Greenpeace Reaffirms Support for Ancient Forest Logging

Cursory review of FSC's controversial certifications completely fails to question false premise that primary and old-growth forest logging is ever “well-managed”, instead calling for better training manuals for ancient forest destruction

By Earth's Newsdesk, a project of EcoInternet
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry,
FSC logging destroys ancient forests(Seattle, WA) — Today Greenpeace International released a report entitled “Holding the Line with FSC“[1] which reaffirms Greenpeace's unflinching support for the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC) [search] past and on-ongoing industrial first-time logging of hundreds of millions of hectares of primary and old-growth forests. Greenpeace and other “forest protection” groups like the Rainforest Action Network and WWF continue to provide crucial greenwash for the false premise that ancient forest logging [search] is desirable and can ever be considered “well-managed”.
Greenpeace was the target of a series of protests in 2007 led by EcoInternet, as Greenpeace held FSC's international chairmanship, regarding their continued support for ancient forest logging given widespread irregularities. At that time they agreed to review problematic FSC certifications, and to respond to criticism regarding FSC's dependence upon ancient forest logging. Their new report fails miserably on both counts.

“Greenpeace today released a one page report, with no mention by name of any specific failed FSC certification (of which there are many); and a 12 page, 80 item laundry list of bureaucratic measures to try, yet again, to make acceptable destroying millions of year old primeval forests for throw away consumer products,” notes Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet's President.
“The review's only reference to primary forests is that better training manuals are needed for their destruction[2]. All primary forests are of high conservation value, and it is pathetic and tragic that Greenpeace continues to greenwash ancient forest logging.”
In light of abrupt climate change and emerging science further highlighting the importance of primary and old-growth forests, the report continues Greenpeace's obstinate and undemocratic stonewalling of any meaningful self-reflection or discussion of embracing a campaign to end industrial ancient forest logging as a keystone response to the biodiversity and climate crises. RAN has also promised to review their FSC support, and is cautioned to avoid continued greenwash of the sort demonstrated by Greenpeace.
“As the world is faced with spiraling abrupt climate change and ecosystem collapse, Greenpeace and friends have failed the biosphere. The mainstream environmental movement has shown themselves to be unfit and unable to pursue the full range of ecologically sufficient policies — including working to end ancient forest logging — to achieve global ecological sustainability. If you support Greenpeace, RAN or WWF — you might as well be holding the chainsaw cutting down ancient forests to make your lawn furniture,” concludes Dr. Glen Barry.
[2] From the poor quality data FSC provides to the public, EcoInternet estimates that 60% of FSC's timber comes from ancient forests. Yet the only mention of this issue in Greenpeace's review is a cursory mention on page 7, that “FSC should produce guidance materials and training in relation to auditing, managing and planning for… HCVF” (High Conservation Value Forests).
Dr. Glen Barry is a global spokesperson on behalf of environmental sustainability policy. EcoInternet provides the world's leading climate and environment portals at and . Dr. Barry frequently conducts interviews on the latest climate, forest and water policy developments and can be reached at:
Note EcoInternet's NEW address:
Dr. Glen Barry
EcoInternet, Inc.
PO Box 9704
Seattle, WA 98109

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24 Responses

  1. Jan Diek van Mansvelt says:

    What exactly is Greenpaece's benefit for supporting FSC? What do they get that way?

  2. Mr David Clayden says:

    Sorry GreenPeace, I always thought you were on the side of the natural world and to hear what I have, just recently from ecological internet, I am very sad and will in future think twice about seeing you as a front runner in the fight for the good.
    I pray that you will re consider with your relationship with fsc and take seriously the findings of ecological internet.

