the terrible toll this type of logging has had on the regions forests and amazing wildlife.
    We are campaigning around the world, including with local NGO's in the DRC, to ensure alternatives to industrial logging are implemented in the Congo as a way of keeping the forest standing and alleviating poverty. For the past 10 years Greenpeace has also been actively supporting indigenous peoples' rights and community use 'solutions' as alternatives to large-scale destructive logging.
    Check out the video and photo story from our recent visit to the Congo forests.
    We are campaigning for the World Bank (WB) which is the biggest financial donor to the DRC to use its considerable influence to ensure forest protection, not forest destruction. We recently met with senior forest officials from the WB in Washington as well as the WB President Paul Wolfowitz to bring the concerns you and Greenpeace have for the Congo forests directly to the people who can make a direct and immediate impact.
    We also have an email action you can do to add your voice to the thousands who have already emailed the World Bank calling on them to protect the Congo rainforest.
    In other parts of the world we have also been working to stop industrial logging in the last intact forests. Last year we released the most comprehensive global map of the last intact forests ever produced. This map highlighted how much of the world's original forest has been destroyed and how much we have left. The maps are an invaluable resource that is being used around the world in the fight for intact forest protection.
    See the intact forest maps
    As our global intact forests map shows, we have precious little of the world's original forest left and they shouldn't be industrially logged or converted to plantations or agriculture.
    We are also working with other environment organisations around the world to ensure that certification schemes like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the most credible certification organisation around today, does not certify logging in large intact forest areas in the DRC.
    Thanks again for emailing us and for being part of the growing number of people around the world fighting for the forests. By combining our efforts, we can stop industrial logging in the Congo's intact ancient forests.
    –note–
    You received this email after you emailed Greenpeace about the Congo rainforest. If you don't already receive the free Greenpeace ezine with things you can do to help protect ancient forests, defend the oceans and create a clean energy revolution, you can sign-up here.
    To no longer receive email from this list send a blank email to mailto:unsub-vvtkcjfbabbfjj@email.greenpeace.org
    OR send a postal mail to:
    Ottho Heldringstraat 5
    1066 AZ Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    RESPONSE: Dear Greenpeace Forest Campaigners,
    This is a very disappointing response that does not substantively respond to EcoInternet's network of grassroots forest conservationists that are outraged by your supported for “sustainable, certified” logging of ancient forests. You inaccurately downplay Greenpeace's support of FSC, and misrepresent your public statements to this point on Congo rainforest conservation. Could you please direct me to public statements made that Greenpeace's position is to “protect the Congo forests from industrial logging and have been campaigning to make sure it happens as soon as possible”. Regardless, this is far short of working to end ancient forests, your uncritical support of FSC and “sustainable” logging undermines such efforts to limit industrial logging, and this statement simply goes against your public position such as the following:
    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/forests/africa/the-solution
    “The moratorium should be lifted only once a comprehensive and participatory zoning plan defining types of land use is established, effective governance in the forest sector is guaranteed, the legal framework completed, and classified forests identified. The new DRC Forestry Code requires that protected forests represent at least 15 percent of the national territory (as opposed to 7.7 percent at present). Identification of these areas must begin rapidly.”
    The point is you are for yet another DRC moratorium after the failure of the current one, and have made no public pronouncements that Greenpeace's forest conservation campaign seeks to end ancient rainforest logging anywhere. Greenpeace sits as the head of FSC's board of directors which facilitates and legitimizing the ancient rainforest logging industry. You are not going to distance yourself from years of apologizing for ancient rainforest logging in DRC, B.C. Canada, nor the Amazon; with fluffy responses like this.
    Answer the question: on what basis do you support FSC and certified, sustainable logging of ancient forests (something you have not denied, indeed confirm below)?
    Until this policy changes we will aggressively be campaigning for Greenpeace members to cancel their memberships. Soon we will be highlighting failed certifications you have supported, launching a dedicated web site and more. I know it is hard to admit you are wrong — but how about saving face and acknowledging now rather than later that in light of two decades of failed ancient forest certification and abrupt climate change, Greenpeace now disassociates itself from FSC and “sustainable” logging in order to find mechanisms such as payments for avoided deforestation to save the Earth's rainforests and climate.
    Stop trying to avoid embarrassment and cover your arses, and advocate for what is required for global ecological sustainability. This is what people expect from Greenpeace and which they are finding is dreadfully lacking in your ancient forest logging apologist campaign. The response has been huge and full of outrage. You can not win this debate.
    With concern and hopes for a change,
    Dr. Glen Barry

  14. Valerie says:

    WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO ASSOCIATE YOURSELVES WITH FSC? SO LONG AS THEY HAVE YOU, WWF, & FOE BACKING THEM, WE'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO PROTECT FORESTS!!

  15. Norma says:

    It's difficult to accept your commentary given the clear intention at its outset, of the World Bank to enable the capitalists to own and profit from Earth's resources.
    It sounds as though WWF and Greenpeace are seeking to mediate capitalism's/imperialism's attacks on Earth. This effort is always a failed option, having become more evident this last quarter century to us, most of whom have been carefully shielded from information via our schools, media and governments.
    Clearly, a human-handled forest like other human interferences on Earth is suspect and almost inevitably deleterious given profit's influence. Any organization that is not supporting socialist – sustainable – control of the means of production including the resources – Earth and labor – is therefore questionable.
    Thank you.
    Norma

  16. stephen Copley says:

    I see in the Guardian newspaper that Greenpeace are advertising for a new Excecutive Director in the UK – salary circa

  17. Steve Gorzula says:

    Dear Glen,
    Well done, but I expect that you are already aware that you are making a lot of enemies by taking on the giants!
    Best wishes,
    Steve Gorzula
    RESPONSE: Thanks Steve, I am aware of the risks of speaking truth and am prepared for the consequences.
    Regards,
    Glen

  18. Im a logger and have been for 40 years. I care a lot about our environment. Im at ground level, I dont have aloof thoughts of saving the world. But on a day to day basis I do try to conserve it. It really irks me that people who pollute the world more than I ever possibly could are so quick to point fingers. I read that one of the so called green hollywood set flies to events in helicopters. Talk about double talk! Loggers in America are simply farmers, we log and replant for the next crop. I dont believe in over logging, and I dont believe in destroying watersheds. I do beleive in conservation and there has to be a middle ground. Im sure you all live in wooden houses and use wood products on an every day basis. So I ask you to support logging on an environmentally friendly basis.

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