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September 27, 2012

RAINFOREST ALERT! Tell Liberia: Industrial Primary Rainforest Logging is Corrupt, Ecocidal, and Must End

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

Having devastated the Penan of Malaysia's rainforests (ongoing and with continued protests) -- and those in Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Guyana as well -- Samling timber mafia now turns its eye to Liberia, West Africa TAKE ACTION!

New logging contracts have been issued across 40% of Liberia's primary rainforests [search] in only two years of resumed industrial logging. A full one quarter of Liberia’s total landmass – half of its best primary rainforests – were granted using secretive and illegal logging permits. Malaysian logging giant Samling, who has a long history of illegal logging from Cambodia to Guyana to Papua New Guinea, is a major beneficiary. Such major corruption – after years of logging fueled war, $30 million in international subsidies for "sustainable" rainforest logging, and a resumption of logging only since 2010 – shows clearly that Liberia's rainforest logging remains irredeemably corrupt and inevitably ecologically devastating. What if the $30 million invested in resuming "sustainable logging" had been used instead to find ways for local communities to benefit from standing old forests? For local peoples and the biosphere, it is time to ban primary forest logging in Liberia and globally.

June 20, 2012

ALERT! Tell Brazil Rio+20 Host: “The Future We Want” Is Not 60 Amazon Rainforest Destroying Dams

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

Amazon indigenous peoples and environmental activists recently breached the Belo Monte dam which is under constructionTAKE ACTION to protect the Amazon from industrial dam destruction with sustainable development based upon standing rainforests

Brazil’s government – host of the “Rio+20” UN Conference on Sustainable Development devoted to sustainable development and sustaining ecosystems – is planning to build 60 dams on tributaries to the Amazon -- including the controversial $11 billion Belo Monte project. Industrial destruction of intact primary rainforest ecosystems based upon ecocide and genocide is not “the future we want” – a motto of Rio+20. These plans for massive Amazon dam construction reveal Brazil’s meaningless rhetoric regarding environmental sustainability and sustainable development, as they hypocritically continue destroying key regional and global ecosystems. Brazil’s deceptive doublespeak regarding sustaining ecology must not be allowed to stand unchallenged during Rio+20. Stand with brave indigenous protestors who recently dismantled a portion of Belo Monte’s construction, as we call upon all Rio+20 delegates to demand Brazil cancel Belo Monte and other Amazon rainforest destroying dams, embracing instead a program of sustainable development based upon standing primary rainforests.

TAKE ACTION
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/sendsm.aspx?id=brazil_xingu

April 16, 2012

EARTH MEANDERS: The Great Rainforest Heist

How environmental groups gone bad greenwash logging Earth’s last primary old forests

Essay by Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet
Earth Meanders come from Earth's Newsdesk


How environmental groups gone bad greenwash logging Earth’s last primary old forestsSummary
Most major environmental NGOs - including Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network in particular - are deeply involved with efforts to "sustainably" industrially log Earth's last primary and old-growth forests. Through their membership in the Forest Stewardship Council, which is heavily dependent upon old forest logging to meet market demand, NGOs greenwash old-growth logging across hundreds of millions of acres, and the nascent Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program will finance a major expansion. As the science indicates (see Terrestrial Ecosystem Loss and Biosphere Collapse for exhaustive review), industrial primary and old-growth forest logging is never ecologically sustainable, and loss of old forests threatens local livelihoods, and local and global ecological sustainability. Old-growth forest logging will never end as long as environmental NGOs continue their greenwash.

The world’s pre-eminent environmental organizations, widely perceived as the leading advocates for rainforests and old growth, have for decades been actively promoting primary forest logging [search]. Groups like Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network (RAN), The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Environmental Defense Fund actively promote industrially logging Earth’s last old forests. Through their support of the existing “Forest Stewardship Council” (FSC), and/or planned compromised “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation” (REDD), they are at the forefront of destroying ancient forests for disposable consumer items – claiming it is “sustainable forest management” and “carbon forestry”.

Rainforest movement corruption is rampant as these big bureaucratic, corporatist NGOs conspire to log Earth's last primary rainforests and other old growth forests. Collectively the “NGO Old Forest Sell-Outs” are greenwashing FSC’s destruction of over 300,000,000 acres of old forests, destroying an area of primary rainforests and other old forests the size of South Africa (two times the size of Texas)! FSC and its members have built a massive market for continued business as usual industrially harvested primary forest timbers – with minor, cosmetic changes – certifying as acceptable murdering old forests and their life for consumption of products ranging from toilet paper to lawn furniture. Some 70% of FSC products contain primary forest timbers, and as little as 10% of any product must be from certified sources.

Continue reading "EARTH MEANDERS: The Great Rainforest Heist" »

April 1, 2012

ALERT! Indonesian Oil Palm Fires Threaten Important Orangutan Population with Extirpation

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

A half-buried, nearly-dead orangutan after rainforest habitat stolen and burnlTAKE ACTION to stop the massacre of Tripa’s orangutans

In a global tragedy for wildlife, rainforests and ecosystem sustainability; rainforest peat fires and land clearing by palm oil firms could finish killing off within weeks about 200 orangutans in an important rainforest habitat [search] in western Indonesia. The Tripa swamp rainforest in Aceh, Indonesia – home to one of the largest remaining populations of wild orangutans in the world – is ablaze as palm oil companies rush to clear forests before a court case stops their plantation expansion. Up to 100 of an already much diminished population may have been killed in recent months, and unless the land grabs and rainforest burning are immediately stopped, the local population of critically endangered Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) may soon go locally extinct, and the whole species soon thereafter.

TAKE ACTION
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/sendsm.aspx?id=orangutan_oilpalm

March 22, 2012

ALERT! Congo's Rainforests – Including Gorilla Rich Virunga National Park - Targeted by UK’s SOCO Oil Company

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

Please end plans for road through Alto Purus and uncontacted indigenous rainforestlTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

The Congo Basin [search]– home to some of Earth’s last large, ecologically intact, biodiversity rich rainforests – may soon be decimated by oil rigs, pipelines, deforestation, and oil spills. SOCO International – a London-listed oil company – has announced oil exploration plans in Virunga National Park - Africa’s oldest national park. Virunga is an UNESCO World Heritage site, home to a large population of wild gorillas, and many other important wildlife species, ecosystems, and local forest-dependent communities.

Oil exploration in these globally vital rainforest ecosystems will further set a dangerous precedent that nowhere – whether protected, or ecologically and socially important - is immune from oil industry destruction. Given record oil prices and growing global demand, it appears every last bit of Earth's large, wild and intact ecosystems will be sacrificed to industrial development – to extend our dependence upon fossil fuel, and delay transition now to renewable energy sources – while ensuring abrupt run-away climate change and global ecosystem collapse. Further rainforest ecocide for oil must end if we are to sustain global ecology. And standing old forests offer hope for advancement to the world’s forest dependent peoples.

TAKE ACTION
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/sendsm.aspx?id=congo_oil_virunga

January 25, 2012

ALERT! Stop Peru's Road to Rainforest Ecocide and Genocide of Uncontacted Indigenous Tribes

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

Please end plans for road through Alto Purus and uncontacted indigenous rainforestlTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

Plans are to build a highway through Alto Purus - Peru’s largest national park – comprised of vital intact Amazonian rainforest ecosystems and inhabited by at least two 'uncontacted' indigenous tribes [search]. The Alto Purus protected rainforest in south-east Peru is an area of incredible biodiversity covering some of the most pristine forests in the southwestern Amazon and home to jaguars, monkeys and pink dolphins. To cut it with a road would compromise the integrity of the entire Amazonion basin and trigger the swift demise of some of Earth’s last isolated hunting and gathering tribes. One of the 'uncontacted' tribes in the park is known as the 'Mashco-Piro', thought to be the largest group i

January 3, 2012

ALERT! NAMING NAMES: UN REDD+ Forest Carbon Fund to Log Primary Forests with Corporate NGO Greenwash Support

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal and ClimateArk

Time to end primary forest loggingTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

Earth is facing the twin global ecological emergencies of abrupt climate change and land being scoured of natural ecosystems. Sadly, corporate American NGOs and the United Nations are responding to these crises by further promoting logging ancient forests. The United Nations REDD+ program to protect primary and old growth forests as a climate change and deforestation solution has been hi-jacked by logging interests [search] and their big pro-logging NGO friends, and will instead subsidize primary forest logging for new plantations. REDD has become a gravy train for consultants, greenwashing NGOs and charlatans of many sorts - claiming logging ancient rainforests for the first time protects them! Old standing natural forest ecosystems are key to sustaining climate, ecosystems, biodiversity, local livelihoods humanity and the Earth System. Corporate NGOs supporting REDD+ must be compelled to stop their old forest logging greenwash - or face ridicule, protest, and an end to public support, until they do.

December 22, 2011

ALERT! Brazilian Forest Code Revisions Threaten Amazon Rainforest, National Advancement, and Ecological Sustainability

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

Destroying rainforests destroys agricultural potentialTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

Brazil's industrial agriculture lobby has forced through their Congress changes to the forest code [search], the primary legal instrument related to Amazon rainforest protections. It has been done without any scientific inputs, and in a way that will greatly expand industrial agriculture by reducing ecological protections. Newly elected President Dilma Rousseff must be encouraged to veto the bill, something she promised to do during the election. Efforts to address forest code deficiencies must recommence in a manner that incorporates the latest agro-ecological science regarding sustainable agriculture and the importance of large, connected and intact rainforest ecosystems within agricultural landscapes. Without a veto, recent progress in Amazon rainforest protection is at stake just as Brazil is to host the Rio+20 Earth Summit in 2012.

December 13, 2011

RAINFOREST ALERT! Protest Belize National Park Being Opened by Corrupt U.S. Oil Exploration to Illegal Logging

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

Cleared strips of rainforests for oil production open protected area to illegal loggingTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

Belize’s renowned rainforests [search], beaches, and Mayan homelands are threatened with a resource rampage by a corrupt government confronted with massive foreign debt. With the Prime Minister's permission, Colorado-based oil company US Capital Energy is drilling seismic testing lines through the ecologically spectacular Sarstoon-Temash national park - against international treaty commitments and a Belizean Supreme Court ruling. These cleared lines are now being used by poachers to ransack the rainforest, with stolen timbers transported to Guatemala and onward to China.

November 21, 2011

ALERT: Uganda's Protected Mabira Rainforest Threatened Again by Sugar Production

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

Sugar cane plantations must not threaten protected rainforestsTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

Plans by Uganda's President to partially destroy the Mabira rainforest - one of the nation's most important rainforest preserves - have surfaced again after being defeated in 2007. Let the Ugandan government know rainforests and their ecological services including water, climate and biodiversity are far more important than sugar which can be grown elsewhere. Together with local opposition Ecological Internet has defeated this project twice before, let's do it again.

October 12, 2011

RELEASE: Today as Rainforest Action Network and Awardee Naomi Klein REVEL, Primary Rainforests Continue to Be Destroyed in Their Names

By Earth's Newsdesk, a project of Ecological Internet
http://www.ecoearth.info/newsdesk/
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

FSC is NOT rainforest safe

- Once again Ecological Internet’s true global rainforest action network questions the dominate paradigm that primary rainforests exist to be industrially logged [search]. The Rainforest Action Network and Forest Stewardship Council are first time industrial primary forest logging which must end immediately. Standing, intact primary rainforests and all old forests must be fully protected from certified and carbon forestry, and restored to continue powering global ecosystems and advance local communities.


(Earth) - Today San Francisco based Rainforest Action Network (RAN) will throw yet another swanky celebrity filled party to REVEL and congratulate themselves for logging primary forests to protect them, and to raise further money for such "rainforest protection". RAN continues to hold to the myth that primary rainforests - 500 year old trees in millions of year old ecosystems - should be "sustainably managed" for consumption such as toilet paper and lawn furniture. Noted author Naomi Klein will be RAN's guest of honor, receive an award, and has been vocal in defending the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) brand of disaster capitalism.

Continue reading "RELEASE: Today as Rainforest Action Network and Awardee Naomi Klein REVEL, Primary Rainforests Continue to Be Destroyed in Their Names" »

October 9, 2011

ACTION ALERT! FSC Rainforest Logging is Disaster Capitalism: Tell RAN and Naomi Klein, No Such Thing as "Ethical Primary Forest Timbers"

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

Demand RAN stop supporting primary forest logging and immediately resign from FSCTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

SHAME! Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is one of the primary obstacles to protecting ancient rainforests [search] as they promote their first time industrial logging. RAN founded and ardently supports the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC) [search] destruction of 320,000,000 acres of primary forests (the size of South Africa), including for toilet paper and lawn furniture. This week RAN throws another swanky celebrity filled party to congratulate themselves for logging primary forests to protect them, and to raise further money for more such "rainforest protection". Noted author Naomi Klein will be their guest of honor and receive an award from RAN. Please make Naomi aware of this greenwash, ask that she decline the award to protest RAN's disaster capitalism, and demand that RAN resign from FSC.

September 1, 2011

RELEASE/VICTORY: Papua New Guinea Begins Commission of Inquiry into Rainforest Land Grabs

By Earth's Newsdesk and the Rainforest Portal, projects of Ecological Internet
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CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

Time to end rainforest logging in Papua New Guinea and the world

Once again Ecological Internet’s true global rainforest action network contributes to questioning and obstructing the dominate paradigm that primary rainforests exist to be industrially logged


Papua New Guinea has launched a Commission of Inquiry into foreign land grabs of pristine, indigenous owned primary rainforests for clearcut logging and supposed oil palm development. PNG has the world’s third largest rainforests [search], but sadly industrial logging and oil palm are booming, and large, intact old rainforest ecosystems are dwindling fast. An entrenched and voracious Malaysian timber-mafia has until now virtually owned the government and the nation’s rainforests.

“Special Agriculture and Business Leases” (SABL) covering 5.2 million hectares (12.8 million acres) were granted 74 times in recent years by former Prime Minister Michael Somare. These agriculture projects skirted forestry laws and customary land ownership, allowing clearcuts of primary rainforests on customary land without consent, for oil palm which may or may not get planted. Local national led NGOs such as the highly successful ACT NOW![1] and others expressed concern that SABL leases were improperly executed and would result in large scale logging without providing agricultural development.

Continue reading "RELEASE/VICTORY: Papua New Guinea Begins Commission of Inquiry into Rainforest Land Grabs" »

June 30, 2011

ALERT! Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Is Primary Forest Logging: Clearing Rainforests for Plantations Is NOT Sustainable, Members Must Stop Greenwash or Resign

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

FSC old growth forest logging in Canadian boreal to produce FSC certified toilet paper! To solve climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem and biosphere crises - while meeting local needs from standing old forests - requires old forest protection and restoration.TAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) [search] brand gets 70% of its timber and pulp by greenwashing current and planned destruction of 130,000,000 hectares of primary rainforests and other old forests – an area the size of South Africa. This week - at FSC’s tri-annual General Assembly in Malaysia – the ecocidal greenwash worsens, as FSC may start certifying plantations timbers from land cleared of primary rainforests [search] as being "sustainable" as well. Being the best ecocidal rainforest destroyer is nothing to be proud of – all such deadly old forest certification schemes must stop.

Please call upon all FSC members to reject the certification of primary forests by resigning immediately, as many others have recently done. Further, demand FSC immediately stop certifying primary forest logging or disband itself now during their meeting. Thank you for participating in EI's on-going global campaign to end primary forest logging, and to protect and restore old forests, as keystone responses to abrupt climate change, biodiversity loss and global ecosystem collapse.

June 12, 2011

ALERT! Ken to Barbie Doll and Greenpeace USA: Not Coming Back Just Because You Say Your Wood Is FSC Certified

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

Greenpeace can't have it both ways on primary rainforest logging - either for or againstTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

Greenpeace's quirky new rainforest campaign [search] says Ken is leaving Barbie (Mattel's dolls) because of rainforest destruction, yet they leave the door open for "certified" primary rainforest paper pulp for toy packaging. Ecological Internet will not accept an outcome from Greenpeace USA's Barbie campaign that includes FSC certified papers from Indonesia's primary rainforests [search]. Let Greenpeace and Mattel - manufacturers of the Barbie and Ken dolls, which Greenpeace USA alleges contains rainforest pulp in its packaging - know that paper derived from primary rainforests and certified by Forest Stewardship Council is not ecologically sustainable. Greenpeace must be encouraged to resign from FSC greenwash; and work to end primary forest logging, protect and restore standing old forests, for local and global advancement and ecology.

June 9, 2011

ALERT! Papua New Guinea: Push for Commission of Inquiry into Illegal Rainforest Logging/Oil Palm Land Grabs

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

Time to end rainforest logging in Papua New Guinea and the worldTAKE ACTION HERE NOW! Papua New Guinea (PNG) has some of the world’s largest rainforests but sadly industrial logging and oil palm [search] are booming. “Special Agriculture and Business Leases” covering 5.2 million hectares (12.8 million acres) have been granted 74 times by the PNG government over recent years, skirting forestry laws and allowing clearcuts of primary rainforests on customary land, for oil palm which may or may not get planted. There is huge concern that SABL leases were improperly executed and will result in large scale logging without providing agricultural development. Only an independent commission of inquiry – as promised by the acting Prime Minister and supported by local NGOs, but still not yet formally convened – can clean up PNG’s latest rainforest land grab mess.

DISCUSS THIS ALERT:
http://www.facebook.com/ecointernet & http://www.rainforestportal.org/issues/


*** Ecological Internet is now 35% to our goal of $40,000 to continue our cutting edge grassroots global ecology sustaining campaigns, having raised $13,899 from 75 donors. This fund-raiser will continue until the goal is met, so please donate what you can afford to help EI’s campaign to end primary forest logging after sending the alert or here: http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/donate/

Your donation is being doubled by a matching grant, and there are several ways to send a gift listed on the web page, including setting up recurrent tithes!

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
http://www.ecoearth.info/newsdesk/
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.

TAKE ACTION HERE NOW
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

Continue reading "RELEASE/ALERT: Time to Boycott Rainforest Action Network for Its Primary Rainforest Logging" »

May 10, 2011

ALERT! Tell Old Forest Loggers and Apologists to End Primary Rainforest Logging

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal

Time to end rainforest logging in Papua New Guinea and the worldTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

As world's forest protection policy glitterati meet in the Congo to finalize the final logging of much of Earth's large and contiguous rainforests; let loggers, governments, UN and NGOs supporting primary forest logging known that industrial forestry can never be ecologically sustainable. Achieving global ecological sustainability depends critically upon maintaining intact forest ecosystems, ending first time industrial primary logging and other industrial development. The best path to global forest sustainability is to protect all standing primary and old growth forests, helping them to expand, and be used standing by local communities to advance themselves through small scale community businesses including ecotourism, eco-forestry, carbon payments, etc. It is simply unacceptable ecologically that the fate of Earth's last old forests continue to be first time industrial logging albeit with FSC certification, NGO approval and REDD+ funding. The second email for the alert takes Rainforest Action Network further to task for refusing to acknowledge and discuss concerns with their full-on support for primary forest logging through their FSC membership.

