“Forest Liars” Campaign Launches

FSC loggingPRESS RELEASE
Naming Names to End Ancient Forest Logging.
(Earth) – EcoInternet's campaign to end ancient forest logging as a keystone response to the climate change and biodiversity crises intensified this past week. Over one thousand people from 57 countries sent protest emails to staff members of large environmental groups, protesting their fiction that killing centuries old trees in ancient forests is environmentally sound and well-managed forestry. The alert remains current and can still be sent.
Greenpeace, WWF, Rainforest Action Network, NRDC, Forest Ethics, Friends of the Earth and Rainforest Alliance were called upon to immediately end their support for the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC) greenwashing of first time logging of primary and old-growth forests — or face continuing protest. The protest contained detailed ecological analysis debunking claims that logging ancient rainforests has environmental merit.


FSC issues “certifications” that allegedly show ancient forest logging is “well-managed”, legitimizing the destruction forever, by themselves and others, of hundreds of millions of hectares of primary rainforest. At least sixty percent of FSC timbers come from first time industrial logging of ancient forests, and their current market demand and planned growth depends upon it. Claims that FSC certified old-growth logging protects biodiversity and ecosystems have increasingly been called into question by new ecological science, lax certifying organizations' conflicts of interest and a litany of questionable certifications.
Outrageously now the “Forests Liars” — FSC with the endorsement of member NGOs — claim certified logging of primary forests has carbon benefits and deserves to be compensated in the carbon market. Despite no mention of carbon balances in FSC rules, logging companies and carbon offset projects are claiming FSC certification makes them “carbon positive”.
“After nearly a decade of protesting leading environmental organizations' greenwashing of continued old-growth logging, and being resoundingly ignored, we have no choice but to pursue more aggressive protest options. To date we have received no substantive rebuttal to our critique that there is no such thing as ecologically sustainable ancient forest logging; that FSC destroys biodiversity, ecosystems and the climate, and by its very existence legitimizes continued industrial development of ancient rainforests. They should know better and admit they are wrong rather than resorting to spin and vilification [1], ” says EcoInternet President Dr. Glen Barry.
“No one is ever very happy to be protested against, particularly when the morality of their livelihoods is questioned and there is minor disruption of daily routines [2]. Those receiving protests are staff members of organizations greenwashing the logging of ancient forests, falsely claiming it protects biodiversity and the climate. EcoInternet's network will continue speaking ecological truth to power. The loss of large, intact natural habitats including primary rainforests is the main reason the biosphere is failing, and those apologists causing the loss will not go unchallenged.”
###ENDS###
1.) Friends of the Earth International sent a strongly worded response to protesters saying they “oppose all allegation made” and are not FSC supporters. The alert text and protest email correctly referred to the Friends of the Earth movement and nowhere was FOE-International named. They did confirm that many Friends of the Earth national groups are FSC members.
A disgruntled Rainforest Action Network employee questioned the targeting of staff members in organizations supporting FSC that do not directly work on the matter, and dismissed the alert as an attempt to create controversy. One would presume all employees of the RAINFOREST Action Network care about the fate of ancient rainforests (although perhaps not, given their absence on most current rainforest issues). All employees working for ancient forest logging apologists are fair target for protest.
2.) All EcoInternet protest network participants should remember when assessing ad hominem responses that for many years these organizations have been telling their members and the public that 'FSC is the answer to the world's forest problems'. It is exceedingly difficult for them to admit they are wrong and move on to forest policies that work to end industrial forest logging and support local development based upon standing forests. They are wrong and know it, but are proud and more concerned with maintaining their environmental bureaucracies than the truth.
Stop the Forest Liars: “Certified” Old-Growth Rainforest Logging Does NOT Protect Biodiversity, Ecosystems or Climate
By EcoInternet, Inc.
http://www.rainforestportal.org/ and http://www.climateark.org/
Contact: Dr. Glen Barry, + 1 920 776 1075, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

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21 Responses

  1. Al Mastantuono says:

    *What you are writing does not make a scintilla of sense. I cannot imagine the environmental organizations you refer to, even for one nano second, agreeing that destroying these irreplaceable trees would be acceptable!