  3. Allen Holman says:

    Dear Glen,
    Keep up the good work! Thank you for opening our eyes to the destructive
    green wash that is trying to drown the truth.
    There are thousands here in Ireland who are also fighting by your side, for
    the future generations.
    Best regards,
    Allen Holman

  4. Stephen says:

    can you put on your site a template letter for people to send to and object to Greenpeace's stance and support for FSC. Perhaps the same template could be used to tell WWF, RAN (and others) how badly they have got it wrong.
    I for one no longer support Greenpeace or WWF for these very reasons.
    Stephen (UK)

  5. Mark and Denise says:

    Hi Glen,
    Fantastic work on this exposing the greenwash of the so-called environmental groups. Surely there is no way to log an ancient forest as the ecosystem will break down and therefore the forest will cease to function – hasn't GP said this about the palm oil plantations in Indonesia?
    We received some info from the UK Independence Party which showed a number of charities including FoE, WWF, Amnesty, Oxfam etc receiving funding from the EU which kind of goes against the purpose of an NGO ! Snce we read that info, we have dropped off a number of environmental group websites
    and stopped paying cash (through monthly pay) to FoE. Our position on these groups is when something positive is proposed, they pour scorn on it and
    why, because if an environmental tragedy was averted and saved, they wouldn't get the donations. Sad really when those that are trying to protect
    the environment, are happy to keep it in peril and so they become the corporate they vehemently oppose!
    Kind regards,
    Mark Naughton & Denise Tansley

  6. Udi Lazimy says:

    Hi Glen,
    Thanks for this important information. I don't know if you remember, but I was one of your interns briefly at UW. Thanks for all the good work on this site. I currently live in Seattle and am working as a Regional Policy Project manager for a regional conservation org (cascade land conservancy). Hope all is well!

  7. Howard de Morgan says:

    Hello Glen,
    This news doesn't surprise me. I stopped supporting Greenpeace a long time ago when I realised they had compromised their original ideals in order to pander to their corporate benefactors.
    Through naivity (or arrogance?) Greenpeace thought that by joining forces with multi-national industries they would succeed in changing industry from within.
    Instead, they have Greenwashed the most powerful and destructive industries on Earth. This is a betrayal of the Green movement as a whole – a betrayal of humanity and the planet that sustains all life.
    Howard de Morgan

  8. Aubrey says:

    Dear Glen
    I think Greenpeace is more concerned with eye-catching publicity.

  9. FSC-Watch says:

    EI is right to identify what a cop-out this is.
    More information on this here:

  10. Dr. Rick Zammuto says:

    Dear Glenn,
    GREENPEACE should rename themselves GREENWASH,since it is scientifically absurd to promote ANY logging of Ancient Forests.

  11. Steve Shaw says:

    Dear Glen
    I am a supporter of Greenpeace and WWF and also an environmental campaigner in the UK – I recently worked for Friends of the Earth. I am interested in your case. Please send me evidence of your claim that FSC causes industrial first-time logging of hundreds of millions of hectares of primary and old-growth forests.
    Steve Shaw

  12. Dr. Glen Barry says:

    Dear Stephen,
    To date FSC has certified just over 100 million hectares of forest in total, and their business plan calls for adding shortly an additional 200 million in coming years. We estimate that 60% of this past, current and planned certification by FSC will occur in primary and old-growth forests. This is based upon an analysis of very generalized data provided by FSC, “Global FSC certificates: type and distribution” information., accessible here:
    We followed a simple methodology for our assessment. You will note forests are classified as natural, semi-natural and plantations. There is no explicit breakdown by primary/old-growth. The 60% figure is arrived at by going country to country and making assumptions about the likely sourcing of the natural forests category. For example, rainforest countries which have little history of repeat management of a given forest for multiple harvests, their certified natural forests would be mostly primary. This is true throughout the topics where very few areas have yet had multiple harvests. Similar cases can be made for Russia and Canada where large amounts of primary forests are being logged. These are area figures, and the fact that tropical rainforests have higher timber volumes would further skew the % of timber coming from ancient forests.
    EcoInternet stands by our 60% estimate of the amount of FSC timber coming from primary and ancient forests. This means some 60 million hectares of primary forests have been industrially logged for the first time and given a green seal of approval, and that another 120 million hectares are threatened now. Note also, given market trends and the state of global forests these new certificates are going to have to increasingly rely even more upon primary forests — there just are not enough selectively managed forests to meet the market demand (this is a critical point to ponder). If FSC is allowed to continue its expansion, just under 200 million hectares will have been destroyed.
    If in fact the figure ends up being 45% or some other figure, it will be small comfort that instead of 180 million hectares, “only” 135 million hectares of old growth was greeenwashed by Greenpeace, WWF, RAN and others. Regardless of whether 35% or 80% of FSC's timber comes from ancient forests, it is certainly much higher in primary rainforests, and to be increasing to meet growing demand for “green” timber. My intuition is that it is towards the high end.
    This is admittedly a back of envelope assessment, but it is the best that can be done given the way FSC releases their data, their and environmental group friends' stonewalling of our information requests, and limited resources making visiting each certification unfeasible. If you know of any more definitive source of data we would be very pleased to see it. FSC for years has gotten a pass on their certification of ancient forest logging, and their data and statistics on certification reflect an effort to hide the dependency upon such logging. I would think that NGOs that are members of FSC and their campaigners would have tried long ago to access more detailed information. Prove me wrong.
    Dr. Glen Barry