See related facebook page:
Greenpeace and RAN Out of FSC Primary Forest
http://www.facebook.com/oldforests

November 19, 2010

ALERT! Continued Corrupt Logging of Ancient Primary Rainforests with Forest Carbon Funding NO Climate Solution

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal and ClimateArk

Time to end rainforest logging in Papua New GuineaTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!


Old natural forest ecosystems are key to sustaining climate, ecosystems, biodiversity, humanity and the Earth System – and their logging must be excluded from forest carbon funding. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) [search] - the international program to pay for protection of old rainforests as a climate change solution [search] – has been corrupted to include first time industrial primary rainforest logging for "sustainable" timbers and agricultural plantations. Unless REDD drops the plus and focuses funding upon ending industrial primary forest destruction while addressing systematic corruption in tropical rainforest destruction, the REDD program is no longer worthy of support by ecological forest activists, and should be resisted.

DISCUSS THIS ALERT:
http://www.facebook.com/ecointernet & http://www.rainforestportal.org/issues/

August 12, 2010

ALERT! Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sells Out Democracy, Local Peoples and Resources to Red China's Mining Agency

Time for PNG Prime Minister to Resign over mining corrptionTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

Sir Michael Somare [search] - PNG's deeply corrupted PM, and once the great founder of this amazing country - is illegally clinging to power and giving away natural resources by gutting environmental law. PNG has Earth's third largest rainforests [search] and important intact fisheries which are being threatened by his efforts to run roughshod over landowners, including those trying to stop the dumping of mine waste into Madang's bays and lagoons. Given his increasingly despotic and unbalanced behavior, it is clearly time for Mr. Somare to resign.

DISCUSS THIS ALERT:
http://www.rainforestportal.org/issues/ and http://www.facebook.com/ecointernet

August 4, 2010

ALERT! Please Encourage Rainforest Action Network’s New Leader to Work to End Primary Forest Logging

FSC is NOT rainforest safe

Sadly and Shockingly, Rainforest Action Network is one of the primary, crucial supporters of continued primary forest logging. Let them know they must resign from FSC and commit to ending primary forest logging.

TAKE ACTION HERE NOW!:

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has a much needed new Executive Director – Rebecca Tarbotton. For almost two years Ecological Internet has worked to get the once luminary old-growth protection organization to stop supporting Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) certification of industrial 1st time logging of 500 year 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. RAN co-founded FSC and is a long-time staunch member. 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.

Continue reading "ALERT! Please Encourage Rainforest Action Network’s New Leader to Work to End Primary Forest Logging" »

July 31, 2010

RELEASE/VICTORY: Ecuador Sets Major Rainforest and Climate Protection Precedent

By Earth's Newsdesk and the Rainforest Portal, projects of Ecological Internet

CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

Amazon roads from oil exploration and production destroy rainforests

It is reported Ecuador will be compensated for leaving oil reserves in Yasuni National Park untouched. This is a major victory for Ecuador, the rainforest movement, and Ecological Internet – who was the first to campaign internationally on the issue.


Ecuador’s government announced today it has reached a deal with the United Nations Development Program under which donor countries will compensate Quito for leaving oil reserves untouched in a large primary rainforest filled national park. Yasuni National Park [search] – covering some 9,820 km2, or about the size of Massachusetts – is thought to be one of Earth’s most biodiversity rich sites and is also home to several nomadic Indian tribes. Yasuni’s preservation (total protection, not “sustainable management” or “conservation”) would spare Earth some 410 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that contribute to global warming; while keeping biodiversity, ecosystems and cultures fully intact. The official signing is reported to be held on Tuesday.

Ecological Internet’s Earth Action Network [1] was the first to campaign internationally on threats to Yasuni from oil exploration, successfully internationalizing the issue. “This marvelous rainforest and climate victory is very gratifying and exciting,” states Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet President. “Ecological Internet began to campaign in the early 2000s to protect Yasuni National Park from oil development, and continuously since. Like so many of our campaigns, it has just taken off. Our efforts were picked up by ‘The Ecologist’ Magazine, and since then a large local and global movement has been built – including the Yasuni-ITT Initiative, Scientists Concerned for Yasuni, Save America’s Forest and many other participants – who share in this victory.”

Continue reading "RELEASE/VICTORY: Ecuador Sets Major Rainforest and Climate Protection Precedent" »

June 19, 2010

ALERT! Protest Madagascar's Breaking of Moratorium on Illegal Rosewood Log Exports from Protected Rainforests

Resource anarchy continues to reign post-coup in Madagascar's rainforestsTAKE ACTION!

Despite a recent two year moratorium on further illegal logging [search] and export of precious timber from the protected areas of Madagascar, the government recently approved shipment of nearly $16 million worth of timber stolen from the country's rainforest parks. Post-coup illegal log and wildlife trade continue to threaten Madagacar's biodiversity rich rainforest [search] remnants, ecological sustainability and future potential for national advancement. Let Madagascar's transitional government, shipping industry, and French government know they will be held responsible for these ecological crimes.

TAKE ACTION!

June 12, 2010

RELEASE: Rainforest Action Network Expands Misleading Greenwashing of Primary Forest Logging

FSC is NOT rainforest safe

RAN’s recent “rainforest safe” book and luxury shopping bag campaigns show they value greenwashing primary forest logging [search] and sustaining old growth timber markets more than ecological science showing without primary forest logging ban biosphere collapses. Ecological Internet renews demand that RAN stops promoting primary forest logging as a false solution to rainforest loss and diminishment, and resigns from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) immediately.


Despite escalating international protest, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) continues to promote Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of first time industrial logging of primary forests. RAN’s new “Rainforest Safe Summer Reading List” [1] and “Gucci Shopping Bag” [2] campaigns falsely claim FSC certified paper products are free of rainforest destruction. In fact, most FSC products come from the first time industrial logging of primary forests or from toxic, industrial monoculture plantations which displace old forests. Virtually all of FSC’s tropical timbers and fibers come from such sources.

“The world’s rainforests, biodiversity, ecosystems, climate and biosphere are in a state of severe crisis and are collapsing; and the best Rainforest Action Network can do is continue lying regarding where FSC certified products come from, and shilling for primary forest books and shopping bags? As America’s largest rainforest protection group, RAN raises and expends more monies on behalf of rainforests than any organization, yet continues to insist FSC logging of primary forests ‘protects’ rainforests. This old forest logging appeasement will continue to be challenged by biocentric ecologists. Unless this NGO greenwash ends, and we join forces to end primary forest logging, the future of Earth and all life are at stake,” states Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet President.

Continue reading "RELEASE: Rainforest Action Network Expands Misleading Greenwashing of Primary Forest Logging" »

June 8, 2010

RELEASE: Papua New Guinea’s Indigenous Landowners Stripped of Land Rights as Chinese Communist Influence Grows

Resistance Growing to Ecologically Devastating Chinese Mining Invasion of Madang, Papua New Guinea

PNG government amends Environment Act [search] with no debate to remove powers from landowners to challenge in court resource development projects on their customary land. Move reflects increased pressure by foreign developers, particularly Chinese government’s mining agency, whose efforts to dump uncapped 100 million tons of mine waste on ocean floor in Madang Province has been thwarted by pressure exerted by successful legal efforts and campaigning.


(Madang, PNG) - Indigenous landowners have been stripped of ancestral and constitutionally-protected land rights [search] by the government of Papua New Guinea (PNG). The fact that 97% of land has been under communal, customary land tenure has long been a source of pride, provided an important social safety net, and protected against resource corruption. Similar efforts pushed by the World Bank in the 1990s were met with national protests and over-turned. Ultimate power to irrevocably issue resource development environmental permits will now reside with the Department of Environment secretary, an office who’s current and past occupants have long been known for flagrant corruption.

The government, through the Environment Minister, Benny Allan, made changes to sections of the Environment Act 2000 to prevent landowners and concerned Papua New Guineans from “interfering” with industrial resource development projects destroying oceans and rainforests – like the Chinese Ramu Nickel Mine in Madang and Exxon-Mobil Liquid Natural Gas project in the Southern Highlands. Without any warning or consultation, on May 27, 2010, the government of PNG introduced emergency legislation that dissolved the Constitutional rights of all landowners in PNG, including the right of Indigenous People to own land, challenge resource projects in court and receive any compensation for environmental damage. The bill was passed without being seen or debated by parliamentarians.

Continue reading "RELEASE: Papua New Guinea’s Indigenous Landowners Stripped of Land Rights as Chinese Communist Influence Grows" »

April 25, 2010

ALERT! Brazil's Proposed Belo Monte Dam Damns Amazonian Rainforests and Peoples

The wild and free Xingu River is critical to maintaining intact the Amazon, its peoples, Brazil's national advancement, and the Earth we share

Brazilian government continues with plans to build the massive Belo Monte DamTAKE ACTION! The Brazilian government continues with plans to build the massive Belo Monte Dam [search] on the Xingu River in the Amazon rainforest [search], despite massive domestic and international opposition. The 11.2 billion dollar dam will flood an estimated 500 square kilometers of the Amazon rainforest and threaten the survival of tens of thousands of indigenous and traditional peoples who depend on the Xingu River for their livelihoods. The Kayapó leader Raoni Metuktire, who gained international exposure touring the world with Sting, said indigenous men from the Xingu were preparing their bows and arrows in order to fight off the dam. "I think that today the war is about to start once more and the Indians will be forced to kill the white men again so they leave our lands alone.”

April 1, 2010

ALERT! Resistance Growing to Ecologically Devastating Chinese Mining Invasion of Madang, Papua New Guinea

Resistance Growing to Ecologically Devastating Chinese Mining Invasion of Madang, Papua New GuineaTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

Chinese government owned China Metallurgical Construction (MCC) corporation's efforts to establish the massively destructive Ramu Nickel mine in Madang Province [search], Papua New Guinea – the largest investment in metal exploration and mining by the Chinese outside of China – is in serious jeopardy. Local landowners are successfully initiating court cases and protests to demand mine tailings not be dumped into the sea –poisoning fish stocks and causing extreme ecological destruction – or the mine be stopped. The entire project has been mismanaged, marked by shoddy construction; and disregard for local rights, life, and marine and rainforest ecology. Chinese mining investment in Madang against local wishes can only be described as an invasion of sovereign peoples, and will be resisted at all costs.

March 29, 2010

VICTORY! Madagascar Reinstates Rainforest Protections Following EI Led Global Public Outcry

VICTORY! Madagascar Reinstates Rainforest Protections Following EI Led Global Public Outcry

Madagascar's transitional government last week reinstated a ban on rosewood logging [search] and exports, following prolonged and growing pressure over illegal logging of its national parks spearheaded by Ecological Internet. As reported by Mongabay, the decree (no. 2010-141) prohibits all exports of rosewood and precious timber for two to five years. With the export ban in place, the fate of 10,000-15,000 metric tons of already illegally logged rosewood awaiting export remains uncertain. It is also unclear whether illegal loggers and traders will be prosecuted [1].

“These issues, getting this moratorium to be permanent, and working to demonstrate community development from standing primary and restored rainforests will require continued vigilance and campaigning. Yet, two important points have been made. It is again demonstrated that it is possible to end rainforest logging. And the emergence of an empowered global movement committed to protecting and restoring old forests – and other ecologically sufficient policy necessary to achieve global ecological sustainability – is again powerfully demonstrated,” says Dr. Glen Barry, EI President.

Continue reading "VICTORY! Madagascar Reinstates Rainforest Protections Following EI Led Global Public Outcry" »

March 22, 2010

FB ALERT & RELEASE: Protest Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network’s Censoring of Facebook Criticism of Their Support for Primary Forest Logging

By Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet
Earth Meanders come from Earth's Newsdesk

Genuine and growing concern with their ongoing, publicly undefended support for Forest Stewardship Council “certified” primary forest logging – destroying an area two times the size of Texas – deleted, blocked and reported to Facebook as terms of use violations

Protest Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network’s Censoring of Facebook Criticism of Their Support for Primary Forest Logging

Greenpeace US and International, as well as Rainforest Action Network, are censoring comments of concern regarding their support for “sustainable forest management” of old forests including primary rainforests [search] on Facebook and their blogs. Ecological Internet has been at the vanguard of working to protect and restore primary and old growth forests [search] globally by ending their industrial logging and other developments. Unfortunately this has required campaigning to confront Greenpeace[1] and Rainforest Action Network[2] – two of the strongest supporters of continued primary forest logging.

“As Greenpeace condemns censorship by Nestle[3] of a YouTube video showing their use of oil palm at the expense of orangutans, and RAN blasts Facebook censorship of its use of tar sands financier RBC Bank’s logo, both groups are systematically removing criticism of their support for first time industrial primary forest logging from their facebook pages and blogs. To who are these groups accountable,” asks Dr. Glen Barry? “For years these groups have inconsistently promoted logging primary forests – and have gotten away with ignoring genuine widespread concern that such old forests are key to solving the biodiversity and climate change crises.”

Continue reading "FB ALERT & RELEASE: Protest Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network’s Censoring of Facebook Criticism of Their Support for Primary Forest Logging" »

March 15, 2010

RELEASE: French President Sarkozy’s Dangerous Deforestation Doublespeak

Pledges to work to end deforestation as French company prepares to ship illegal logs from Madagascar

From Earth's Newsdesk, a project of Ecological Internet (EI)

You can still TAKE ACTION on this matter at:
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=madagascar_landgrab

Resource anarchy continues to reign post-coup in Madagascar's rainforests

(Paris, France) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy last week said rich nations must do more to help fight deforestation, as he hosted a Paris conference on saving the world's forests. Sarkozy stated defending the world's forests demanded more aggressive funding. "Those who don't want to do anything are those who don't want to pay," he said in an opening address. He reiterated his appeal for a tax on financial market transactions worldwide that could be earmarked for a global climate fund. These are good ideas, yet President Sarkozy is guilty of dangerous hypocrisy as a French company continues to threaten Madagascar’s rainforests.

As Sarkozy argued the need to stop deforestation, shipments of illegal rosewood are being readied for export in Madagascar by a French company with the tacit approval of the French government. Some 4,000-5,000 tons of rosewood will be shipped under the auspices of Delmas, according to Derek Schuurman, who has published papers on the illegal logging crisis for the Madagascar Conservation Journal and TRAFFIC. "An estimated 200-270 containers are likely to be exported in March," says Schuurman. The French and mainstream media worldwide has largely been silent on the crisis even though it threatens Madagascar's rainforest, people, and wildlife. Ecological Internet’s global network has already delayed, though not permanently stopped, these illegal rosewood shipments[1].

Continue reading "RELEASE: French President Sarkozy’s Dangerous Deforestation Doublespeak" »

March 12, 2010

ALERT! Let Rainforest Action Network Know Global Ecological Sustainability Depends Upon Ending Old Forest Logging

RAN supports ancient forest loggingTAKE ACTION!

Rainforest Action Network [search] is a key supporter of failed Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) [search] efforts to “sustainably” log tens of millions of hectares of primary and old-growth forests for lawn furniture, toilet paper and other throw-away consumer items. As RAN celebrates its 25th anniversary, let them know old forests will never be fully protected as long as they and others unquestioningly support “certified” yet ecologically unsustainable first-time industrial primary rainforest logging. Demand RAN vigorously defend their support for first-time primary rainforest logging over an area two times as large as Texas, or resign from FSC immediately. Encourage RAN to spend the next 25 years working to protect and expand old forests to maintain a habitable Earth.

February 21, 2010

EARTH MEANDERS: The Rainforest Movement Is Dead… Long Live the Old Forest Revolution

By Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet
Earth Meanders come from Earth's Newsdesk


The Rainforest Movement Is Dead… Long Live the Old Forest Revolution

Old forests including tropical rainforests [search] are the ultimate expression of life, evolution and ecology. Here untold co-evolved species and genetic diversity exist and interact with each other and their environment to provide ecosystem services – water, nutrient and energy cycling – required for a habitable Earth. All intact terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems are important, yet rainforests are disproportionately so, given their tremendous species numbers and carbon stores. Few rainforest activists fully understand their ecological importance to continued being, or they would work only for full old forest protection and restoration.

When primary rainforests are lost, it is inevitable that local ecological and social conditions deteriorate, regional weather and species distributions deviate, and the global biosphere and its ability to maintain conditions for life are weakened. Rarely if ever do viable ecosystems remain to provide the same amount of ecological and development benefits as the intact standing old forests that were destroyed for the profit of the national and global elite. Virtually no one benefits from rainforest logging other than small numbers of loggers and “green logging apologists” who falsely say it can be done well.

Continue reading "EARTH MEANDERS: The Rainforest Movement Is Dead… Long Live the Old Forest Revolution" »

February 9, 2010

RELEASE: Global Campaign to Protect and Restore Old Forests Gaining Traction

Campaigns to end industrial primary rainforest logging in Papua New Guinea and Madagascar based upon ecological science, and meant to end corruption and ecological harm

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

Forests logged industrially for the first time are permanently ecologically damaged in terms of composition, structure, function and dynamics

Ecological Internet’s (EI) ongoing campaigns in Madagascar [1] and Papua New Guinea [2] (PNG) to end primary forest logging [search] (please continue to take action below), is part of EI’s global network’s campaign to globally protect and restore old forests. Ecological science reveals forest and other terrestrial ecosystem destruction to be a primary cause of climate change, biodiversity loss, water and soil degradation, and social disintegration. Yet forest policy-makers, including major environmental groups, continue to assert “sustainable forest management” and “FSC certified” logging of primary and old-growth forest logging is possible and desirable. They are wrong, as ecologically intact old forests are vital components of Earth’s biosphere and are the optimal land cover to absorb and hold carbon long-term, while maintaining biodiversity and operable ecosystems, and the Earth System.

The term “old forests” is used to encompass primary unlogged forests, late successional natural regrowth, and planted mixed-species forests regaining old-growth characteristics. Forests logged industrially for the first time are permanently ecologically damaged in terms of composition, structure, function and dynamics. It is becoming abundantly clear that ending industrial diminishment and working for the full protection and restoration of old forests are a keystone response to climate change (to say nothing of biodiversity, ecosystem, water and poverty crises). More of the Earth's terrestrial ecosystems – and old forests in particular – have already been lost and diminished than required to maintain an operable climate, all species and a fully operable biosphere.

Continue reading "RELEASE: Global Campaign to Protect and Restore Old Forests Gaining Traction" »

February 6, 2010

Action Alert: PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Logging Violence and Corruption Flare in Ramu, Madang’s Mighty Rainforests

Resource anarchy continues to reign post-coup in Madagascar's rainforestsTAKE ACTION!

Local landowner initiated court case has shut down logging for two months. The PNG Forest Authority's review of the granting of the right to log to notorious Rimbunan Hijau [search] of Malaysia in Ramu River valley expected soon. Industry and corrupt government officials pulling out all stops to re-grant permit to this violent and corrupt criminal-enterprise. Massive cash payments and brutal violence – to intimidate communities resisting logging – is rife. Yet local protest to logging continues to intensify in Madang [search], as do calls to end all industrial primary rainforest logging in PNG.

TAKE ACTION!

Donate to Ramu/Sogeram Landowners Resisting RH & primary rainforest logging

January 26, 2010

ALERT! Protest Madagascar's Legalization of Rosewood Log Export from Protected National Parks

Resource anarchy continues to reign post-coup in Madagascar's rainforestsTAKE ACTION!