  2. Dr. Glen Barry says:

    I share your shock and amazement, but sadly Greenpeace, WWF, Rainforest Action Network, NRDC, Forest Ethics, Friends of the Earth and Rainforest Alliance all are members, founders and/or supporters of FSC which certifies ancient forest logging as being environmentally acceptable. Any Google search on FSC and these orgs will reveal this to be true. Together they have crafted this amazing marketing strategy that in essence suggests killing centuries old trees found in ancient forests is good for biodiversity and now even climate. They are so deeply involved in the charade that only a spirited effort to unveil the hypocrisy can possibly bring them to their senses. I constantly am met with disbelief of the sort you just expressed, so clearly there is the need for an open, informed debate on whether industrially logging ancient forests is the best we can do.

  3. Tristan Mules says:

    Its true, I sent my own protest emails to Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace oceania, wilderness society. TWS said they were “in the process of reviewing their stance”. No reply from ACF. Greenpeace were just defensive and i received no reply from their forest campaigner despite assurances my email was being passed on… too busy saving the whales, eh?

  4. Tristan Mules says:

    Anyone interested should check out fsc-watch.org for substantial evidence.

  5. It appears to me that an old saying applies in our time more than ever before: Money is the root of all evil.
    Logging is all about money.
    Are we capable of nothing more than making money, whatever the cost? Has our predominant occupation with wealth accumulation reached the point of idolatry?
    Has the political ideology of economic globalization poisoned the minds of the family of humanity in the way CO2 emissions have polluted Earth's atmosphere? If so, could these ideological and physical pollutants become lethal?
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001

  6. megan mills says:

    It is easier to believe the lie – that is somehow more convenient. Compromise and we all feel better and we can all go home now. Thank you for not letting go of this and for keeping it alive.
    megan mills
    providence RI

  7. Susanne Hare says:

    thank you Glen for your honesty, and thank you for seeing through the insanity, this FSC thing is failing us… being used to market old growth forest makes it a complete farce! For all our relations, Susanne Hare
    From: councilfire@hotmail.com
    To: dlrubin@telus.net
    Subject: RE: [Forest/P&W] Fw: PRESS RELEASE: “Forest Liars” Campaign Launches
    Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2008 02:20:33 +0000
    I have just come from a Forestry meeting in Tofino regarding the logging company plans for Clayoquot, two companies: Triumph Logging (Campbell River)have paired with Ecotrust to form Iisaak and Coulson logging out of Pt. Alberni have paired with Mamook to form Mamook-Coulson (from Pt. Alberni) have all joined forces to log old growth in Clayoquot Sound, they say they will take 40-50 % of what's left this year, and next year they will need to go into the pristine areas to stay profitable. They are road building and building helicopter landing pads in many areas. They are logging only old growth forests, “trying not to high grade” but it is still a prescription for blowdown. Glen Barry is right, FSC is a lie and these people are going at it with business as usual and their only motive is $. FSC makes these ancient forests here very profitable and everything is losing here. If people don't wake up soon, it will be over and there won't be any point in having a forest caucus or environmental movement. At some point it all reaches a tipping point and it sure looks like that has passed, as no one has quite grasped the seriousness of the situation and that we cannot rationalize this game plan any longer. Plummeting wild salmon stocks, extreme weather systems and global warming, climate change, loss of water supplies, etc. are just some of the indicators that this is the wrong way to do things. Coulson is seeking FSC certification in order to market their old growth from here and Iisaak has it, one only questions how on earth that is feasible. But it is like “sustainable development”, give something a doorway and it will make the most of it. So it is good bye Clayoquot and old growth forests everywhere and so much for all the life that goes with it as this is really about all that remains on Vancouver Island and there is so little left here it is almost totally despairing while the logging companies move in here big time for commercial industrial logging once again. I don't think I can go to jail again for this insanity. Others must say “NO” too. For All Our Relations, Susanne Hare