  13. Maureen says:

    the only explanation is that Greenpeace has been infiltrated by business? what else explains this?

  14. S.Marie Therese Coleman says:

    Thank you for this valuable information. Our Community of the Sisters of the Presentation (PBVM) work on the enviornment under CARBON FOOTPRINTS. Greenpeace seems to work along with our goals.
    S.Marie Therese Coleman

  15. NY says:

    Thanks fr your good efforts.
    I know RAN is re-evaluating their supportfor the Forest Stewardhsip Council, but greenpeace just reaffirmed their support for it. Se below. Hard to work with them, given such a strange position of forest destruction.please pass this info on to your official greenpeace contacts with a note that activists are very troubled and reconsider partnering with GP in light of this terrible news.

  16. Yvon Princen says:

    I have just returned from 7 weeks in Indonesia and experienced that even creating not more than a road through premieval forest is enought to start the destruction. This give illegal loggers,replaced farmers and firewood gatherers free way they otherwise don't have. FSC can not be possible without creating many roads in to the forest, every road will become a road of continuous destruction long after the FSC-logging has defenitively stopped. Maybe the worst example in the world is the (in “respect” with environment set up”) PICOP logging exploitation in the Phillipines.

  17. D Hamm says:

    Let's get a letter to these people!! Greenpeace has become so monolithic it can't see it's own mandate clearly any more…..they have become big business.

  18. Bento says:

    Strangely, volume II of the Greenpeace report claims no formal complaints have been made against PT Sumalindo Lestari Jaya. Anybody who bothers to surf the internet will find several complaints lodged with the certifier (SmartWood Programme) in 2005, 2006 and 2008. FPP even claims the company is illegal. Are these complaints not reported to FSC, or are they hiding behind technicalities? If there have been no complaints, why is the certificate considered 'controversial' by Greenpeace?

  19. A Barnacle says:

    Who can we write to in Greenpeace that might acknowledge receiving a query? Has anyone there acknowledged the independent criticism they receive from EI. After all, they were once stalwart defenders of freedom of information and independent criticism. They should embrace it whole heartedly and respond – despite their inevitable embarrassment! Great work EI.

  20. Rita says:

    The article is a good example of global warming. I noticed another similar one that talks about reaching the danger zone due to global warming

  21. Colin Guest says:

    I am amazed that an organisation (one that I belong to) can possible support cutting down ancient forests which are causing not only climate change, but are destroying the natural enviroment so necessary to support all kinds of wilflife. I shall be contacting Greenpeace re this issue and will be very interested in their reply.

  22. GreenCare says:

    The Blog Environmentalist of Solution for climate change.

  23. Starbird says:

    ACK! F#$%^&*G twits… never EVER give money to them again. EVER.

  24. Kevin Target says:

    As a Pathetic lone voice in favour of a planet which is not bereft of most living organisms, can I ask your organization to live up to your original credentials. Logging, ANY logging in any primary OLD GROWTH forests is tantamount to a simple death wish for life in most forms on the planet. It can't be justified for Paper

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