Delmas shipping, a subsidiary of French shipping giant CMA-CGM, is being pressured by the transitional Madagascar government to ship hundreds of containers of illegally logged ancient rainforest logs from Madagascar to China anytime soon. Post-coup illegal log and wildlife trade continue to threaten Madagacar's biodiversity rich rainforest remnants, ecological sustainability and future potential for national advancement.

TAKE ACTION!

January 18, 2010

EARTH MEANDERS: Ode to Madang

By Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet
Earth Meanders come from Earth's Newsdesk

Yet another paradise lost?

'PNG's Prime Minister Somare Illegally Selling Madang Landowners' Resources

Prime Minister Michael Somare of Papua New Guinea is ruling as a Mugabe like thug bent upon becoming a tin-pot dictator. Once a great man that led his country to independence, Mr. Somare is now using his “Grand Chief” status for corrupt personal, family and tribal gains – illegally and immorally allocating huge swathes of his great nation’s forest and marine resources without landowners’ prior and informed consent. On the bidding of Somare’s increasingly despotic and erratic leadership, Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) natural assets are being sold off to invading Asian business interests – destroying rainforest, ocean, water and land – as well as the resource and ecosystem rich nation’s future development potential. Will one man – big man Sana or not – single-handedly destroy Earth’s third largest remaining contiguous old rainforest expanses for personal gain?

Nowhere is this more evident than in Madang Province, PNG, which contains some of Earth’s last remaining mostly intact tropical and marine ecosystems in the world. The “Jewel of the South Pacific” includes large ancient rainforest tracts, huge tuna and other fisheries, and barely explored mineral deposits; as well as beautiful, loving and peaceful people. Madang’s rainforests and oceans feed and house all its citizens, regulate national and regional climatic patterns, and make the Earth habitable by providing global ecosystem services. As Somare flits about in his new high-end private jet (who paid for that?) signing illicit business deals with Asian cartels and otherwise stealing Madang and the nation’s resources (including attempts to corner nascent carbon markets), Madang and PNG’s infrastructure including schools, hospitals, police and roads are in shambles.

Continue reading "EARTH MEANDERS: Ode to Madang" »

December 19, 2009

ALERT! Protest French Company Shipping Madagascar’s Illegally Logged Rosewood Timbers to China

Resource anarchy continues to reign post-coup in Madagascar's rainforestsTAKE ACTION!

Mongabay reports that Delmas shipping company is planning to take as many as 200 containers (worth $40M) of illegally logged rosewood rainforest timbers out of Vohemar port in Madagascar on the 21st or 22nd of December [1]. They reported four shipping companies have transported rosewood from Madagascar this year. Three of these have agreed to stop shipping rosewood following criticisms from international conservation groups, but the fourth, Delmas (a subsidiary of French shipping giant CMA-CGM) continues to ship illegally logged precious woods in large quantities.

MORE INFORMATION & TO TAKE ACTION!

December 18, 2009

PAPUA NEW GUINEA RAINFOREST: Madang Police Issue Violent Warning to Logging Opposition

By Earth's Newsdesk and Asples PNG, projects of Ecological Internet
http://www.ecoearth.info/newsdesk/
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

Sari papa, bikpela bus pinis, na bai yumi painim had long karim kaikai long ples

With logging stopped by court order, violence breaks out in Ramu logging area in Papua New Guinea. Two youths in custody for stealing from loggers shot as a warning to the community. With local opposition to Rimbunan Hijau and continued industrial logging growing, foreign logger turns to further bribery and intimidation.


(MADANG, PAPUA NEW GUINEA) - Logging has been stopped for nearly two weeks at the Ramu Block 1 concession held by Rimbunan Hijau (RH) of Malaysia in Madang, Papua New Guinea (PNG). Facing a court order, a plethora of other court proceedings, and rising local landowner discontent, RH has responded by calling on the police to send a warning to logging opposition, and widely making cash bribes to be allowed to resume logging.

Last week, drunken youth became angry with company employees and ill-advisedly robbed a tool shed. First thing the next morning two youth leaders were caught by officers (who were allegedly visibly intoxicated). While restrained and in police custody, the youths were shot at point blank range in the leg, and let go. The youths are recovering in the hospital, and information is being gathered for legal proceedings.

“Logging companies bribing police to send a warning to opposition is not ethical or just development. Violence has come to Madang Province, as various Asian logging, mining and fishing industries fall over themselves to harvest these resources immediately and incautiously,” notes Ecological Internet’s President, Dr. Glen Barry. “Clearly PNG’s resource allocation processes have become corrupted and Madang’s three big development projects – RH logging, tuna canneries, and Ramu mine – must be stopped and thoroughly investigated.”

Continue reading "PAPUA NEW GUINEA RAINFOREST: Madang Police Issue Violent Warning to Logging Opposition" »

December 6, 2009

ALERT! PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Grand Chief "Carbon Cowboy" Off Soon in New Private Jet to Sell Landowners' Rainforest Carbon

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal and ClimateArk

Time to end rainforest logging in Papua New GuineaTAKE ACTION!

Sir Michael Somare -- Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Prime Minister -- jets soon to Copenhagen pledging to protect the country’s rainforests in exchange for REDD carbon money. Yet back home he has left a long list of shameful and corrupt rainforest/climate policies. As Copenhagen and REDD talks start, Somare pals Rimbunan Hijau of Malaysia continue logging in Ramu, Madang, despite a court order demanding they stop. Corruption, human rights abuses, and ecological devastation have no place in REDD or Papua New Guinea.

TAKE ACTION HERE NOW:
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=png_redd_logging

PICTURES OF RIMBUNAN HIJAU’S DESTRUCTION IN RAMU, MADANG:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=158287&id=84943913664

Continue reading "ALERT! PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Grand Chief "Carbon Cowboy" Off Soon in New Private Jet to Sell Landowners' Rainforest Carbon" »

November 5, 2009

RELEASE: WWF Confronted for Rainforest "Greenwashing" of "Sustainable" Palm Oil

By Earth's Newsdesk, a project of Ecological Internet
http://www.ecoearth.info/newsdesk/
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

No such thing as sustainable oil palm

An Open Letter signed by more than 80 organizations from 31 countries was delivered yesterday to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) [search] and to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) co-initiator of the initiative. In the letter, they are urged to end the “greenwashing” and certification of palm oil plantations as being “sustainable”.

According to the Open Letter, palm oil companies certified by the RSPO are directly responsible for much social and environmental damage: dislocation of local populations’ livelihoods, destruction of rainforests and peat lands, pollution of soils and water, and contribution to global warming. These are the reasons why “palm oil monoculture[s] are not and can never be sustainable and ‘certification’ serves as a means of perpetuating and expanding this destructive industry”.

Continue reading "RELEASE: WWF Confronted for Rainforest "Greenwashing" of "Sustainable" Palm Oil" »

October 27, 2009

ALERT! Madagascar's Protected Rainforest Hardwoods Continue to be Selectively Logged

Madagascar's lemurs, rainforests and people threatenedTAKE ACTION!

Loggers and wildlife traders continue to violate Madagascar's biodiversity [search] rich rainforests including protected areas. In March of this year controversy surrounding leasing of agricultural land resulted in a military coup. In the chaos that ensued, armed gangs funded by Chinese traders entered Madagascar’s Marojejy and Masoala National Parks, two world-renowned World Heritage Sites, and logged rosewood, ebonies, and other valuable hardwoods. NGOs operating in Madagascar report continued armed, open and organized plundering of precious wood from several natural forests, including these parks.

TAKE ACTION!

September 27, 2009

RELEASE: deRANged II The Sequel -- Rainforest Action Network Endangers World's Rainforests

By Earth's Newsdesk, a project of Ecological Internet
http://www.ecoearth.info/newsdesk/
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

RAN supports ancient forest logging(EARTH) -- Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has unexpectedly pulled out of nearly completed secret negotiations with Ecological Internet to work jointly to reform the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to stop certifying as environmentally acceptable the first time logging of old forests [1]. After fifteen years of FSC membership, RAN still cannot say how much first time industrial primary and old growth forest logging FSC has certified as "well-managed" while implying environmental sustainability (no one including FSC board members can, or at least they are not talking). Estimates place it as high as 60 million hectares of old forests having been cleared with FSC certification for such necessities as toilet paper and lawn furniture, with an equal amount imminently threatened.

RAN's tropical rainforest campaign has collapsed into irrelevancy. For several years there has been no activity other than working on oil palm, fund-raising and throwing lavish parties. A year ago, after two years of protests and threats to disrupt their REVEL celebrity studded fund-raiser, they pledged to reinvigorate their rainforest campaign, starting with writing to FSC to find out just how much old forests they are destroying. Apparently being an FSC member has few benefits, as no response has been received. By supporting FSC, Rainforest Action Network is greenwashing rainforest destruction globally. FSC is only marginally better than competing industry certification schemes in that it depends upon old forest logging to meet market demand for throw-away consumer items. Old forest logging must end.

Continue reading "RELEASE: deRANged II The Sequel -- Rainforest Action Network Endangers World's Rainforests" »

September 26, 2009

Eco-Forestry Forum Calls for Protection from Continuing Papua New Guinea Rainforest Carbon Scams

Eco-Forestry Forum, a leading Papua New Guinea (PNG) NGO, makes major new charges of continued corruption in the establishment of carbon projects and markets in PNG in their newspaper advertisement (pdf, text below). Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) [search], or sometimes called Avoided Deforestation -- paying for the full protection of standing rainforests -- is an excellent idea that is going badly wrong. The EFF has tried to print the advertisement in the two PNG national papers but were suspiciously refused.

This was not surprising for "The National", the mouthpiece of the PNG timber industry, and owned by the largest foreign logger. But why is it that The Nature Conservancy (TNC), AusAID and the Government of PNG have conspired to block the advertisement in the Post-Courier as well, the other major national daily newspaper, as has been alleged? The conflicts of interest herein detailed show clearly that most carbon market players in PNG have interests other than protecting rainforests and reducing carbon in the atmosphere.

Continue reading "Eco-Forestry Forum Calls for Protection from Continuing Papua New Guinea Rainforest Carbon Scams " »

September 24, 2009

New York City Activists Unfurl 35-foot Banner on High Line to Protest Park's Use of FSC-Certified Amazon Wood

From Earth's Newsdesk, a project of Ecological Internet (EI)

Contact:
Tim Doody: rainforestsny@gmail.com
Simon Counsell: info@fsc-watch.org
Dr. Glen Barry: glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

PHOTOS AND VIDEO OF BANNER:
http://RFNY.org

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32461153@N08/

FSC liesSeptember 24th, New York: This morning, environmental activists unfurled a 35-foot banner blocking the iconic view of 10th Avenue from the High Line park to protest the Amazon wood [search] used in the park for bleachers, benches and decking. The banner read, "High Crime on the High Line! FSC Lies: Amazon Wood Is Not Sustainable [search]!"

Two New York City-based groups, Rainforest Relief and New York Climate Action Group, coordinated the banner action to confront the "First International FSC Friday," an event held on September 25th by the Forest Stewardship Council to promote their certification scheme.

According to Friends of the High Line's website, the tropical hardwood used throughout the High Line was certified by FSC-accredited agencies. The wood, called ipê, originates from primary Amazon forests in Brazil and Peru. Ipê trees are typically 250 to 1,000 years old and grow an average of one or two trees per acre.

Continue reading "New York City Activists Unfurl 35-foot Banner on High Line to Protest Park's Use of FSC-Certified Amazon Wood" »

September 10, 2009

ALERT! Questioning World Bank Palm Oil Funding and Forest Carbon Finance in Indonesia

By Rainforest Rescue with Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal with

Global ecological sustainability requires keeping rainforests standingTAKE ACTION!

Ombudsman report on 20 years of corrupt IFC, World Bank Group lending to the Indonesian oil palm industry casts doubt on Bank's fitness to manage international forest carbon funds that may emerge at Copenhagen climate talks. It is time for the World Bank to end finance of oil palm, sustainable forest management, paper pulp and other industrial rainforest developments known to be the root causes of deforestation, degradation and climate change. The Bank must permanently end financial support for these industrial developments impacting primary rainforests, or it is the wrong entity to administer forest carbon monies.

MORE INFORMATION AND TAKE ACTION NOW!

September 7, 2009

ALERT! Join Borneo's Penan Indigenous Peoples in Standing up to Malaysian Rainforest Destruction

By Rainforest Rescue with Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal with

Malaysia is a global leader in rainforest destructionTAKE ACTION!

Malaysia is the world's leading rainforest destroying nation. Insist Malaysian authorities respect native customary land rights and boundaries of Penan's last remaining ancestral rainforest reserves; halt rainforest destruction in Sarawak for oil palm, pulp plantations and hydro-electric dams; and ensure rainforest destruction and abuse of indigenous rights by Malaysian companies end globally.

MORE INFORMATION AND TAKE ACTION NOW:
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=malaysia_penan_blockade

August 17, 2009

ALERT! Liberia's Plans to Resume Industrial Primary Rainforest Logging Already Plagued by Corruption

By Rainforest Rescue with Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal with

Samling has a terrible track record destroying rainforests globallyTAKE ACTION!

The fact notorious illegal loggers Samling of Malaysia [search]; who have devastated rainforests globally including those of the Penan, are surreptitiously in contention for Liberian logging [search] contracts illustrates, despite decades of failed reform efforts locally and internationally, that the global industrial tropical timber logging industry remains irredeemably corrupt. There is no evidence first time industrial logging of primary forests is ever ecologically sustainable or reduces poverty. Please call upon Liberian President to pursue development based upon standing rainforests, and reject entirely the resumption of industrial logging. NOTE: After sending this protest you are forwarded to several crucial ongoing alerts, which we ask you to please send as well

MORE INFORMATION AND TAKE ACTION NOW:
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=liberia_logging_resume

August 4, 2009

RELEASE: "Good REDD" Fully Protects and Restores Old Forest Carbon and Local Livelihoods

All Copenhagen bound climate parties urged to get back to basics of avoiding deforestation and degradation as a keystone climate change response. The focus must be upon ending first time industrial logging of primary forests, while providing local peoples alternative incomes based upon fully intact standing old forests. Anything less is unworthy of green support.

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

Old forests key to climate stability Ecological Internet and Rainforest Rescue of Germany have launched a campaign leading to Copenhagen's climate talks in December to ensure carbon based funding for forest protection -- called avoided deforestation [search], or Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) [search] -- remains ecologically and socially rigorous, or does not proceed at all. REDD has the potential to help end primary and old-growth forest logging and other industrial destruction and diminishment of old forests.

The REDD concept faces immediate risk of being usurped by industry. The focus in project design remains primarily upon profit-making and greenwashing "Sustainable Forest Management", rather than necessary policies to ensure large areas of primary and old-growth forests are fully protected to optimally keep existing and new carbon sequestered. It is even being suggested that first time logging of primary forests and establishment of industrial tree plantations should be worthy of carbon market financing.

Continue reading "RELEASE: "Good REDD" Fully Protects and Restores Old Forest Carbon and Local Livelihoods" »

August 2, 2009

ALERT! Madang, Papua New Guinea's Mighty Ramu River Rainforests, Carbon and Peoples Threatened by Timber Mafia & Government Corruption

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal with Rainforest Rescue

Time to end rainforest logging in Papua New GuineaTAKE ACTION!

Let the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government know it must follow its people's wishes and end industrial rainforest destruction [search] once and for all. Support local landowners in Madang Province and nationwide working bravely to end primary forest logging and pursue REDD carbon monies and other means to benefit from standing rainforests. The government cannot corruptly pursue both continued industrial logging and oil palm, and expect to still receive carbon market REDD payments for intact rainforest protection.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO TAKE ACTION NOW:
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=png_redd_logging

July 9, 2009

ALERT! Swiss Francs Threaten Indonesian Rainforests

Oil palm has devastated Indonesia's rainforests and life including orangutans and local peopleTAKE ACTION!

Major Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS are to further fund Golden Agri-Resources [search] (GAR), the world's largest listed palm oil company, which currently produces 10 percent of Indonesia's palm oil. A further 1.3 million hectares of land are to be developed for palm oil plantations [search] with Swiss finance on the island of Indonesia Kalimantan (Borneo) and in Papua on the Western half of the island of New Guinea. Let these banks and the Swiss government know that their financing of rainforest destruction and climate change is completely unacceptable and will be protested until it ends.

July 5, 2009

ALERT! Tell Papua New Guinea and British Royalty: Climate Solutions Have No Place for Continued Industrial Primary Forest Destruction

Knighting of illegal logger and carbon market corruption plague Papua New Guinea's (PNG) attempts to receive carbon money for protecting rainforests. TAKE ACTION!

Knighting of illegal logger and carbon market corruption plague Papua New Guinea's (PNG) attempts to receive carbon money for protecting rainforests [search]. Let Prime Minister Somare, and England's Queen and Prince of Wales, know PNG climate and biodiversity protection under REDD requires an immediate end to industrial primary rainforest destruction by logging and oil palm. And certainly no royal knighthood for criminal loggers.

June 28, 2009

ALERT! Mighty Mekong River Must Forever Flow Freely

Let the Mekong River Run FreeTAKE ACTION!

The mighty Mekong River [search] in Southeast Asia faces a devastating threat from eleven new proposed dams. If even one of the dams are built in Cambodia, Laos or Thailand; they would block major fish migrations and otherwise ecologically disrupt this vitally important river, placing at risk millions of people who depend upon the Mekong for their food security and income. Help "Save the Mekong" and this affinity campaign in seeking to pressure regional governments to shelve the plans.

June 19, 2009

ALERT! Madagascar: Daewoo's Rainforest Land Grab in Nature's Paradise

Madagascar's lemurs, rainforests and people threatenedTAKE ACTION!

The island of Madagascar is a veritable Noah's Ark of biodiversity [search], and this natural wealth is the country's primary treasure and opportunity for future ecologically sustainable development. The Korean company Daewoo Logistics intends to lease half the agricultural land in Madagascar for 99 years, industrially producing maize and palm oil on 1.3 million hectares that are now biodiversity rich rainforests and gardens. There already exists a severe food crisis nationally and local peoples, who are soon to be dispossessed from their land, are protesting, causing a major government crisis. Tell Daewoo the people of Madagascar have spoken -- and to shove off and leave Madagascar's rainforests, peoples and land alone.

TAKE ACTION!

June 5, 2009

RELEASE: Police Violently Attack Peaceful Indigenous Blockade in Peruvian Amazon, Killing Many

Peruvian police reportedly shot indigenous protesters from helicopters -- as peaceful protesters were protecting their ancestral land. Online affinity campaign demanding Peru respect indigenous rights continues.

Resource Boom in Peru's Amazon Threatens Indigenous Peoples' Lives, Livelihoods and Their Rainforest HomesTAKE ACTION! Peru's police have clashed with Amazon tribes opposed to foreign companies opening oil wells and mines in their rainforests without their consent. Police reportedly shot at protesters from helicopters, killing as many as twelve blockading a road to protect their land. Amazon Watch and Western media report indigenous protesters outside of Bagua, in a remote area of northern Peruvian Amazon, were forcibly dispersed by tear gas and real bullets. Reuters reports 12 protesters were killed, while Agence France-Presse puts it at 9. It may have been worse.

