RELEASE: Ancient Forest Logging is deRANged
Rainforest Action Network, and Cambodia and DRC, feel the heat of intensifying campaign to end all ancient forest destruction
By Earth's Newsdesk, a project of EcoInternet
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, email@example.com
(Earth) — Last week forest defenders from the New York Climate Action Group (NYCAG) rallied at New York's Bluestocking Bookstore to denounce the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) for their support of industrial logging of primary forests. RAN is the focus of a global campaign to end ancient forest logging, starting with getting the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), of which they are a founding and leading member, to stop falsely certifying first time industrial primary forest logging as being environmentally beneficial.
When questioned, Mike Brune, RAN's Executive Director, stated again that RAN does not support industrial logging of old growth forests, but does support FSC. This transparent doublespeak was met by laughter from the audience. Due to EcoInternet's campaign, forest conservationists are increasingly aware FSC's existence depends upon ancient forest logging. Further protest actions are expected, and the email protest continues.
Some progress has been made, as RAN recently stated in their blog that they “have begun undertaking a strategic review of the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC's) benefits and costs…” and whether “…RAN can continue supporting the FSC.” However, no firm, time-bound commitments were made. The campaign continues until RAN makes written promises to use their FSC membership to get FSC to stop certifying old-growth, and if this fails, to resign from the organization.
This impasse comes as a new study finds forest loss costs some $2-5 trillion a year in terms of lost services provided by healthy ecosystems, many times the cost of the current financial crisis. The benefits to be realized by a few, including RAN and FSC in terms of undeserved goodwill, from cutting down ancient forests are no match for the long term ecosystem services that are gone forever.
EcoInternet's President, Dr. Glen Barry, notes “RAN has wasted over a year ignoring our concerns, and now they bury in a short blog entry their intention to review FSC. Meanwhile FSC continues with plans to certify hundreds of millions of hectares of new ancient forest logging. Failure to end this matter now and make explicit commitments will show RAN is more concerned with throwing lavish parties and Amazon cruises, than quickly ending FSC's enabling of ancient forest logging.”
“It is simply unacceptable that an organization called the RAINFOREST Action Network is greenwashing the ongoing destruction of hundreds of millions of hectares of ancient forests. For shared survival, our environmental movement must unite behind a simple message: END ANCIENT FOREST LOGGING. Campaigning for anything less than what is necessary is inadequate and dangerous greenwash and will be confronted.”
EI's campaigns have recently achieved two other tentative victories. The DR of Congo has canceled two-thirds of its timber logging contracts after a World Bank review. Cambodia's plans to destroy rainforests with the Stung Cheay Areng Dam are reported to have been quietly shelved. EI's Earth Action Network has tirelessly led protests on both matters, and it shows what can be achieved in terms of preventing old growth logging.
EcoInternet calls upon all organizations including governments, companies and most particularly NGOs — starting with RAN and FSC — to stop their support for ancient forest logging to address converging global climate, biodiversity and economic crises. Failure to do so will lead to intensifying protest including targeting these organizations' funders.
Dr. Glen Barry is a global spokesperson on behalf of environmental sustainability policy. EcoInternet provides the world's leading climate and rainforest portals at http://www.climateark.org/ and http://www.rainforestportal.org/. Dr. Barry frequently conducts interviews on the latest climate, forest and water policy developments and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.