  8. R.Senanayake says:

    Dear FoE,
    Thanks you for your response. I appreciate your statement that “We (FoE)
    are opposed to destructive and illegal industrial logging and the conversion
    of forests” but then you go on to state that :
    “National Friends of the
    > > Earth (FoE) groups are autonomous in their campaigning and policy
    > > decisions. As such their involvement in FSC varies widely. Some FoE
    > > groups are members and support FSC as a credible global certification
    > > system for responsible forest management, making use of its three
    > > chamber structure. This structure gives both social and environmental
    > > organisations formal rights and responsibilities and FoE groups focus on
    > > certification of smallholders and community forests.”
    If I read the above it would seem to suggest the FoE as an international
    organization, does not have a clear stand on the conservation of old growth
    forest and leave the question of felling or not felling to the various FoE
    groups worldwide. Am I correct in this assumption ? If you do have a clear
    stand on the felling of old growth and the claim that selective felling of
    old growth is good for Carbon sequestration, I would be very pleased to have
    a copy. If not should it not be an item for discussion, clarification and
    acceptance by your members as solid policy ? Otherwise what is the point of
    claiming concern, if the membership can go against it ?
    I have been an admirer and supporter of FoE for a long time and have many
    friends who are members, please reassure me that my concern is misplaced.
    With my very best wishes,
    R.Senanayake

  9. Oliver Tickell says:

    Dear Glen,
    If the alternative to FSC forestry was that the forest would get left alone,
    I would agree with you. However this is not how it is, at all. Mostly the
    alternative is the forest gets logged, burnt and turned into plantation or
    monoculture.
    Of these two I greatly prefer FSC certified forestry. Often it is the only
    hope for the long term survival of forests. It is a grievous error to let
    the best become the enemy of the good, and so let the truly bloody awful win
    the day.
    Having said that there is important work to be done holding the FSC and more
    particularly its accredited certifiers to the high standards it claims, but
    may not always uphold with the necessary diligence.
    But this all-out anti-FSC offensive is way off beam. Mostly your campaigns
    are spot on – but not in this instance. I'm sure you can find a better
    campaign than this to devote your efforts to.
    Regards,
    Oliver Tickell

  10. Rick Zeamer says:

    Glen, I appreciate your campaign it is one of the most important one can engage in. Old growth forests are of central value to the living world. I know of the betrayal effected by organizations I used to support. Do you know what happened to the Sioux trained Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd? I doubt he degenerated or sold out. Rick

  11. Oliver Shykles says:

    Good on you for highlighting the co-option of environmental groups supporting the FSC sham!

  12. Phil Butler says:

    Dear Glen,
    I supported the campaign last time but I've recently read EO Wilson, the well-known champion of the conservation of old growth forest and its' biodiversity. His view, certainly in the late 1990s, was that a fully sustainable form of logging was possible. It could be loosely described as contour logging in thin strips progressively up-slope, over timescales allowing the seed bank in the soil plus recent seed fall to regenerate the full diverse forest structure whilst retaining the complete ecosystem in situ. I haven't yet been able to check if he still advocates this specific form of forestry and whether it is the system advocated by NGO supporters of FSC. I need to know this background and specific reasoned rebuttal before I can support the current campaign. Can you assist please? Best regards Phil Butler

  13. If unbridled logging, unrestrained strip mining and rapid depletion of oil reserves, among many other forms of economic exploitation of the Earth, are presenting global ecological challenges to humanity, and if these threats to human and environmental health are as pernicious as the best available scientific evidence indicates, then is the family of humanity not well-advised to begin widely sharing in open discussions in the mass media, not just in blogs like this one, what is to be done in order to avoid whatsoever is unmanageable, while managing and mitigating everything else?