The threat of continued violence is real and imminent. Some 30,000 indigenous people have blockaded roads, rivers and railways for months to demand repeal of new laws that allow oil, mining and logging companies to enter indigenous territories without their consent or even any consultation. Reinhard Behrend, Rainforest Rescue's Director, notes "it is important to realize that our overconsumption in the rich and emerging nations is at the root cause of deadly conflict for rainforests and Indians. We ask people to eliminate their use of industrially harvested timbers, oil and minerals from the world's rainforests, and protest this senseless violence at Peru embassies all over the world."

Continue reading "RELEASE: Police Violently Attack Peaceful Indigenous Blockade in Peruvian Amazon, Killing Many" »

May 27, 2009

ALERT! Resource Boom in Peru's Amazon Threatens Indigenous Peoples' Livelihoods and Their Rainforest Homes

By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal with Rainforest Rescue

Resource Boom in Peru's Amazon Threatens Indigenous Peoples' Livelihoods and Their Rainforest HomesTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

Support tens of thousands of indigenous people bravely protesting Peru government's give-away of their rainforest homes [search] to oil, mining and logging industry without their approval; insist peaceful protests are not met with violence by President Alan Garcia's government, and that the focus for Amazonian development be upon benefiting from standing trees and intact rainforest ecosystems.

BRIEF BACKGROUND:

Indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon are protesting investment laws passed under a free-trade pact with the United States and against concessions granted to foreign energy companies. Some 30,000 indigenous people have blockaded roads, rivers and railways to demand repeal of new laws that allow oil, mining and logging companies to enter indigenous territories without seeking consent or even any consultation. Indigenous communities complain that some 70% of Peruvian Amazon territory is now leased for oil and gas exploration, putting at risk their own lives and the biodiversity of the Amazon.

Please add your voice in solidarity with the tens of thousands of indigenous people and their international supporters mobilizing to protect the Peruvian Amazon. Send a letter today to the Garcia Administration demanding respect for the constitutionally guaranteed rights of indigenous peoples, and Amazon development based upon standing forests.

TAKE ACTION NOW:
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=peru_amazon

May 21, 2009

UPDATED ALERT: Malaysian Govt. Denies Well Documented Oil Palm Development Plans in Brazilian Amazon

By Rainforest Rescue with Ecological Internet's Climate Ark

Oil palm destroying rainforest ecosystems for cheap cooking oil and biodieselTAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

In a startling yet welcome announcement, Malaysian government's land agency now denies plans to produce oil palm in the Amazon. While the prospect of a Malaysian government agency funding Amazonian oil palm has been dealt a serious setback, it is likely this project will re-emerge. Let's get formal commitment from the Malaysian government that this project is canceled, and to stop all Malaysian government and private industry funding of oil palm expansion overseas. Maybe, just maybe, we are winning this one!

BRIEF UPDATE:

In a positive yet puzzling development, a spokesperson for the Malaysian government's federal land agency (FELDA) now denies plan for Malaysian government controlled oil palm development in the heart of the Amazon ever existed. Wan Zaleha Wan Embong, from FELDA's Public Relations Department, has been responding to our network's protest emails, disavowing the plans and stating "for your info the project never take (sic) place." The sudden change of plans is either an attempt to save face, the project has been cancelled due to our protests and/or economic difficulties, or deceitful politics as the project is reorganized with private rather than government capital.

In July of 2008, Malaysia's own Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (then Deputy) announced the project. He is widely reported to have said Felda Global Ventures Brazil Sdn Bhd would invest some RM25mil (US$7.12mil) for a 70% stake in the project near the Amazon River in Brazil. He is quoted when announcing Felda's foray in South America as saying "Felda wants to emulate Petronas as a global player… As a start, 20,000ha in Tefe will be opened for oil palm planting. After that, between 3,000ha and 5,000ha will be opened yearly." As recently as March 25, 2009, Brazilian ambassador to Malaysia, Sergio Arruda, reportedly stated the oil palm cultivation project would commence this year.

Continue reading "UPDATED ALERT: Malaysian Govt. Denies Well Documented Oil Palm Development Plans in Brazilian Amazon" »

May 19, 2009

Indonesian Orangutan Habitat Wiped Out for Airport and Brothels

OrangutanAgence France-Presse reports that part of a national park on Borneo island, home to hundreds of endangered orangutans [search], has been turned into a development zone [ark] complete with an airport and brothel. Some 600 orangutan have disappeared from Kutai National Park, East Kalimantan province, over the past seven years due to unchecked construction. It really makes you wonder -- just how callous can humanity be towards sister species, and if this is going on with government complicity, just how willing is Indonesia's government to limit deforestation? Or is REDD carbon finance proposal just about the carbon money?

May 18, 2009

Peru Army into Amazon As Tribes Blockade Rivers and Roads

Biomass energy will threaten remaining terrestrial ecosystemsPeru's army is poised to deploy in the Amazon rainforest [ark] to lift blockades across rivers and roads by indigenous people opposed to oil, gas, logging and mining projects. The Peruvian rainforest [search] is the largest swath of Amazon outside Brazil. Ecology and culture are at stake as government plans to exploit 70% of the rainforest for oil, gas and timber.

In the past two years the government has signed deals with multinationals to open swaths of rainforest, including a £1.3bn agreement last month with the Anglo-French oil company Perenco. About 65 tribes have mobilised 30,000 people to disrupt roads, waterways and pipelines, leading to skirmishes with police. Up to 41 vessels serving energy companies are stuck along jungle rivers, paralysed by the protests. These brave souls need and deserve our support.

By Rainforest Rescue with Ecological Internet

May 16, 2009

RELEASE: Malaysia's Hollow Democracy: Government Censors Internet Criticism of Global Rainforest for Oil Palm Land Grab

Government documents regarding planned Amazon oil palm project by Malaysian government agency removed from Internet, and all email messages into country regarding the project are being delete

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

Oil palm destroying rainforest ecosystems for cheap cooking oilEcological Rather than respond substantively to criticism over the Malaysian government and industry's expansion of deadly oil palm plantations into Brazil and Liberia's rainforests [1], the Malaysian government is resorting to despotic censorship to stifle dissent. References to plans by Malaysia‘s federal land agency to establish up to 100,000 hectares of oil palm plantations in the heart of Brazil's Amazon rainforest are being systematically removed from the government's Internet servers. And all emails referring to Malaysia's global rainforest for oil palm land grab flowing through Streamyx, the monopoly Internet service provider in Malaysia, are not being delivered.

"It is clear that Malaysian citizens do not enjoy freedom of information, which is tragic, because their government is leading the destruction of Earth's rainforests with their tax money," asserts Dr. Barry, Ecological Internet's President. "For decades Malaysian timber companies have behaved like timber Mafia across the Asia-Pacific, bribing and waging violence to rip out millions of year old rainforest ecosystems for timber. This once off raping of the land is now being followed by planting of oil palm, in what can only be described as south-south neo-colonialism. We demand that the Malaysian government respond to our criticism, cancel the projects, and commit to freedom of expression regarding their rainforest policies."

Continue reading "RELEASE: Malaysia's Hollow Democracy: Government Censors Internet Criticism of Global Rainforest for Oil Palm Land Grab" »

May 13, 2009

RELEASE: Malaysia's Global Oil Palm Rainforest Land Grab Just the Beginning of Larger Land and Water Scarcity Issues

PRESS/SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASE

Over-developed, over-populated, and land and water scarce Asian and Middle East nations embark upon global land grab to produce food and agrofuels; threatening global human rights, rainforest and other natural ecosystems, and regional and global ecological sustainability. Deadly global ecological issues require global citizens to unite in escalating protest action!

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

Remaining intact old forests far to valuable to be turned into toxic, oil palm monoculturesRelatively rich countries in Asia and the Middle East, short of food and water at home, have leased or purchased more than 20 million hectares of farmland in Africa and Latin America, equal to 25 percent of Europe's farmland. This global "land grab" by foreign governments and companies is a result of last year's food crisis and a shortage of arable land and water. About one-quarter of these investments are for biofuel plantations [search]. Ecological Internet's current global campaign against Malaysian oil palm plantations in the Amazon rainforests [1] fits within the context of this larger trend.

Malaysia‘s federal land agency will soon break ground on a joint venture with a Brazilian firm to establish 30,000-100,000 hectares of oil palm plantations in the heart of Brazil's Amazon rainforest. Sime Darby, a Malaysian palm oil producer, will invest $800 million for 200,000 hectares (500,000 acres) of palm oil and rubber plantations in Liberia. "It is increasingly difficult to acquire arable plantation land in Asia and thus it is imperative that new frontiers be sought to meet increasing demand," said Ahmad Zubir Murshid, chief executive of Sime Darby. "Sime Darby will also have the first mover advantage over future entrants into Liberia in terms of securing choice land."

"This flood of land grabs by emerging nations, mostly of land under local customary land tenure, is eerily reminiscent of past and ongoing European and U.S. colonial practices," states Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet's President, who is a practicing Political Ecologist and hold a Ph.D. in Land Resources. "We are witnessing the intensification of social turmoil caused by climate change, land and water scarcity, and over-population and inequitable consumption. Until these root causes of global ecosystem collapse are addressed, there is no chance of achieving equitable and just global ecological sustainability."

Continue reading "RELEASE: Malaysia's Global Oil Palm Rainforest Land Grab Just the Beginning of Larger Land and Water Scarcity Issues" »

May 6, 2009

ALERT! Malaysian Oil Palm Threatens Brazilian Amazon

By Rainforest Rescue with Ecological Internet

Malaysia's government owned and subsidized oil palm cooking oil and biofuel industry -- the scourge of Asia and the world's rainforests -- is continuing to expand, this time into the heart of the Brazilian Amazon

BRIEF BACKGROUND:
OrangutanTAKE ACTION HERE NOW: Malaysia‘s Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) will soon break ground on a joint venture with a Brazilian firm to establish 30,000-100,000 hectares (ha; 75,000 – 250,000 acres) of oil palm plantations in the heart of Brazil's Amazon rainforest. Similar oil palm development continues to devastate Asia-Pacific's rainforests, and increasingly the world, with some thirty square miles of carbon and biodiversity rich habitat being cleared a day to provide cooking oil and transport biodiesel. Oil palm agrofuel is heralded as a climate change mitigation measure, yet the initial rainforest clearance leads to much more carbon release than its production and use avoids.

Large scale biofuel production runs counter to urgently addressing climate change and threatens to cause more deforestation, hunger, human rights abuses, and degradation of soil and water. Global ecological sustainability and local well-being depend critically upon ending all industrial development in the world's remaining old forests -- including plantations, logging, mining and dams. The amount of primary and old growth forests that have been lost has already overshot the carrying capacity of Earth. Globally there are not enough old forests to maintain climatic and hydrological cycles, meet local forest dwellers' needs, and to maintain ecosystems and the biosphere in total. Local peoples must be assisted to fully protect, restore and benefit from intact, standing forests.

TAKE ACTION!

May 2, 2009

Oil Palm in Your Food: Rainforest's and Climate's Greatest Scourge

Oil palm destroying rainforest ecosystems for cheap cooking oilEcological Internet and Rainforest Rescue have been campaigning against the spread of industrial, monoculture oil palm plantations in primary rainforests for years, with some success, but the threat keeps on escalating. This is largely due to the extent to which oil palm has emerged as a cheap food ingredient [ark] in industrial nations. This is one manner where each of our behaviors are impacting rainforests and ultimately climate [ark] and biodiversity.

Palm oil [search] is very likely to be found in your margarine, bread, biscuits and candy bars -- frequently listed as "vegetable oil" in the ingredients. Thirty square miles of carbon and biodiversity rich habitat are being cleared a day to provide you these products, largely in Malaysia and Indonesia, but increasingly threatening primary forests wherever they are found, including in the Amazon.

Continue reading "Oil Palm in Your Food: Rainforest's and Climate's Greatest Scourge" »

April 25, 2009

RELEASE: Major Victory for Ivory Coast's Rainforests as Oil Palm Successfully Resisted

Finally the oil palm scourge threatening primary rainforests and life giving ecosystems worldwide faces a setback as local protests are again successfully supported internationally by Ecological Internet, Rainforest Rescue and others.

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

Extinction of three primate species too high of price for palm oilCôte d'Ivoire's (Ivory Coast) main palm oil company, Palmci, on Friday announced it was abandoning a major plantation scheme in the south of the country after opposition by environmentalists to destruction of 12,000 hectares (29,700 acres) of primary rainforests. Tanoé Swamps Forest is one of the last remaining old growth forests in the country and the last refuge for three highly endangered primates -- the Miss Waldron's Red Colobus, the Geoffroy's colobus and the Diana roloway -- as well as home to many endangered plant species.

In June of 2008, Ecological Internet and Rainforest Rescue of Germany initiated the first major international campaign against the Tanoé Swamps Forest oil palm project and in support of local opposition. Leading global consumer products company Unilever was then poised to destroy Ivory Coast's rainforests [search] as both investor and customer, after having just made a supposed commitment -- falsely heralded by some -- to rainforest protection and certified oil palm, but starting in 2015.

Continue reading "RELEASE: Major Victory for Ivory Coast's Rainforests as Oil Palm Successfully Resisted" »

April 16, 2009

REDD Must Only Support Willing Protection of Old Forests

Should carbon markets pay for rainforest logging?Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) [search] proposals to use carbon market monies to protect forests appear to be gathering steam [ark], something that Ecological Internet cautiously supports as long as it does not pay for first time logging of primary forests [search]. More of the Earth's terrestrial ecosystems have already been lost and diminished than required to maintain an operable climate, all species and a fully operable biosphere. As we have written before, Earth needs more old forests and other natural habitats -- both strictly protected primary forests and restored old growth forests -- for continued existence.

Insofar as the carbon market can pay for this protection and restoration; without allowing over-developed countries to continue polluting, threaten indigenous and local land rights, while supporting community based ecoforestry uses of standing forests, they are worthy of support. If carbon monies pay for non-existent "sustainable management" and other industrial development of primary forests, replacing them with plantations and much diminished secondary forests (both in terms of biodiversity and carbon), it will facilitate the biosphere's continued decline. Old forest destruction must end to sustain Earth.

Others like RAN and Greenpeace [search] disagree and support first time "well-managed" ancient forest logging. They are dangerously wrong and will bear the shame of having enabled such activities at this critical juncture for global ecological sustainability.

April 8, 2009

April 2009 Rainforest Destroyer -- Malaysian Oil Palm Threatens Brazilian Amazon

Oil palm to destroy Amazonian ecosystems to produce food for fuelRainforest destroyer of the month award for April goes to Malaysia's Land Development Authority (FELDA), who will soon break ground on a joint venture with a Brazilian firm to establish 30,000-100,000 hectares (75,000 - 250,000 acres) of oil palm plantations in the heart of the Amazon rainforest [ark]. Oil palm has, and continues, to devastate Asia-Pacific's rainforests. Should oil palm [search] production -- in toxic, biologically depauperate monoculture tree plantations -- become established in the Brazilian Amazon, it would be a global ecological tragedy for biodiversity and climate, and a crime against local peoples and humanity.

The venture will start with 30,000 hectares cultivated near Tefe and Manuas. FELDA has a 70 percent stake in the venture, called Felda Global Ventures Brazil Sdn Bhd, while Braspalma of Brazil holds the remaining stake.The project would include the establishment of a palm oil biodiesel production plant. There is no spare biomass to be had for fuel at the expense of the Amazon's life giving natural ecosystems.

The venture could be the first of many oil palm projects in the Brazilian Amazon, as the scourge of Malaysian oil palm development goes global. The Brazilian Congress is weighing a law that would allow landowners to count plantations as forest towards their legal forest reserve requirement. By law landowners in the legal Amazon must retain 80 percent forest cover on their holdings. A recent study estimated that 2.3 million square kilometers of the Brazilian Amazon are suitable for growing oil palm.

Rainforest Rescue (Rettet den Regenwald) and Ecological Internet are committed to working together to expose the ecological damage done to forests, water, climate and local livelihoods by industrial agriculture, and its proposed expansion for agrofuels.

March 24, 2009

New Threat to Amazon from Oil Palm Plantations

Oil palm destroying ecosystems to produce food for fuelAn important new study in the open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science highlights that oil palm expansion presents a major emerging threat to the Amazon [ark]. Already a major cause of tropical forest conversion across southeast Asia, oil palm expansion in the Amazon rainforest is likely, due to a changes in Brazil's forest law, new infrastructure, and the influence of existing foreign soya companies in the region. A proposed change in Brazil's forest code, which requires land owners to retain 80 percent forest on lands in the Amazon, would allow up to 30 percent of this reserve to consist of oil palm.

This scheme to increase tree plantations of food crops largely for agrofuel production falsely equates plantations with natural primeval rainforest, at great risk to climate, biodiversity and local livelihoods. Notorious Malaysian oil palm producers, also implicated globally in massive illegal rainforest logging, have already been allowed to setup shop. High-yielding oilseed would offer higher financial returns and employment than cattle ranching, mechanized soy farms, and expected REDD carbon payments to avoid deforestation. As demonstrated in Asia, it is highly unlikely such activities will be limited to already degraded lands. Indeed, logging off the primary forests often subsidizes the oil palm plantation expansion. Biofuels are disastrous for rainforests and climate, as well as are toxic, destroy water resources and often violate human rights. The use of fuel from food and destroyed ecosystems must end. TAKE ACTION!

March 11, 2009

Keeping Old Forests Intact and Unfragmented Key to Minimizing Climate Change

Keeping old forests intact and unfragmented key to minimizing climate changeIt is becoming abundantly clear that ending industrial diminishment of primary and old growth forests [search] and working for their full protection and restoration is a keystone response to climate change (to say nothing of biodiversity and water crises). Over the past years ecological science has learned much regarding the importance of these ancient forests in regard to avoiding the worst climate change scenarios [search]. We have known for some time that these old forests are being lost at a rate of 13 million hectares a year, and many times more is permanently degraded through both first time selective "legal" and "illegal" logging. Last year scientific findings showed that contrary to conventional thought, intact old forests continue to act as a major sink for new carbon.

A recent Nature paper quantifies this, finding that 20% of industrial emissions are ending up in old tropical forests. We learned last year that when old forests are industrially logged for the first time they lose at least 40% of their carbon immediately, and are unlikely to ever fully recover their carbon holding potential. Untouched forests were found to hold 60% more carbon than replacement plantations. Selective logging causes habitat fragmentation, which opens up the canopy, leading to dryness and fire, and thus total loss of species and carbon. And a new study this week further clarified that due to fragmentation, climate changes and droughts, this carbon sequestration by old forests is gravely threatened [ark] -- with the Amazon having become a source of carbon during the drought in 2005.

Keeping old forests' stored carbon in place, continuing new carbon sequestration, and keeping these ancient forests from burning and becoming a massive carbon source is best served by avoiding fragmentation associated with selective logging. By finding a way to fully protect old forests, you keep the long-time-stored carbon that would be released out of the atmosphere (about 20% of emissions) AND you remove 20% of the remaining 80% from fossil fuels. You avoid the 40% immediate loss from logging, and greatly decrease the probability of full carbon loss from fires. That is a net swing of at least 35% of anthropocentric carbon being kept or removed from the atmosphere by protecting and restoring old forests. This would appear to be second only to ending use of coal as a one shot action to address climate change.

