Rainforest Protection Issues

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May 13, 2011

RELEASE/ALERT: Time to Boycott Rainforest Action Network for Its Primary Rainforest Logging

By Earth's Newsdesk, a project of Ecological Internet
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

FSC is NOT rainforest safe

Ecological Internet calls for America’s largest and wealthiest rainforest protection organization to resign from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) [search] and finally end their shameful greenwash of primary forest logging [search]. Until their enabling of the final industrial destruction of global rainforests stops, and RAN resigns from FSC, Ecological Internet calls for an immediate boycott of Rainforest Action Network. If you love rainforests, you really must take action on this one and call-out the rainforest logging greenwash apologists so that together we can move to protect and restore old forests.

Demand RAN resign from FSC primary forest logging
- ask RAN about their FSC primary logging support on their Facebook page please

ALERT! Tell Old Forest Loggers and Apologists to End Primary Rainforest Logging
- note there are two respectful protest emails, including one to RAN

For three years Ecological Internet has fearlessly and at great expense worked to get the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Greenpeace and other forest protection organizations to stop supporting primary forest logging to save the Earth. These groups support the Forest Stewardship Council’s [search] (FSC) certification of industrial first time logging of 500 year old trees in millions of year old primary forest as “well-managed” – while implying sustainability – for throw away consumer products like toilet paper, paper and lawn furniture. What makes these groups so special that their own practices in regard to rainforest protection are above protest?

“Emergent ecological science indicates Earth has lost more intact terrestrial ecosystems including primary forests than are necessary to maintain a workable biosphere long-term. And the protection and restoration of old forests – starting by ending industrial primary forest logging – is a keystone response to climate, biodiversity, water and abject poverty crises,” explains Dr. Glen Barry. “For purportedly well meaning rainforest activists to block this message, while promoting primary forest logging without most of their members’ knowledge, is rainforest movement corruption and will not be tolerated any longer. Ignorance of the role FSC plays in greenwashing its own and other ‘sustainable forest management’ of millions of year old, pristine ecosystems is not a defense.”

RAN in particular continues their rainforest greenwash; refusing to resign from FSC or even to respond in depth to the campaign. RAN’s response to date has been to vilify, censor and refuse to acknowledge its critics. On the few times they have replied, they have dismissed the campaign as a “personal attack” by Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet’s President; and even go so far as to claim his political ecological writings call for assassination and violence. And like the World Bank, their only substantive response has been “we all need resources.”

And frankly, we have been shocked by the stonewalling and personal vilification when responses were made. Today RAN’s social media coordinator Jenn Breckenridge tauntingly replied to our latest protests “You are not helping the rainforests of the world one bit by doing this. Not one bit. It is honestly really sad to watch and I feel for you. Please go to therapy. I'm serious Glen. Do it for the forests.” Character assassination when faced with a legitimate campaign against RAN"s complicity in major rainforest destruction is most unbecoming.

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Ecological Internet’s campaign has little to do with Dr. Glen Barry’s personal life. RAN (and Greenpeace) co-founded FSC in the 1990s and are long-time staunch members. EI estimates some 120 million hectares of primary forests – an area two times the size of Texas and about 60% of FSC’s timber – have been logged for the first time or are threatened by first time industrial logging with FSC certification and RAN’s support. This is an area two times the size of Texas. Getting major forest protection organizations like RAN and Greenpeace to resign from FSC is a necessary first step before – together – we can campaign to end primary forest logging as a keystone response to global ecological sustainability.

For three years Ecological Internet’s campaign with tens of thousands of people from virtually every country has asked RAN: How does logging 500 year old trees in millions of years old protect them? Do you deny an area of rainforests two times the size of Texas is being destroyed by FSC? Do you deny founding and being a member of FSC which depends upon primary forest logging, largely for consumer items like toilet paper and lawn furniture? How did RAN's promised efforts to reform FSC earlier this year, which you heralded as reason to continue membership, pan out? RAN does the rainforest movement a grave disserv for refusing to engage with these concerns.

“For RAN to falsely denigrate campaigns to end primary rainforest logging while supporting their destruction is rainforest corruption, and it is clear those doing so will have to be boycotted until they stop. In my writings I have called for escalating revolutionary tactics to be CONSIDERED. There is a big difference and that is why I am not in jail, but that is not the issue. Tens of thousands of forest conservationists have asked numerous times: What in the hell is the RAINFOREST Action Network doing logging primary forests? RAN has promised twice to review their policy, and to work to get FSC out of primary forest logging. “Mr. Big” even said when he was protested at RAN’s second 25th anniversary celebration that he would ensure this was done. But nothing happens after the promises,” concludes Dr. Barry.