  14. Tristan Mules says:

    Hi Oliver
    I beg to differ on your stance re: FSC. They are the worst kind of perpetrator as they claim to be what they are not and are giving people all over the world warm fuzzies when actually they and their subsidiaries like smartwood are certfying old-growth clear-felling. Mediocrity and lip-service achieves nothing. Scrap FSC so we can get a decent sustainable forestry system in its place. Leave primary habitat intact… no logging whatsoever! http://www.fsc-watch.org

  15. FSC Watch says:

    “Forest liars” campaign launched against environmental groups supporting FSC

    Recently, Glen Barry of the EcoInternet, launched an email action against organisations that support FSC. “Greenpeace, WWF, Rainforest Action Network, NRDC, Forest Ethics, Friends of the Earth a…

  16. FSC and Friends of the Earth England Wales and Northern Ireland says:

    Dear Friend,
    Thank you for contacting Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland (EWNI) regarding your concerns about the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) timber certification scheme.
    FOE EWNI is a member of the FSC. We recognise the FSC as the timber certification scheme with the best environmental standard in the world. We also appreciate that the majority of the FSC's timber certifications are not controversial and have improved forestry standards in many countries, including the United Kingdom.
    However, FOE EWNI is deeply concerned by the number of FSC certifications that are now sparking controversy and threatening the credibility of the scheme.
    FOE EWNI will not stand by any certification scheme that fails to guarantee high environmental and social standards. As a result we will no longer recommend the FSC standard and are now reviewing our membership of the FSC.
    Best Wishes,
    Friends of the Earth Supporter Information Team.

  17. Paloma Agrasot says:

    Dear Glen,
    You must no be proud of this way of doing, blocking the e-mails of staff members who have nothing to do with FSC and forest work is completely stupid and useless. You should check your target and act as adults.
    Enough is enoush. Please stop this mascarade
    Yours
    Paloma Agrasot
    WWF-EPO

  18. Ranil says:

    The profession of 'Forestry' arose with the Magana Carta of King John. Monoculture forestry was begun in Germany before Elizabeth. The gnarled forests of Europe arose as a consequence of the
    commoners removing the straight boled trees and leaving the gnarly ones
    behind. (see paper attached). Old growth in today's context refers to
    tropical, Australian,Canadian, Russian or South American temperate forests
    whose contribution to Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) is prodigious (among
    other things). The ban on the felling of old growth must be universal and
    worldwide . All arguments on biodiversity, carbon, climate change or local
    needs will justify such a ban.

  19. Aina Seering says:

    Dear Glen,
    Thanks for this – we have been shouting for years on this greenwashing, but it seems one has to get really massive until at least some response comes from them. But now, how about the widely used “label” – how will “Mama Luka” as we call the average consumer over here, get to know this?
    Best regards
    Aina Seering
    ECOTERRA Intl.

  20. Nigel Miles says:

    Glen,
    Thanks for the response. Unfortunately most global citizens will include FOE as one group and not understand the difference of being international nor a national group organisation.
    The important factor is to alter the mission philosophy of FSC constitution as to not permit any industrial logging in indigenous community regions of any forest system (not just tropical)….re. Pacific regions of Siberia too, Chile/Argentina/South Africa/Australasia etal, which will include any forest structures (if they now exist) where consumerist humans live and or have an effect.
    In certain areas of Europe and N. America the message is being broadcast.
    One piece of opinion when activating such broadcast do it with humour which gives a greater psychological feel of correctness to the rednecks (anywhere) who cannot understand until educated what the real arguments are about.
    Nigel

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    Greenpeace warns that industrial logging in Canada's boreal forests [ark] threatens to turn the country's vast northern forest into a source of global warming. Greenpeace-Canada diagnoses the problem — Boreal ancient forest logging causes climate chan…

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