February 22, 2009

RELEASE: Papua New Guinea Rainforests Deeply Threatened

- The nation's future carbon payments for avoided deforestation in doubt. As a global leader in promoting such payments, the PNG government would be well advised to focus upon better protecting its rainforests, if it wants to fully access carbon monies based upon their continued carbon storage

By Earth's Newsdesk and the Rainforest Portal, Projects of Ecological Internet
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

Sari papa, bikpela bus pinis, na bai yumi painim had long karim kaikai long ples(Seattle, WA) -- An important new study in the journal "Biotropica" finds that between 1972 and 2002, a net 15 percent of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) rainforests [search] were cleared and 8.8 percent were degraded through logging[1]. The clearance rate of 1.1 to 3.4 percent/yr in commercially accessible forests is much higher than reported previously by the FAO.

PNG -- located in the South Pacific, northeast of Australia -- holds some of the world's largest and most important intact and contiguous forests. Their fate has important implications for local livelihoods and biodiversity, and both local and global climate change. The new study quantifies forest loss in PNG for the first time with a high degree of accuracy. And the findings are not good.

Some 36% of the accessible forest estate has been degraded or deforested. This finding raises the question of whether the PNG government -- as a welcome leader in promoting avoided deforestation payments -- is pursuing the necessary policies to ensure large rainforests continue to exist as the basis for their country to receive large and continuous international payments for their forest's carbon storage?

Continue reading "RELEASE: Papua New Guinea Rainforests Deeply Threatened" »

February 19, 2009

RELEASE: Ancient Forests Absorb 20% of Human's Carbon, Logging and Other Industrial Destruction of Old Forests Must Stop Now

The myth that primary and old growth forests should be "sustainably" managed is dealt a mortal deathblow. Members and funders of RAN, FSC and others greenwashing ancient forest logging called upon to withdraw support in protest

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

Tropical rainforests store and continue to remove massive amounts of carbon(Seattle, WA) -- Ecological Internet welcomes the emerging science published today in "Nature" indicating tropical trees in undisturbed forest are absorbing [ark] nearly a fifth of the CO2 released by burning fossil fuels[1]. This is in addition to the long-term carbon sequestered within old trees' wood and soils. This is the most recent of several major scientific studies indicating the need to fully protect all remaining primary and old growth forests as a keystone response to global climate, biodiversity and water crises.

"This is huge -- not only do ancient rainforests reliably store massive amounts of carbon, as we have known for sometime, but they continue to remove enormous amounts of carbon every day they remain standing and are non-degraded. The study partially solves the mystery of where human carbon pollution has been going, and in so doing supports the need for avoided deforestation payments," said Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet's President.

It was found that remaining tropical forests remove a massive 4.8 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere each year. This includes a previously unknown carbon sink in Africa, which mops up 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 a year. Over the past 40 years, each hectare of intact African forest was found to have annually trapped an extra 0.6 tonnes of carbon. This builds upon last year's studies that found old-growth forests are "carbon sinks" and continually absorb carbon dioxide, and that their first time logging releases 40 percent of their carbon[2].

Continue reading "RELEASE: Ancient Forests Absorb 20% of Human's Carbon, Logging and Other Industrial Destruction of Old Forests Must Stop Now" »

January 28, 2009

Global Rainforest Tragedy

Amazon logging roadRainforest destruction [search] AND diminishment [search] are a global tragedy [ark] of unknown and unimagined consequences. This delicate layer of primeval, bountiful life is an absolutely critical component of the Earth System [search]. There innumerable species live and are intimately connected in life-giving ecosystems. Through carbon, nutrient and water cycling, rainforests maintain the biosphere, and thus conditions for all life. The loss of the world's last large, intact tropical rainforest ecological core areas [ark] will doom most, if not all, of the Earth's life -- including humans -- to a painful death spiral culminating in extinction. Rainforest losses are a monstrous evil perpetuated upon being. But seriously, enough is enough, this must and will end.

January 21, 2009

Tropical Reforestation: Carbon Storage that Matters

Tropical rainforests store massive amounts of carbonNow here is a proposal we can get behind: massive reforestation and ecological restoration [search] of tropical rainforests as a climate change mitigation strategy. Forget minuscule algae, burying, or giant vacuums to sequester carbon. Strictly protect remaining large scale ancient tropical rainforest expanses, and allow and aid surrounding and connecting areas to regenerate. To be maximally ecologically beneficial, it must go beyond reforestation to restoration (the use of the word "engineering" in the article title is misleading and unnecessary). There is tremendous potential to mix in permaculture, agro-forestry and even local small scale eco-forestry into the matrix of protected and regenerating areas, sustaining landscapes, ecosystems, water and local livelihoods rather than only timber yields.

Of course it would depend upon respecting native land tenures, and ensuring local ownership and advancement, but tropical rainforest restoration provides carbon storage on a scale and time frame that could make a difference in maintaining a biosphere. Anyone concerned with biodiversity, climate, ecosystems and continued human existence should immediately get behind these efforts to regrow native tropical tree species. Recreating natural rainforests based upon the models provided by those ancient rainforests still standing is worthy of a lifetime of devotion. It builds upon nature's underestimated resilience. And forget about the clean coal, certified ancient forest logging, ocean fertilization, carbon offsets and other trendy fluff... Now is the time for sufficient ecological policies adequate to belie the coming global ecological collapse.

January 19, 2009

VICTORY! Closer to Ending Congo's Ancient Rainforest Logging

Rainforest logsThe Democratic Republic of Congo is closer to ending ancient rainforest logging [ark], as some 60% of logging contracts on nearly 13 million hectares of forest have been canceled. A long delayed review of 156 logging deals, aimed at stamping out corruption and enforcing minimum legal and environmental standards, found that only 65 were "viable".

On several occasions Ecological Internet's Earth Action Network has hastened this process with timely protest alerts [1, 2, 3] exposing World Bank forest corruption and successfully demanding the review, and we share with many others in this victory. While it is heartening that the World Bank has facilitated this logging concession review, it is sad that they and so many others still cling to the myth that industrial logging of millions of year old primeval ecosystems can ever benefit the Earth's climate and biodiversity, or local peoples.

The industrial destruction of natural ecosystems must end for our shared survival. Please continue to participate in the Earth Action Network and support ecological protest action that matters.

December 22, 2008

Remembering Chico Mendes, Mourning the Amazon's Demise

Things have worsened in the Amazon since Mendes' murderAs Brazil and the world mourn and memorialize the great Amazon rainforest advocate Chico Mendes [ark], two things have become abundantly clear. First, to speak and organize for Amazonian rainforest ecological sustainability still remains virtually a death sentence in Brazil. Hundreds of Brazilians activists are routinely threatened with assassination [ark]. This is so sad, and lack of a massive government response unforgivable, given increased ecological sensitivity and desire to act nationally.

And secondly, despite improved efforts at least rhetorically by the Brazilian government, the Amazon's rainforests, and thus global atmospheric and ecological sustainability, remain deeply threatened. With deforestation having increased [search] by 64% this past year, it is difficult to envision a future solution -- based upon continued piddly policy half-measures and NGO token projects -- that keeps the Amazon intact and fully functional as a whole.

Clear prohibitions in the Amazon and rest of the world's rainforests on any industrial logging and development, backed up with a well-funded and trained enforcement, would be the sufficient place to start. If this massive planetary ecosystem engine is fragmented and diminished, collapsing into pieces, Brazil and the Earth's habitability will be deeply threatened. Only responses at scales commiserate to the problem can save the Amazon now.

December 17, 2008

ALERT: Bolivia’s Amazon Riches to Be Plundered for Oil

President Morales must be encouraged to live up to his grand rhetoric, and end his government's hurried measures to decimate massive indigenous rainforest protected areas and their biodiversity and climate values, in a manner eerily reminiscent of the capitalistic system against which he rallies

Rainforest protection and oil do not mixTAKE ACTION! Bolivia's Madidi National Park [search] and Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve are communal lands containing some of the most biodiverse areas on earth. With the assent of President Evo Morales, the oil giant Petrobas and collaborators have begun an oil exploration assault that threatens not only these remarkable ecosystems, but also the culture and livelihood of the resident indigenous peoples. Mr. Morales must be encouraged to live up to his grand rhetoric, and end his government's hurried plans to decimate indigenous protected areas, local sustainable livelihoods and their rainforest lands' biodiversity and climate values. TAKE ACTION!

December 6, 2008

Ecological Internet's Campaign to End Ancient Forest Logging Gaining Support

Ecological Internet's campaign to End Ancient Forest Logging growingEcological Internet's campaign to end ancient forest logging as the keystone response to the climate and biodiversity crises continues to gain both scientific credibility and prominence within the environmental movement. A new atlas from the UN Environment Programme shows not surprisingly that most of the world's terrestrial biodiversity and carbon storage hotspots [ark] are found in Earth's last great primary and old growth forest expanses. Find ways to maintain these areas in an intact condition while meeting local development aspirations, without stealing their land, and the world is well on the way to global ecological sustainability.

For several years Ecological Internet has informed the forest movement and the world that perhaps the greatest impediment to doing so is greenwash perpetuated by the likes of Greenpeace, WWF, RAN and FSC that the world's last primeval ecosystems should be logged. The Ecologist magazine notes in their current issue Ecological Internet's campaign discrediting the myth that ancient forests can be logged in an environmentally acceptable manner. To make the green mainstream media after years of ridicule (Greenpeace would never support ancient forest logging, hah) is gratifying. There we get FSC's first response to two years of campaigning, answering how logging ancient forests benefits the environment:

"The FSC counters that in order to be effective as the demand for timber grows, it is forced to work with industrial logging companies and allow the sustainable cutting of old-growth and primary forests... allowing logging places an economic value on the forest ecosystem, which in turn helps avoid the ground being clear-cut for pasture or crop monocultures."

Continue reading "Ecological Internet's Campaign to End Ancient Forest Logging Gaining Support" »

November 3, 2008

Greenpeace Reaffirms Support for Ancient Forest Logging

PRESS/SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASE

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 Ecological Internet
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

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 Ecological Internet, 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.

Continue reading "Greenpeace Reaffirms Support for Ancient Forest Logging" »

October 16, 2008

RELEASE: Ancient Forest Victory, as Rainforest Action Network Yields, Commits to Review FSC Support

In a major victory for Ecological Internet and the world's ancient forests, RAN acknowledges concerns regarding FSC and commits to campaign to end all primary and old-growth logging

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

FSC logging destroys ancient forests(Earth) -- Bowing to a global pressure campaign spearheaded by Ecological Internet (EI), the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has publicly announced they are reviewing their support for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), over concerns regarding FSC's greenwashing of ancient forest logging. In a statement to Ecological Internet, and on their web site, RAN announced they find "certification of logging in such forests extremely problematic" and have "raised the matter with the FSC".

RAN has embraced EI's goal of working to end ancient forest logging [search], written to FSC with their concerns and to request more data, and indicated that FSC's continued certification of ancient forest logging is problematic and threatens their membership. Based upon this progress, Ecological Internet has temporarily suspended the protest campaign. If RAN fails in its commitment to work within FSC in coming months to end its certification of ancient forest logging, and refuses to resign from FSC at that time, EI's campaign will resume immediately.

Continue reading "RELEASE: Ancient Forest Victory, as Rainforest Action Network Yields, Commits to Review FSC Support" »

October 13, 2008

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 Ecological Internet
http://www.ecoearth.info/newsdesk/
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

RAN supports ancient forest logging(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 Ecological Internet'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.

Continue reading "RELEASE: Ancient Forest Logging is deRANged" »

September 26, 2008

ALERT: As Rainforest Action Network Prepares to "Revel", What Has Become of Their Old Growth Forest Campaign?

There is no chance of achieving global ancient forest protection, climate stabilization and ecological sustainability until RAN and other ancient forest logging apologists follow Friends of the Earth in withdrawing from the Forest Stewardship Council and uniting to work to end ancient forest logging

RAN supports ancient forest loggingTAKE ACTION! Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is one of a shrinking group of international environmental NGOs that supports industrial logging of ancient primary and old-growth forests by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) [search]. Sadly, as RAN prepares to gather for their annual lavish, celebrity studded "Revel" fund-raiser, there is little to celebrate regarding their disjointed and harmful Old Growth Campaign -- legitimate questions regarding their FSC support have been stonewalled, Ontario's continued ancient forest destruction legitimized, and the forest protection movement needlessly divided. Last week Friends of the Earth (FoE) became the first major international NGO to confirm they no longer support FSC certification; which falsely suggests primary and old-growth forest logging is desirable, benefits the climate, and is even sustainable; and that plantations are forests. RAN must stop supporting outdated, destructive logging. The following alert lets Revel's many sponsors know they are funding greenwashing of ancient forest devastation -- and asks that RAN immediately review and cease their support for destruction of centuries old ancient trees and their ecosystems. Please note, there are two different protest emails to send. TAKE ACTION!

September 23, 2008

RELEASE: Friends of the Earth Rejects Forest Stewardship Council

PRESS/SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASE

Major victory for Ecological Internet's campaign to end ancient forest logging as key response to climate and biodiversity crises

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

FSC logging destroys ancient forests(Earth) -- Friends of the Earth (FoE) is the first major international NGO to confirm they no longer support Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification [search], which falsely suggests primary and old-growth forest logging is desirable and even sustainable, and that plantations are forests. This is a major victory for those including Ecological Internet (EI) and FSC-Watch[1] who have courageously taken on large environmental interests using FSC to greenwash ancient forest destruction.

FoE pioneered timber certification during the 1980s and was one of FSC's founders, but FoE International in Amsterdam has confirmed that it is now "reviewing" its membership of the organization. FoE UK announced on their website[2] they are "deeply concerned by the number of FSC certifications that are now sparking controversy and threatening the credibility of the scheme. We cannot support a scheme that fails to guarantee high environmental and social standards. As a result we can no longer recommend the FSC standard."

Continue reading "RELEASE: Friends of the Earth Rejects Forest Stewardship Council" »

August 21, 2008

RELEASE: Australia's Tepid Overseas Rainforest Aid Provides Little Climate Benefit

Press/Social Media Release

Harnessing ancient primary forests for continued carbon storage requires ending industrial logging, and in Australia too

By Earth's Newsdesk, a project of Ecological Internet
Dr. Glen Barry

(Earth) -- Indonesia and Papua New Guinea cannot continue first-time industrial ancient forest logging and credibly accept funds for rainforests' carbon storageEcological Internet welcomes Australia’s expression of concern about forests and climate change, demonstrated by yesterday's release of an initial US$2 million in aid [ark] for Asia-Pacific nations to help protect forests and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But it is unfortunate these efforts to maintain forest carbon [search] are only being applied overseas, are based upon flawed science, and thus will be unlikely to make much difference.

An important new study from Australian National University researchers recently found that first-time logging of ancient primary forests results in more than a 40 percent reduction in long-term carbon compared with unlogged forests[1]. Further, untouched natural forests were found to store three times more carbon dioxide than previously estimated and 60 percent more than plantation forests. These findings directly contradict industry propaganda that logging old-growth is climate friendly.

Continue reading "RELEASE: Australia's Tepid Overseas Rainforest Aid Provides Little Climate Benefit" »

August 20, 2008

ALERT! Fund Ecuador to Keep Oil Underground

It is time for the international community led by Europe to step up and finance large-scale Amazon rainforest preservation to protect the Earth's atmosphere, biodiversity, and life-giving ecosystems; while helping meet needs for national advancement

Amazon roadTAKE ACTION! The Western Amazon -- home to some of the most biodiverse and intact rainforest left on Earth, which are critical for driving regional and global ecosystems and climatic patterns necessary for life -- may soon be decimated by oil rigs and pipelines. According to a new study in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, over 180 oil and gas "blocks" – areas zoned for exploration and development – now cover the Western Amazon, which includes Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and western Brazil. These oil and gas blocks stretch over 688,000 km2 (170 million acres), a vast area nearly the size of Texas.

Yet there is hope, as Ecuador's new forward-thinking government led by President Rafael Correa announced in June 2007 the innovative Yasuní-ITT Initiative which offers to keep Ecuador's largest untapped oilfields unexploited in exchange for financial compensation from the international community. Regional governments, international donors and global citizens must decide whether every last bit of the Earth's wilderness; and intact, large ecosystems, will be sacrificed to delay having to transition now to renewable energy sources, ensuring abrupt run-away climate change in the process. Given their historical strong rhetoric on the need to protect global climate and biodiversity, please ask European aid agencies to lead the effort. TAKE ACTION!

August 2, 2008

Ups and Downs of Protecting Rainforests

As go rainforests will go humanitySocieties not recognizing their ecological foundation cannot long stand. After decades Brazil begrudgingly accepts [ark | more\ark] with outstretched cupped hand the mighty Amazon's key role in climate protection [search], yet continues with damming and other industrial development. Greenpeace heralds as news Africa's European rainforest loggers avoiding taxes [ark]. Yet similar practices were well-documented in Papua New Guinea 20 years ago, and are nearly universal in the rainforest logging industry.

The critical ecological role played by rainforests' ancient biodiversity [search] and emergent ecosystem processes [search] have been known for decades, yet gains in protection have been slow. We know it is going to take money and ending illegal activities to protect rainforests [search] and their life giving ecosystems services [search]. Progress such as it is results from years of protest by Ecological Internet and many others, yet our deep ecological message that all being is dependent upon rainforests, atmosphere and water cycling energy and nutrients continues to be viewed with suspicion. As go rainforests will go humanity.

July 21, 2008

Amazon River Found to Be Key to Tropical Ocean Carbon Sink

Amazon rainforests linked to rivers, oceans and the atmosphereInteresting new findings suggest the Amazon River powers tropical ocean's carbon sinks [ark | more\ark] by transporting nutrients well beyond the continental shelf, pushing carbon capture into the deep ocean. Fed from river transported iron and phosphorus, organisms called diazotrophs pull nitrogen and carbon from the air and make organic solids that sink to the ocean floor. This major river fed tropical ocean carbon sink [search] is thought to be more than enough to offset ocean respiration.

This is yet another startling demonstration of the Earth's cycling of nutrients and energy -- between forests, water, oceans and the atmosphere -- which makes all life possible. Each of these ecosystems is being dismantled to meet exponential human growth without even understanding how they work or interact with the others, threatening the operation of the Earth System [search] -- Gaia if you will. The most urgent task of all human history is to understand how Gaia works even as we work urgently and boldly to maintain her threatened ecosystem processes and patterns. Our and all being depends upon success for our future being.

July 1, 2008

Alert: Brazil's Xingu River Dam to Damn Amazonian Rainforests and Peoples

The wild and free Xingu River is critical to maintaining intact the Amazon, its peoples and the Earth we share

Extinction of three primate species too high of price for palm oilTAKE ACTION! The Brazilian government is planning to build what would be the world´s third largest dam on the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon [search]. The Xingu River in northeast Brazil is a tributary of the Amazon River. The Belo Monte Dam, meant principally to fuel the expansion of aluminum foundries and other industrial plants in the Amazon, would require diverting nearly the entire flow of the Xingu, drying up the “Big Bend” of the Xingu and its tributary, the Bacajá, home to hundreds of indigenous people. Native people upstream would also be affected by the dam´s impacts on fish stocks, their principal food source.TAKE ACTION!

June 1, 2008

ALERT: Unilever Threatens Côte d'Ivoire's Primary Rainforests, Showing Promises of "Sustainable" Palm Oil Meaningless

TAKE ACTION! Leading global consumer products company poised to destroy Ivory Coast's rainforests as both investor and customer, just after its commitment to rainforest protection and certified oil palm was much heralded by some.

Extinction of three primate species too high of price for palm oilOne of Côte d’Ivoire's most important primary rainforests [search] is to be cleared by global consumer product company Unilever and others, despite Unilever's recent promises to buy only "sustainable" palm oil [search] from lands not cleared of rainforests for their production. Tanoé Swamps Forest in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is one of the last remaining old growth forests in the country and the last refuge for three highly endangered primates -- the Miss Waldron Colobus, the Geoffroy’s colobus and the Diana roloway -- as well as home to many endangered plant species. The palm oil company PALM-CI has just begun destroying this 6,000 hectare forest to convert it to oil palm plantations, despite local and international protests. Unilever is one of the main companies behind PALM-CI and the destruction of the Tanoé Swamps Forest. After sending the first protest email to Unilever, you will be forwared to a second protest email asking the government of Côte d’Ivoire to ensure that the forest and the communities that depend on it are fully protected. TAKE ACTION!

May 30, 2008

WWF's Rainforest Protection Goals Prolong Ecological Decline

PRESS RELEASE

10% Congo Protection is almost no protection at all15% protection of last large intact forest ecosystems, and promotion of continued ancient forest diminishment, are insufficient to maintain Earth's ecosystems, climate, biosphere and human advancement.

This week the Democratic Republic of Congo announced new protections for 10% of their rainforest [ark] , moving towards Brazil's goal of 15% preservation of the Amazon. WWF and other environmental groups hailed 85% industrial destruction and diminishment of the rest of the world's remaining large forest ecosystems as good news. At the UN biodiversity talks in Bonn, WWF organized non-binding national pledges to end deforestation [ark], ignoring biological simplification caused by industrial forestry. WWF promotes first-time ancient primary forest logging [search] which is nearly as bad ecologically as total deforestation. These inadequate responses come as a new study shows ecosystem loss is already costing hundreds of billions [ark] of dollars a year.

Ecological Internet is committed -- as keystone responses to the climate, biodiversity, water and food crises -- to ending all industrial development of the world's remaining primary and natural ecosystems, and committing to strict protection for half of the world's land and sea as global ecological reserves. The remainder will need to be ecologically managed to sustainably meet human needs in perpetuity. This will require massive ecological restoration and protection of forest remnants in over-developed countries, and major new protected areas (increased by 3-5 times) in countries holding the Earth's remaining primary natural habitats.

Continue reading "WWF's Rainforest Protection Goals Prolong Ecological Decline" »

May 27, 2008

ALERT: Cambodian Cardamom Mountain Wilderness to Be Dammed

Indochinese Tigers and dams do not mixTAKE ACTION: Dam construction must not damn opportunity for protection of one of Asia's last intact, fully functional natural ecosystems.

The Cardamom Mountains [search] in Southwest Cambodia -- one of the world’s priceless ecological treasures -- contain the region's last true wilderness with untouched rivers cascading to the Gulf of Thailand. This is one of Asia's last unbroken, large primary forest expanses with wild waterways linking mountain-top and ocean, containing still intact extensive tracts of lowland evergreen forest, and holding over 40 globally threatened species. The Cambodian government is preparing to dam and flood the Cardamom Mountains' riverways with a dubious hydroelectric scheme. There are many better-suited dam sites in the Cardamom landscape than the Areng River. Prime Minister Hun Sen's government should demonstrate wise leadership and fully protect the Cardamom Mountains. TAKE ACTION!

May 6, 2008

ALERT: Agrofuels on Stolen Lands Continue to Threaten Colombian Rainforests and Communities

It is gravely unethical and ecologically devastating to expand production of biofuels by allowing land to be stolen from local Afro-Colombian communities; and at the expense of Colombia's ancient primary rainforests, food security, water resources and regional climate

Chocó rainforest goes right to the seaTAKE ACTION! Plantation expansion for agrofuels remains a major threat to the lives, livelihoods and the environment of Afro-Colombian and other peasant communities in Chocó, Colombia. This is one of the world's most biodiverse regions, with large areas of rainforest now facing destruction. The Chocó rainforests [search] are home to 7,000 to 8,000 species, including 2,000 endemic plant species and 100 endemic bird species. Even before the current palm oil and agrofuel expansion, 66% had been destroyed. Communities and rainforests are under threat from palm oil and sugar cane expansion for agrofuels in other parts of Colombia, too, for example around Tumaco, near the border with Ecuador, in Santander and in Magdalena. If agrofuels -- growing food for fuel -- continue to expand in Colombia, food prices are bound to rise and the nation's food security erode as is happening around the world. Please ask the government to stop and reverse those policies and to protect Colombia's communities and rich environment from further destruction for agrofuels. TAKE ACTION!

April 25, 2008

Papua New Guinea Admits Illegal Logging

PNG admits illegal logging for aid moneyAs it is prone to do when the donors come a-calling, the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government "has admitted its forestry sector is riddled with corruption" [ark] . This occurred during aid talks with the Australian government, and reflects political posturing to access donor funds on the basis of their rainforest's carbon holding potential. PNG contains the third largest expanse of tropical rainforests [search], though much diminished through years of heavy industrial mismangement.

Sadly there seems to be little acceptance by those pushing avoided deforestation [search] payments that to be effective, this will require an end to industrial logging of primary forests. Astonishingly, while Australia provided donor funds to PNG this week to protect its forests for carbon benefits, Australia continues to log their own primary forests [action]! To pay carbon monies for rainforest protection without ending barbaric first time logging of ancient forests would be meaningless in terms of both biodiversity and climate protection.

Continue reading "Papua New Guinea Admits Illegal Logging" »

April 6, 2008

Forest Dwellers Want Say and Pay in Climate Talks

Paying to keep rainforests standing a mustIt has been a good week for the ecologically necessary concept of paying for rainforest protection [search] on the basis of biodiversity and climate benefits. Hundreds of indigenous leaders gathered in Brazil to build a consensus for wealthier countries compensating developing countries for conserving Amazon's tropical rainforests [ark]. There it was correctly noted "the challenge is to pay the native peoples, not the governments" for rainforest protection.

A new study found that "global carbon markets [search] could generate billions of dollars [ark] each year for developing countries that tackle tropical deforestation [search]". And the Brazilian government unveiled a scheme to pay the residents of the Amazon for the ecosystem services [ark] their bioregion provides. The program seeks to reward small-scale community development while providing a disincentive to large-scale destructive activities such as logging, soya production and cattle ranching.

Continue reading "Forest Dwellers Want Say and Pay in Climate Talks" »

April 1, 2008

Rainforest Action Network Defends Support for Old-Growth Logging

PRESS RELEASE
RAN indicates industrial first time logging of centuries old trees in primeval forests the best that can be expected, censors further discussion on their web site, and faces renewed global call for members to cancel until withdraws from FSC

April 1, 2008
By Ecological Internet, Inc.
Dr. Glen Barry, +1 920 776 1075, glenbarry@ecointernet.org

Rainforest Action Network supports ancient rainforest loggingAfter six months of evasions and personal recriminations, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has officially answered the question "how does Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified logging of primary and old-growth forests 'protect endangered forests'"? RAN has been the target of protest by thousands of forest conservationists from eighty countries concerned with how RAN's support for FSC legitimizes continued loss of ancient forests, their biodiversity and the climate. This is their answer:

"Simply, FSC certification isn’t the ultimate protection for endangered forests, but it is a vastly superior alternative to standard industrial logging. In forests that would otherwise be logged without third party oversight, FSC promotes practices that preserve ecosystem functions (like habitat and water quality) and safeguards the most ecologically valuable areas." -- RAN statement, 4/1/08.

Continue reading "Rainforest Action Network Defends Support for Old-Growth Logging" »

March 28, 2008

Landmark Deal to Pay for Guyanese Rainforest's Ecosystem Services

Rainforest payments for ecosystem servicesGuyana is to enter into the world's first serious effort to pay for the ecosystem services provided by rainforests [ark | more\ark]. Such an approach is long overdue, and while the specifics have not yet been released, it appears the payments are for broad ecosystem services [search] provided by a million acres of Guyanese rainforest rather than just their carbon storage (which is good). It remains to be seen whether industrial logging [search] will be allowed in the protected area -- if so, the constant ecological diminishment resulting from selective logging will greatly reduce the value of the deal.

March 26, 2008

FSC Failing the World's Forests

FSC logging failing forestsMongabay reports that the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is coming under increasingly harsh criticism [ark]. Ecological Internet (EI) and many others believe FSC is imploding as claims of environmental and social benefits of certified ancient forest logging [search] and industrial monoculture plantations [search] are exposed as myths. FSC's future (if it is to have one) depends upon changing its guidelines to end support for both business as usual old-growth logging and large-scale monoculture plantations.

If unwilling to end their involvement in ancient forest logging, FSC and supporters must be protested until they are shutdown [alert]. Global ecological sustainability depends critically upon strictly protecting all remaining relatively natural ecosystems, particularly primary forests. All ancient forests are of high conservation value. There is no alternative to continued logging of centuries old trees found in primary forests. The era of ancient forest logging must end if global ecological collapse is to be averted.

Continue reading "FSC Failing the World's Forests" »

March 22, 2008

The Danger of Poorly Designed "Avoided Deforestation" Carbon Payments

Asia's illegal rainforest loggingMuch attention is being placed upon "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation" (REDD) [search] -- which advocates carbon payments to avoid deforestation. Ecological Internet and its predecessors have long advocated international payments to rainforest rich countries to offset opportunity costs associated with protecting rainforests [search] and to promote community based eco-developments based upon standing forests.

However the REDD approach is not without risk. Our primary concern is that carbon payments will support industrial first time selective logging of primary rainforests [search], based on the misconception this substantially protects these ancient rainforests' carbon stores (and biodiversity). Such diminishment in fact permanently destroys carbon storage potential, is only slightly better ecologically than outright deforestation, and as such primary forest logging is unworthy of avoided deforestation payments. To be effective and avoid "leakage", continued ancient forest logging must not be allowed anywhere in countries receiving international monies to protect their rainforests for climate benefits.

Continue reading "The Danger of Poorly Designed "Avoided Deforestation" Carbon Payments" »

March 19, 2008

Asia's Stolen Rainforests

Asia's illegal rainforest loggingA massive well-established illegal market in stolen black market timbers threatens to bring down all of Asia's rainforests [ark]. The main perpetrators include Indonesia, Burma, Cambodia and Russia. China is the largest buyer of illegal timber [search] in the world. Along with Japan, and to a lesser extent India, Europe and the U.S., all are tacit supporters by acting as prime markets. The newest frontiers for ill-gotten timbers is from Laos via Vietnam [ark].

The problem of illegal rainforest logging [search] has been known for ages, and has resulted in little more than meaningless rhetoric. And recent backtracking, as Indonesia has announced it will allow mining in its rainforests [ark]. The existence of a legal timber including those falsely certified as being well-managed and sustainable, provides cover and legitimacy to the trade, confusing the public. it is criminally ecologically negligent to allow rainforests to be logged for a pittance when they should remain in rainforest canopies making the Earth habitable.

March 8, 2008

"Forest Liars" Campaign Launches

FSC loggingPRESS RELEASE
Naming Names to End Ancient Forest Logging.

(Earth) - Ecological Internet'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.

Continue reading ""Forest Liars" Campaign Launches" »

March 5, 2008

ALERT: Stop the Forest Liars: "Certified" Old-Growth Rainforest Logging Does NOT Protect Biodiversity, Ecosystems or Climate

Forest liars and rainforest loggingTAKE ACTION: Outrageous support by big environmental groups for first-time industrial logging of primary and old-growth rainforest wildernesses based upon vague claims that FSC certification makes it sustainable, well-managed and now even "carbon positive" is a big lie and must end.

Many of the world's largest environmental groups continue to support Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) "certified" industrial logging [search] of the world's last primary and old-growth forests. They have fallen for, and now espouse, the big lie that first time logging of ancient forests containing centuries old trees can be done in an ecologically well-managed and sustainable manner. These otherwise well-regarded organizations should know better, yet there is no chance ancient forest logging will ever end when they continue their misguided greenwashing of "certified" ancient forest destruction.

Continue reading "ALERT: Stop the Forest Liars: "Certified" Old-Growth Rainforest Logging Does NOT Protect Biodiversity, Ecosystems or Climate" »

February 28, 2008

Biodiversity in the News But Not for Conservation Action

Crop seeds are one type of vital biodiversityBiodiversity is much in the news this week as the Encylopedia of Life launches on the web [ark] and the Doomsday Vault [ark] opens its global seed bank [search] in Norway. Biodiversity databases [search] are fine, we must know species to understand and save them; as are efforts to conserve crop seeds [search] for an emergency that given continued inaction on climate and ecosystem loss seems increasingly probable.

But what of policies and actions necessary to protect that diversity? What of equal efforts to avoid the catastrophe of a homogenized Earth collapsing for lack of key species? There are far too few efforts to finance the building of knowledge bases of required policies and action plans sufficient to protect biodiversity, as that gets into politics, social change and personal sacrifice. Try eating a biodiversity database, and seed banks don't feed many soon. This is what Ecological Internet does -- acting upon the best ecological science to promote policies adequate to avoid global ecological collapse and achieve global ecological sustainability.

February 13, 2008

Analysis of a Rainforest/Climate Campaign Victory for Woodlark, Papua New Guinea

For now the endemic Woodlark cuscus is save from oil palmEcological Internet has very much appreciated the opportunity to participate in a recent string of rainforest and climate victories. Given our deep attachment to Papua New Guinea, perhaps none has been as satisfying as mobilizing international pressure that helped protect precious Woodlark Island from near total rainforest clearance for oil palm [search]. This madness is the epitome of ecological evil, and together local peoples and the world expressed outrage, and for now have cancelled the plans.

We have carried out similar campaigns for over fifteen years, with many, many victories. Mongabay -- the fantastic alternative rainforest media source -- has for the first time carried out a post-conservation analysis of how local and international Internet-based protest stopped Woodlark's rich biodiversity from becoming a toxic oil palm monoculture [ark]. It makes for a good read, demonstrating conservation campaign methods that could be widely replicated. Humanity's eco-future depends upon collaborative north-south protest of ecologically destructive activities wherever found.

February 12, 2008

ALERT! Global Ecological Emergency: Brazil Must Succeed in Keeping Soybeans Out of Amazon Rainforest

Keep Soybeans Out of RainforestsTAKE ACTION! Only soy products that do not directly or indirectly destroy ancient rainforests, or intensify climate change and other problems inherent with large-scale industrial monocultures, will be tolerated in international markets.

The greatest emerging threat to Amazon rainforests and communities is industrial soy plantations. Huge mechanized, soy monocultures destroy tropical ecosystems, accelerate climate change and cause human rights abuses primarily to produce agrofuel and livestock feed. The soya industry wipes out biodiversity, destroys soil fertility, pollutes freshwater and displaces communities. Soybean production expands the agricultural frontier not only through fire and deforestation to clear ancient rainforests, but more importantly by pushing cattle ranches and displacing forest peoples further into natural rainforest ecosystems.

With rising soy and other agricultural commodity prices, there has been a marked increase in fires and Amazonian deforestation to clear new agricultural lands from primary rainforests. In reaction Brazil has again announced increased agricultural deforestation enforcement. Amazon rainforest sustainability critically depends upon new soybean production being kept out of ancient primary rainforest ecosystems. Let's continue the commitment of Ecological Internet's Earth Action Network to strongly speak ecological truth to intransigent power. TAKE ACTION!

February 8, 2008

Biofuels from Cleared Natural Ecosystems Worsen Warming

Plant based biofuels are no climate change solution [ark | more\ark] because as farmers clear natural ecosystems huge amounts of carbon dioxide are released. A study in the journal Science takes a comprehensive look [ark] at emissions from land clearance to grow biofuels. The study finds that the production of most biofuels globally results in land clearing [ark], directly or indirectly, intentionally or not; and the cost/benefit in terms of carbon emissions saved is not subtle.

Clearing grassland for corn ethanol [search] releases 93 times the greenhouse gas (its carbon debt) that would be saved by the fuel made annually on that land. Clearing rainforest habitats for biofuel production [search] generally has a carbon debt of 86 years, but peatland of the sort cleared for oil palm in SE Asia [search] has a whopping carbon debt of 423 years, and soybeans in the Amazon [search] 319 years. Some biofuels such as sugar cane in Brazil [search] are efficient and only have a carbon debt of 17 years. Only biofuels that do not destroy natural habitats should be allowed.

January 24, 2008

Disguised as Rainforest Creatures, Activists Expose Greenwashing by Rainforest Alliance

Demand End of Certification of Rainforest Destruction.

Rainforest destruction greenwashing(New York, New York) – Thursday the New York Climate Action Group (NYCAG) joins other environmental organizations denouncing Rainforest Alliance for profiting financially from the destruction of rainforests.

NYCAG is demanding a permanent end to the industrial logging of old-growth forests worldwide. Dressed as creatures from the rainforests of the world, environmentalists from New York City will participate in a festive rally to greet and inform the participants at a Rainforest Alliance cocktail party.

Scientific studies have shown that industrial logging in old-growth rainforests is never sustainable and leads to their permanent destruction by ranchers, mining operations, and industrial agricultural interests. Rainforest Alliance receives 30% of its funding by certifying industrial logging through their “Smartwood” program. They are the largest such certifier in the world. “Smartwood” certification follows Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines, which Rainforest Alliance claims will ensure sustainable forestry. In truth, however, FSC guidelines allow first-time logging of pristine ancient forests. These forests are recognized by climate scientists worldwide as our greatest defense against climate change.

Continue reading "Disguised as Rainforest Creatures, Activists Expose Greenwashing by Rainforest Alliance" »

January 18, 2008

Ocean City, New Jersey Cancels Order for Rainforest Destruction to Fix Their Boardwalk

Victory for those working to end ancient rainforest logging, and a defeat for supporters of forest certification greenwashing, as an important precedent is set

January 18, 2008
By Ecological Internet, Contact: Dr. Glen Barry , glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

(Ocean City, New Jersey) -- The city council of Ocean City voted last night 6-0 to cancel a $1.1 million purchase of ipê timber originating in ancient rainforests. The timber was to be used to patch a one block stretch of Atlantic boardwalk. The purchase provoked outrage as it went against a ten-year old pledge by the council to not use rainforest timbers.

The mayor and others argued Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification ensured sustainability. Estimates are over 60% of FSC timber comes from first time logging of ancient forests, with claims only it is "well-managed". Such misleading statements setup a showdown with local group "Friends of the Rain Forest" and led them to a year of protest with support from Ecological Internet (EI) and others.

Continue reading "Ocean City, New Jersey Cancels Order for Rainforest Destruction to Fix Their Boardwalk" »

January 16, 2008

Woodlark Rainforests Spared for Now from Clearing for Oil Palm

Ecological Internet's international protest supporting local Papua New Guinea resistance blows the project out of the water

January 16, 2008
By Ecological Internet, Contact: Dr. Glen Barry , glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

(Woodlark, Papua New Guinea) -- Ecological Internet welcomes reports that Vitroplant, shady developer of a proposed oil palm project on Woodlark Island in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea (PNG), has withdrawn. PNG's Minister for Agriculture and Livestock says no oil palm development will take place on Woodlark Island. Vitroplant's withdrawal was due to local and international pressure to conserve Woodlark Island's natural habitat.

The ill-conceived project was to have cleared 70% of the rainforests on biodiversity rich Woodlark Island, some 60,000 hectares, in order to establish a massive oil palm plantation. Following the direction of local peoples, Ecological Internet's Earth action network was able to generate nearly 50,000 protest emails from 3,000 people in 72 countries.

Continue reading "Woodlark Rainforests Spared for Now from Clearing for Oil Palm" »

January 8, 2008

NYC Parks Department Ends the Use of Tropical Hardwoods for Benches

NYC rainforest park benchEcological Internet's campaign in support of long-standing local efforts to end the use of ancient rainforest timbers by government in New York City is enjoying initial success. Mayor Bloomberg has announced a review of NYC policy, and the Park Department will no longer use endangered woods in NYC park benches. We must ensure the review ends the use of all ancient rainforest timbers, the Parks decision is expanded, and an end to the use of ancient rainforest timbers is enshrined in law and procurement policy. Please send the updated alert. This progress is monumental, it must be brought to completion, and together we are doing it! g.b.

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N E W S R E L E A S E

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2008

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Tim Keating, 917-543-4064, Rainforest Relief
Dr. Glen Barry, 920-776-1075, Ecological Internet
JK Canepa, 917/ 648-4514, NYCAG

NYC Parks Department Ends the Use of Tropical Hardwoods for Benches

Recent Actions by Environmental Groups Bring Progress in 13-Year Campaign

NEW YORK CITY — January 8, 2008. In a meeting with representatives of environmental groups Rainforest Relief and New York Climate Action Group, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe unveiled a plan to phase out the use of hardwoods logged from the rainforests of the Amazon, which the agency uses for benches, boardwalks and the decking of bridges in the thousands of parks and areas overseen by the department. Celia Peterson, director of the Specification Office of NYC Parks, stated that as of last month, Parks will no longer specify tropical hardwoods for benches.

Continue reading "NYC Parks Department Ends the Use of Tropical Hardwoods for Benches" »

January 5, 2008

Murder in Malaysia's Rainforest

Murdered Penan headman Kelesau Naan from Sarawak, Malaysia's rainforestsIt is with sadness that we note the making of another rainforest martyr [ark] -- this time in Malaysia's rainforests -- as missing Penan indigenous leader Kelesau Naan, headman of the Penan settlement of Long Kerong in the Upper Baram region of Sarawak, was found dead [more/ark | more2/ark2]. Kelesau fought to defend the Penan's rainforest home and heritage [search] for years and had been leading the recent rounds of protests and blockading of encroaching loggers. It is widely suspected he was murdered as he checked his traps.

Continue reading "Murder in Malaysia's Rainforest" »

December 27, 2007

ALERT: Papua New Guinea's Woodlark Island Rainforests to Be Cleared for Oil Palm Agrofuels

Oil palm agrofules threatens the endemic Woodlark cuscusTAKE ACTION: The PNG government continues to approve rainforest destruction and diminishment even as they vocally seek to be paid with carbon market funds for their "protection". The oil palm biofuel industry -- the scourge of Asia and the world's rainforests -- is continuing to expand into Papua New Guinea (PNG). Malaysian company Vitroplant has been granted necessary permits by the PNG government to begin clearing 70% of the rainforests on biodiversity rich Woodlark Island, some 60,000 hectares, in order to establish a massive plantation of oil palm trees.

Expansion of oil palm plantations at the expense of primary rainforests runs contrary to PNG's government public support for preserving rainforests for climate and other benefits. An oil palm plantation on Woodlark Island will endanger the island’s flora and fauna, cause environmental upheaval, and result in drastic cultural change. The islanders of Woodlark have worked hard to draw international attention to this issue, and have issued an appeal for the support of international NGOs and citizens to pressure the government to withdraw the project. TAKE ACTION

December 24, 2007

Amazon Deforestation Set to Soar

Amazon deforestation set to soarReacting to increasing Amazonian deforestation in recent months, Brazil has banned the sale of farm products from illegally deforested ares in the Amazon [ark | more\ark]. It should be noted deforestation rates [search] do not include rainforest diminishment caused by industrial first time logging and other activities that may leave some trees, but effectively destroy ancient rainforest ecosystems and release much of their carbon.

Policies announced included imposing fines for buying or trading illegally produced beef and soy, sending in seven hundred more troops, and establishing a land registry. The Brazilian government has recently been trumpeting 50% reductions in deforestation over the past two years. However, these decreases appear to have been more a result of declines in agricultural markets than any fundamental reduction in deforestation, and as markets recover deforestation and climate change soars.

December 23, 2007

Here We Go Again: Uganda's Mabira Rainforest Again Threatened by Biofuels

Sugar cane for biofuels must not threaten protected rainforestsIt is widely reported that Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has revived a controversial plan to destroy a quarter of Mabira rainforest [ark | more2\ark2 | search] which is a protected area for a sugarcane plantation to produce biofuels. In the face of massive domestic protests and supportive international action by Ecological Internet, two times last year the government had announced the project was dead. The situation illustrates my long held contention that no rainforests are ever truly saved, they are just granted a temporary reprieve, until the next threat comes along and they need to be protected again.

Clearing rainforest to produce biofuel for their alleged climate benefits [search] is the ultimate demonstration of humanity's death wish. Mr. Museveni has shown himself to be a devious strongman, without honor or conscious. After sending millions of emails protesting his rainforest for biofuels policy, sadly our arsenal may be spent. EI has been blocked from sending protest emails to virtually all parties after repeated volleys. It is up to local citizens to again take to the streets if the project is to be stopped.

November 13, 2007

The Transcript: RAN Dodges Regarding Support for Ancient Forest Logging

Following is a full chronology of Ecological Internet's (EI) negotiations with Rainforest Action Network regarding their support of ancient forest logging certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The conversations commenced upon an open letter sent by EI to RAN on October 4, 2007 entitled "Open Letter of Concern Regarding RAN's Support for Ancient Forest Logging, and Notification of Impending Campaign". In that letter the following demands were made:

1.) RAN must disassociate itself publicly from any further support for any industrial scaled logging, certified or otherwise, of primary and old-growth forests.
2.) Begin developing a rigorous rainforest campaign, linking full preservation and small scale community based eco-forestry activities that protect large, intact and contiguous rainforests with climate protection; similar in scope and ambition to your coal campaign.
3.) Removal of all scientifically misleading statements from RAN web site and campaign materials falsely suggesting that FSC certified ancient forest logging is "sustainable"; and that "sustainable logging" of ancient forests is compatible with their protection.

Continue reading "The Transcript: RAN Dodges Regarding Support for Ancient Forest Logging" »

November 2, 2007

ALERT: Mayor Bloomberg: We Love New York, But Hate Your Government's Rainforest Destruction!

NYC rainforest park benchTAKE ACTION! New York City's (NYC) Department of Parks and Recreation is one of America's largest destroyers of rainforests, reports New York based Rainforest Relief. Parks and other NYC and state agencies including the Department of Transportation (DOT) and NYC Transit use hundreds of thousands of board feet of tropical hardwoods per year. New York City's use of ancient forest timbers comes at great expense to the Earth's biodiversity, ecosystems, climate and prospects for achieving global ecological sustainability...

Please support Rainforest Relief's and NY Climate Action Group's campaign demanding that Mayor Bloomberg end NYC's use of tropical hardwoods. In order to protect ancient forests, the people who live there, and global climate; NYC purchases of timbers derived from ancient forests must be stopped and an important precedent set that all industrial scaled ancient forest logging must end forever. TAKE ACTION!

October 26, 2007

Threatened Primates, Troubled Humans

Primates ThreatenedPrimates, humankind's closest relatives [ark], are deeply threatened. Nearly a third of all monkeys, apes and other primates are at risk of extinction [ark] due to "rampant habitat destruction, the commercial sale of their meat and the trade in illegal wildlife." [more\ark | more2\ark2] Some 114 of 394 primate species are threatened by extinction. The primary culprit is diminishment and destruction of tropical rainforest habitats [search], illustrating yet again the necessity of stopping all industrial logging, agricultural (including biofuel) plantations [search], and other industrial developments in ancient primary and old-growth forests. Climate change is also believed to be having an impact. Humans are primates and our habitat and existence are just as threatened by processes destroying water, fertile land and stable atmospheric conditions.

October 17, 2007

VICTORY! Uganda Government Finally Scraps Mabira Rainforest Giveaway

Sugar cane for biofuels must not threaten protected rainforestsIn a major victory for Uganda's people, rainforests, environment and ecologically sustainable development aspirations; the Ugandan government has finally scrapped controversial plans [ark | more\ark] to allow Mabira rainforest [search], one of the country's largest and most important protected area, to be partially cleared for sugar production for biofuels. This may sound slightly familiar, as on a previous occasion it was reported the plan was dead but it came back to haunt us. Statements by the government this time are from the Minister of Finance, other numerous sources and are more firm. Mabira rainforest will remain protected, and a precedent has been set that protected rainforests must not be cleared for biofuel production [search]. This is huge!

Continue reading "VICTORY! Uganda Government Finally Scraps Mabira Rainforest Giveaway" »

October 15, 2007

ALERT: Protest Failed World Bank Congo Rainforest Policy and Proposed Ill-Conceived Forest Carbon Payments

Congo rainforestGiven revelations of misconduct in Democratic Republic of Congo's rainforests by the World Bank, the Bank's desire to administer global carbon payments for rainforest protection as a means to address climate change is suspect

TAKE ACTION! The World Bank's independent inspection panel has found serious violations of the Bank's own rules [ark] as foreign companies were encouraged to destructively log the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) rainforests, endangering the lives of thousands of Congolese Pygmies.

The Bank has since 2002 sought to "create a favorable climate for industrial logging" in the Congo by rushing through new forestry laws and dividing the country's massive rainforests into logging zones. This is the World Bank's most recent failure to promote "sustainable" ancient rainforest logging [search], and comes as they position themselves to administer international carbon market funds meant to protect ancient rainforests for their climate benefits...

Continue reading "ALERT: Protest Failed World Bank Congo Rainforest Policy and Proposed Ill-Conceived Forest Carbon Payments" »

October 5, 2007

VICTORY: World Bank Found to Have Seriously Violated Own Rules as Sought to Raze Congo's Rainforests

Rainforest logsA leaked report by the World Bank's independent inspection panel has found the World Bank gravely broke its own rules in regard to rainforest policies and projects pursued since 2002 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The World Bank encouraged foreign companies to destructively log DRC's rainforests, endangering the lives of thousands of Congolese Pygmies; misled Congo's government about the value of their forests, and repeatedly broke their own rules regarding natural habitat and indigenous protections.

Congo's rainforests are the second largest in the world, hold some 8% of the Earth's carbon, and possess critical global ecosystems containing rich biodiversity. These forests provide medicines, shelter, timber and food for 40 million people. When the World Bank reentered the Congo in 2002, after years of war, it said industrial forestry could contribute to the country's recovery. It rushed through new forestry laws, divided the country's rainforests into logging zones, and along with the British government aimed to create a favorable climate for industrial logging. These efforts have now been discredited.

Continue reading "VICTORY: World Bank Found to Have Seriously Violated Own Rules as Sought to Raze Congo's Rainforests" »

October 4, 2007

Wai Wai of Guyanan Amazon Choose Rainforest Conservation Economy

Most benefits flow from keeping rainforests standingFinally some good rainforest news that involves empowering local peoples to benefit from standing ancient rainforests, rather than logging them a bit more carefully. The Wai Wai of Guyana have chosen to benefit from intact, standing rainforests. Their massive region covering some 625,000-hectares (1.54-million-acres) on the northern border of Brazil’s Pará state has been declared Guyana's first Community Owned Conservation Area. With the assistance of Conservation International, the Wai Wai are "building a 'conservation economy' based on the sustainable use of their natural resources. The plan will create jobs from conservation activities, such as newly trained para-biologists working with researchers to assess the territory’s flora and fauna, and local rangers patrolling the area. Other economic activities include ecotourism and expanding the traditional Wai Wai craft business." Economies based upon standing ancient rainforests will have tremendous local, regional and global ecological benefits; not only in terms of terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystems, but also climate and water as well.

Open Letter of Concern Regarding RAN's Support for Ancient Forest Logging, and Notification of Impending Campaign

October 4, 2007

Mr. Michael Brune
Executive Director
Rainforest Action Network
221 Pine Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104 USA
mbrune@ran.org

Re: Open letter of concern regarding RAN's support for ancient forest logging, and notification of impending campaign

Dear Mr. Brune,

I am writing on behalf of Ecological Internet's global ancient forest protection network to express grave concern with Rainforest Action Network's (RAN) continued support for "sustainable" first time logging of ancient forests (defined as primary and old-growth forests). And to inform you that we intend to intensify our "End Ancient Forest Logging" campaign, targeting RAN until your organization disavows industrial first time logging of primary and old-growth forests and joins efforts to end industrial logging of all such remaining ancient forests.

As the largest, most visible rainforest campaigning organization in the United States; we are extremely distressed at your failure to embrace the current groundswell of concern regarding climate change and the major role ancient forest protection, including but not limited to rainforests, has in its mitigation. RAN is actively impeding a broad based, international movement to end ancient forest logging as a keystone response to global warming by clinging to old failed forest conservation initiatives, and continues to issue misleading clichés regarding industrial logging of ancient forests contributing to environmental protection.

Continue reading "Open Letter of Concern Regarding RAN's Support for Ancient Forest Logging, and Notification of Impending Campaign" »

September 14, 2007

World Protest Makes Ocean City Think Twice About Boardwalk

New Jersey based Friends of the Rainforest and Ecological Internet's campaign to stop the use of ancient rainforest timbers for boardwalk repairs is progressing nicely -- garnering media attention and already changing the city council's vote. An important precedent is being set that ancient rainforest timbers belong in rainforest canopies, not in construction projects and consumer products. You can still take action -- we are making a difference with every protest email we send and every new protest network participant we recruite.

The crusade to keep ipê out of Ocean City's boardwalk reconstruction is a rejection of Forest Stewardship Council and big greens' efforts to certify and greenwash industrial ancient forest logging as being responsible, while falsely implying sustainability. First time logging of primary rainforests -- selective, certified, ecosystem based or otherwise -- results in an immediate huge release of carbon, permanent reductions in future carbon sink potential, and reductions in species numbers and diversity. One of the gravest obstacles to mitigating climate change, conserving ancient forests and achieving global ecological sustainability is the pernicious myth that selectively logging ancient forests (certified or not) is environmentally beneficial. It is NOT.

Continue reading "World Protest Makes Ocean City Think Twice About Boardwalk " »

September 8, 2007

International Protest Campaign Launched to Stop Ocean City, New Jersey from Using Ancient Rainforests for Boardwalk Decking

Contacts: Rhonda VanWingerden, rhondavw@yahoo.com; Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

Ocean City, New Jersey, September 10, 2007 -- Friends of the Rainforest (FOR) and Ecological Internet have launched an Internet based international protest campaign to stop Ocean City, NJ from using ipê, an ancient rainforest wood, for boardwalk decking. Thus far 3,153 people from 70 countries have sent 43,924 protest emails to Ocean City officials from: http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=jersey_boardwalk
The campaign continues to grow and gain international attention.

On September 14th Gomercindo Rodrigues -- the heir to Chico Mendes, a rainforest conservation leader who was murdered for trying to bring justice to the Amazon -- will be coming to speak about his new book at the Ocean City Arts Center at 7pm. Mr. Rodrigues has worked with indigenous people who make a living rubber tapping in a sustainable manner. Their livelihoods are threatened by industrial logging of rainforests of the type sought for Ocean City's boardwalks. He will be telling stories about growing up in the Amazon.

Continue reading "International Protest Campaign Launched to Stop Ocean City, New Jersey from Using Ancient Rainforests for Boardwalk Decking" »

August 30, 2007

China Buys into Myth of Sustainable Ancient Forest Logging

China's government has belatedly issued rules to its foreign logging ventures, a too little too late response to being identified as the heart of a global trade for lumber from illegal logging [search] that it sells to markets in the United States and Europe. Efforts to date by the Chinese government to address their role in providing the market for much of the illegally logged ancient forest timbers are inadequate because they do not address the purchase of timbers from companies of other nationalities -- and Malaysian and Indonesian logging companies [search] do much of the dirty work of actually ruthlessly stealing logs for the Chinese market.

Even more troublingly is that along with WWF, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and the World Bank; the Chinese government falsely contends that industrially harvesting ancient forests can be done in a responsible, sustainable manner. Ancient forests cannot be preserved and sustainably logged at the same time. Industrial forest management destroys permanently forest function, structure, composition and dynamics. Yet all these forest power brokers insist we can log our ancient forests and protect them too. The World Bank is even set to suggest that logging ancient forests has carbon benefits -- NOT! It is a tragic, deadly myth that if only done correctly and responsibly, millions of years old ancient rainforests can and should be logged in an ecologically acceptable manner.

Continue reading "China Buys into Myth of Sustainable Ancient Forest Logging" »

August 13, 2007

ALERT! Stop Ocean City, New Jersey from Using Ancient Rainforest Timbers for Boardwalk Decking

Keep Ipê in ancient rainforest canopies and out of Jersey boardwalksTAKE ACTION! Ocean City, New Jersey is a seaside resort that has a 2.5 mile wooden boardwalk fronting the Atlantic Ocean... Citizens are campaigning to stop the city from using FSC certified ipê timbers for its current one block boardwalk re-construction project and for any future re-decking projects... In 1996, when Ocean City announced a plan to re-deck the entire boardwalk with ipê, a grassroots group formed to oppose the use of rainforest wood. After 22 months of successful campaigning the City Council adopted a Resolution in May 1997 which stated that they "...will no longer purchase tropical rain forest hardwood for the boardwalk in Ocean City"... Fast forward ten years to January 2007 and the issue of using ipê industrially harvested from ancient rainforests rears its ugly head again. But this time, the city presents ipê as an environmentally responsible choice as long as it is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. While the evidence is mounting worldwide regarding major problems with the FSC's certification of ancient forest logging as "responsible" while implying environmental sustainability, the city uses the endorsement that major environmental organizations give to FSC certified products as justification for using ipê... Citizens have repeatedly requested a public forum to discuss the failures of FSC certification and the insufficiencies of the city’s materials analysis, but their requests have been ignored... Based upon false and misleading information from major environmental groups, the City of Ocean City is to purchase ancient rainforest wood in the name of environmental responsibility. In order to protect ancient forests, the people who live there, and global climate; this purchase must be stopped and an important precedent set that industrial scaled ancient forest logging must end forever. TAKE ACTION!

August 3, 2007

VICTORY: Gas Pipeline Through the Amazon Flounders

It is reported that plans to build a massive South American natural gas pipeline through the Amazon rainforest from the Caribbean to Brazil have "cooled off". This was the most atrocious of many inappropriate industrial developments planned for the Amazon [search] which Ecological Internet has publicized and protested against for several years. No rainforest is ever protected indefinitely, as badly conceived projects tend to linger on for a long time. Yet given a one and a half year delay and signs that momentum for the project has been stymied, Ecological Internet is ready to declare this campaign a victory!

Congratulations to all those that participated, the Amazon rainforest is safer given your efforts. Ecological Internet's Earth Action Network first brought concerns over the pipeline to a global stage in February of 2006, issuing several alerts, to which 8,792 participants sent 75,765 protest emails over nearly a year. As the international profile of the twisted project grew, so did local protests on environmental and economic grounds. As is our intent, our efforts inspired grassroots global Earth activism.

Continue reading "VICTORY: Gas Pipeline Through the Amazon Flounders" »

July 30, 2007

"Certified" Ancient Forest Logging Tragedy Worsens

E-Protest calls for Greenpeace and WWF to withdraw from Forest Stewardship Council and work to end ancient forest logging

An ancient rainforest logging operation in Peru recently certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) scheme by Rainforest Alliance SmartWood has been implicated in massive cross-border illegal logging. Workers from the Peruvian company Venao Forestal are reported to have been crossing into Brazil and building an extensive road network to illegally fell CITES-listed mahogany. FSC and big green logging apologists including Greenpeace and WWF are facing tough questions following this and other inappropriate and illegal certifications.

Support for FSC's "certified" ancient rainforest logging continues to crumble, as calls to protect all remaining ancient forests for climate and biodiversity values intensify. Peru is now added to a list of countries that already includes Guyana, Congo, Russia, and Indonesia, where WWF has helped massage highly controversial and sometimes illegal companies through the FSC certification process, as Greenpeace sits mute in charge of FSC's board. Meanwhile Norway has rejected FSC and all primary rainforest logging certification schemes in public construction (for more information see http://www.fsc-watch.org/).

Continue reading ""Certified" Ancient Forest Logging Tragedy Worsens" »

July 28, 2007

ALERT: FSC and Big Green Ancient Forest Logging Tragedy Worsens

TAKE ACTION!: Support for "certified" ancient rainforest logging crumbles further due to string of inappropriate and illegal certifications, most recently in Peru; and as Norway rejects FSC and all primary rainforest logging certification schemes.

An ancient rainforest logging operation in Peru recently certified by Rainforest Alliance SmartWood under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) scheme has been implicated in massive cross-border illegal logging. Workers from the Peruvian company Venao Forestal have been crossing into Brazil and building an extensive road network to illegally fell CITES-listed mahogany. The FSC certifier SmartWood has turned a blind eye to serious illegalities in logging companies it has certified under FSC as providing "responsible forest management". This illustrates yet again that a FSC seal is no guarantee of either ecological sustainability or legality. Global ecological sustainability including addressing climate change critically depends upon ending all industrial scaled ancient forest logging. The situation is rapidly emerging as a major international incident; for which WWF, Greenpeace, FSC and SmartWood are responsible... Meanwhile the Norwegian government has decided that it cannot rely on any certification system including FSC to help implement its newly announced ethical procurement policy. TAKE ACTION!

July 13, 2007

Efforts Renewed to Destroy Ugandan Reserve for Sugar Biofuel

No rainforest is protected for long. And in the case of Uganda's Mabira forest reserve [search] -- a vital ecosystem near the capital -- the President has pulled a massive bait and switch. There were strong indications a couple months ago that plans to clear a large part of this protected rainforest were to be scrapped. Yet now President Yoweri Museveni is trying again with renewed vigor to push through legislation that would strip the forest of its protected status to produce sugar for biofuels. The Mabira Forest Reserve, on the north shore of Lake Victoria, is home to 300 bird species as well as rare primates, and plays a vital role in the country's ecosystem, storing carbon and regulating rainfall. Given 50% of Uganda's forests have been lost since the 1970s, and a current rate of deforestation of some 2.2 percent, it is ludicrous to think more deforestation will lead to economic gain -- au contraire, at some point ecosystems will collapse leading to even greater poverty. Earlier in the year 8,627 Ecological Internet action network participants sent some 1,833,279 protest emails asking the Forestry and parliament to intervene. This was in support of strong protest in country including a boycott of the sugar company involved. Given that this rainforest give-away violates commitments made to the World Bank, and strong parliamentarian opposition, there are two likely avenues of protest in the near future. Sadly Ecological Internet was wrong on this one and the fight continues apace.

June 30, 2007

ALERT: Greenpeace, Come Clean and Stop Supporting Ancient Rainforest Logging

Greenpeace supports logging primary ancient rainforestsTAKE ACTION. There is no denying the fact that Greenpeace supports Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) efforts to certify logging [search] of primary and old-growth forests as environmentally acceptable. It is a matter of public record. FSC's international board is chaired by a Greenpeace forest campaigner and they have long promoted FSC as the source of "green" timber. Greenpeace supports industrial ancient forest logging even as they are apparently suppressing their own report on specific problematic forest certifications. Transparency and depth of ecological understanding are not Greenpeace's strength. When the whole notion of certified logging in ancient rainforests is questioned, the Greenpeace PR machine shifts into full gear and seeks to mislead rather than respond substantively to the concerns of those working to end ancient forest logging as a key response to climate change and requirement for global ecological sustainability... Primary forests are irreversibly diminished when logged. Environmental groups cannot support nonsensical promises of "certified sustainable" ancient forest logging with impunity any longer... Greenpeace has invested years of effort into this nonsense, and presumably now would find it nearly impossible to admit they have been wrong. Let's renew our call that Greenpeace end their support for ancient forest logging, while publicizing the matter and urging their supporters to cancel their membership until they do so. TAKE ACTION

June 23, 2007

Making Global Rainforest Preserves Pay

An end to primary ancient rainforest loggingThe Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has become the latest tropical rainforest rich, yet materially poor, nation to embrace payments for "avoided deforestation". The DRC joins Ecuador [more | more2] and Papua New Guinea (PNG) in making substantive offers to the international community to protect (note, not conserve or sustainabiy manage, but preserve intact) large areas of primary rainforests in exchange for payments which may include carbon market credits, development grants and/or debt relief.

A workable solution to tropical rainforest destruction and diminishment is within reach, and protecting the world's last large ancient primary forests is also a relatively easy way to dramatically and quickly cut back on carbon emissions (~25% of which are from land conversion including deforestation and diminishment). Whether this opportunity to fully protect the world's remaining ancient and holy primary forest temples -- critically essential for planetary operation and human well-being -- is seized upon depends upon the details of course. The main potential obstacles I see in poorly designed payments for maintaining ancient forests as carbon sinks includes primarily a concern that there will be allowances for "well managed" forestry in these carbon sinks. Any industrial development, from certified forestry to hydroelectric dams to utility lines would need to be absolutely banned. Essentially this would require shutting down the industrial scaled ancient primary forest logging business; and what of the World Bank's, WWF's and Greenpeace's desire to see more certified logging?

Continue reading "Making Global Rainforest Preserves Pay" »

May 31, 2007

VICTORY: Amerindians Force Samling to Stop Some Illegal Logging in Guyana

Yet another stunning victory for Ecological Internet's (EI) Earth Action Network and partners, as Amerindian Villages in Guyana where Barama/Samling has been logging illegally have thrown Samling out of those communities. Or depending upon how you spin it, Samling withdrew after being told in no uncertain terms that the residents and Council did not want the logging company there. If only every community with ancient forests undergoing logging on their lands (legal or illegal) that they do not desire were to be given the choice of just saying no. Most of the tropical timber industry would be shut down tomorrow, WWF and Greenpeace would be without a forest conservation program, and prospects for global forest and ecological sustainability would increase dramatically. The report below is from Bruno Manser Fonds, a Swiss rainforest group, and a Guyanese newspaper.

It has been quite a month for Ecological Internet and our local and global partners in protecting from industrial development all the World's remaining ancient forests as a matter of indigenous justice, terrestrial species and ecosystem sustainability, and maintaining an operable climate. EI spearheaded three different alerts in the past six weeks regarding Samling's logging activities in Guyana; as well as international banking, and conservation organization's such as WWF and FSC's, complicity in this ancient forest slaughter.

Continue reading "VICTORY: Amerindians Force Samling to Stop Some Illegal Logging in Guyana" »

May 27, 2007

PRESS RELEASE/VICTORY: Important Ugandan Protected Area Saved from "Deforestation Biofuels", 2nd Major Rainforest Spared in a Week

Uganda's government has scrapped plans to convert thousands of hectares of rainforest into a palm oil plantation. The government said it could not license Kenyan company Bidco to plant palm for biofuels in what is now a protected forest on Bugala island in Lake Victoria. Days earlier, the Ugandan government suspended for further study a separate proposal to give 7,000 ha of mainland Mabira forest reserve to a sugar grower. The Mabira victory was huge as the bulldozers were ready, and it is expected further study will kill the project.

These two major rainforest conservation victories were made possible by an unprecedented national protest campaign to protect Uganda's dwindling forest reserves, buttressed by international protest facilitated exclusively by Ecological Internet. Over the past year President Yoweri Museveni has faced intense opposition, including peaceful protests sadly turned violent, over proposals to give private firms the right to bulldoze protected forests to create plantations. Ecological Internet alone generated some 1.8 million protest emails to the Ugandan parliament and Forest Authority.

Continue reading "PRESS RELEASE/VICTORY: Important Ugandan Protected Area Saved from "Deforestation Biofuels", 2nd Major Rainforest Spared in a Week" »

May 24, 2007

ALERT: Stop WWF's Betrayal of the Earth's Last Ancient Forests

TAKE ACTION: WWF is the world's largest ancient forest logging apologist; actively promoting questionable "certified, sustainable" logging in Guyana, Russia and -- and may be the World's greatest threat facing endangered ancient forests

For many years the international conservation group WWF has supported Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification that first-time logging of ancient primary and old-growth forests is "sustainable". Millions of hectares of intact, large rainforest ecosystems have been and are being heavily industrially logged for the first time with WWF and FSC's stamp of approval. Ecological Internet (EI) recently reported upon Samling of Malaysia's activities in Guyana under the name of Barama, which received significant international bank financing based upon assurances provided by WWF and an FSC certificate of good forest management. Sadly, WWF's partnering with this particular rainforest destroyer in Guyana is not at all unique. Similar large-scale, often illegal and highly socially and environmentally destructive logging of ancient forests in the Congo basin countries, Russia, and Indonesia continue with the blessing of WWF and FSC as their official policy. WWF's greenwashing, and propagation and subsidizing of the myth of "sustainable ancient forest logging", may be the greatest threat to the world's remaining ancient forests. TAKE ACTION  

May 15, 2007

Primary Forest Protection and Old-Growth Restoration Key to Solving Climate Change

As a forest conservation activist for 18 years, who later also became a climate change advocate for the past 9 years, it is so gratifying to see recent widespread acceptance of what has become Ecological Internet's central message -- large, connected ancient primary and old-growth forests are a requirement for stopping climate change [more] and achieving global ecological sustainability. Global survival depends upon the Earth's last 20% of natural, primary forests remaining intact and totally protected as "global ecological reserves" with fair payments for avoided deforestation. Indeed, humanity has overshot the amount of natural forest ecosystem that can be developed while sustaining biogeochemical processes upon which all life depends and maintaining an operable atmosphere. Thus, we promote restoration ecology to expand ancient forests, "rewilding" [search] remnant forests into old-growth habitat in a targeted manner.

While ecological science highlighting the necessity of maintaining ancient forests to fight climate change (amongst other things) has strengthened; sadly mainstream environmental groups cling to failed policies of "certified, sustainable" logging of these ancient life giving wonders. World Without Forests (WWF) is the primary culprit. Given we have already lost too much ancient forest to maintain the Earth's climate, and that selective first time logging certified or otherwise releases carbon and forever limits carbon sink potential; it is not enough to protect half of the Canadian Boreal -- as a consortium of big money logging apologists propose. Nor is it enough to cut tropical deforestation by 50% (both presented below).

Continue reading "Primary Forest Protection and Old-Growth Restoration Key to Solving Climate Change" »

May 4, 2007

Ecological Internet'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 Ecological Internet, 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 Ecological Internet's Dr. Glen Barry.

Continue reading "Ecological Internet's "End Ancient Forest Logging" Campaign Targets World Bank, WWF and Greenpeace for Their Role in Promoting Ancient Primary Rainforest Logging" »

April 29, 2007

ALERT: Work to Save the Congo Rainforest -- Intact, Healthy and Whole -- for All Time

TAKE ACTION: Tell the World Bank, WWF and Greenpeace to stop aiding and abetting failed "sustainable" and "certified" forest management for the Congo Basin, and instead commit to End Ancient Rainforest Logging

Africa's Congo Basin [search] contains the world's second largest rainforest; a haven for vital global biodiversity and ecosystem services, and a safeguard against runaway global warming. This locally, regionally and globally critical ecological system is being devastated by illegal logging. Sadly, many organizations trusted by their members and funders to protect ancient rainforests continue to emphasize "improved forest governance", "sustainable forest management" and "forest certification" after decades of failure to reform industrial logging. Requirements for global ecological sustainability and socially just, equitable sustainable development dictate that the Earth's entire remaining large, contiguous rainforests are protected from any further industrial development. Sadly, this will require confronting the global ancient forest logging apologist industry. The ultimate aim of Ecological Internet'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. Let Congo rainforest stakeholders know you demand a future for the Congo that is free of industrial rainforest clearance. And put the World Bank, WWF and Greenpeace on notice that their forest conservation policies are opposed and will be exposed and stopped.

April 26, 2007

"Deforestation Biofuels" Awareness Grows

The fact that all biofuels are not created equal in terms of environmental benefits is starting to get more press coverage and policy-makers are being forced to face the issue of "deforestation biofuels" [search] -- those like palm and soya oils that destroy rainforests releasing much more carbon than they prevent. The European Commission (EC) now admits that "Europe's dash for biofuels could accelerate the destruction of tropical rainforests". This is particularly gratifying because Ecological Internet was the first to raise the issue of deforestation biofuels internationally through several protests over recent years -- including campaigning against EC arbitrary biofuel goals which did not differentiate between environmental desirability of biofuels produced locally and those sourced from cleared rainforests. Here is our most recent alert. There is now an entire movement spawned by our actions. Building awareness is one thing, but actually stopping the rush to deforestation biofuels is another. It is unconscionable that rather than reducing their energy use, both Europe and the U.S. are pushing biofuels as a means to continue their conspicuous consumption of energy. And Indonesia wants to be paid to protect their rainforests even as they ramp up rainforest destruction for oil palm plantations to produce biofuel, not appreciating that these plantations on peatlands that burn frequently is extremely poor tropical land managment. We must resist the expansion of rainforest biofuels -- as the Dutch are trying to do -- or we will lose both our rainforests and our climate system.

April 18, 2007

ALERT: Stop Malaysian Samling Group - Global Leaders in Rainforest Destruction

TAKE ACTION! Destroyer of ancient rainforests and indigenous livelihoods from Malaysia to Guyana now a publicly listed company that along with its financiers is facing renewed international protest

Indigenous people living in tropical rainforests in Malaysia and Guyana are stepping up the global campaign against the Samling group [search], one of Malaysia's leading timber companies, and gravest threat to rainforests and their inhabitants worldwide. The Samling Group holds 1.6 million hectares of tropical rainforest concessions in Guyana and 1.4 million hectares in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. On the recent occasion of its public listing at the Hong Kong stock exchange, 37 organizations from 18 countries asked investors and banks to shun the company for its failure to comply with basic environmental and social standards. Please send a protest email targeting the banks funding Samling, asking them for a public statement to withdraw their support to Samling and refund of IPO profits. TAKE ACTION!

April 12, 2007

ALERT UPDATE: Demand Ugandan Government Stop Killing Rainforest Protestors and Fully Protect Mabira Rainforest Preserve

Ugandan police have opened fire at hundreds of Mabira rainforest protection campaigners in Uganda protesting against government plans to allocate forest land to a sugar company. Ecological Internet is sad to report that two local rainforest conservationists, protesting to save the Mabira protected rainforest from being 1/3 cleared for sugar cane have, were shot dead when protesting according to BBC. Stopping the "Great Mabira Rainforest Give-Away" has been something the Ecological Internet Earth Action Network has been deeply involved with internationally. This in support of one of Africa's first grassroots modern ecological protest campaigns - with local peoples organizing boycotts against the sugar company involved, setting up cyber-petitions and text messaging via cell phones to organize protests. Efforts to save Mabira rainforest [search] is a spontaneous, home-grown rainforest conservation protest that deserves our continued support. Please take action now.

Continue reading "ALERT UPDATE: Demand Ugandan Government Stop Killing Rainforest Protestors and Fully Protect Mabira Rainforest Preserve" »

April 3, 2007

Hour Late for Ancient Forests as "Corruption Stains Timber Trade" (ah duh)

The hour is late as the world's last great forests are fed into the Chinese Foundry to supply America amongst others with ill-gotten timbers. The Washington Post has written an excellent front-page expose on Chinese timber market, corruption, illegal logging and more. "Some of the largest swaths of natural forest left on the planet are being dismantled at an alarming pace to feed a global wood-processing industry centered in coastal China… They land in homes and offices in the United States and Europe, bought by shoppers with little inkling of the wood's origins or the environmental costs of chopping it down."

Ecological Internet has long been fighting the Chinese growth machine over rapacious illegal rainforest timber logging by Malaysian timber mafia and consumption by the rich over-developed nations at the expense of the world's life-giving forest ecosystems. EI wants this industrial logging industry in ancient old-growth and primary forests shutdown forever.

Another conversation I have been having with more mainstream environmental organizations is how they can think this timber industry could ever be redeemable and their activities called "certified" or "sustainable" I do not know. The do not operate anywhere approaching environmentally sustainable forest management - sustained yield for while - but not sustaining forest complexity, structure, composition, function and dynamics of a randomly evolved ancient holy rainforest wilderness.

Continue reading "Hour Late for Ancient Forests as "Corruption Stains Timber Trade" (ah duh)" »

March 29, 2007

ALERT: Last Chance to Stop Great Ugandan Mabira Rainforest Give-Away

TAKE ACTION: Let the Ugandan Parliament know rainforests and their ecological services including water, climate and biodiversity are more important than sugar which can be grown elsewhere. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni continues to pursue legally dubious plans to destroy large areas of Uganda's last important intact and protected rainforests. Some one-third of Mabira Forest Reserve [search], about 7,000 hectares of an area which has been protected since 1932, will lose its protection for sugar cane production by the Mehta Group. Ecological Internet was the first to bring a thriving Ugandan rainforest protection and protest movement to an international audience. Since that time many more local and international groups have joined the campaign. Uganda has long been facing a deforestation crisis, with forests covering 20 percent of Uganda 40 years ago, but now just covering seven percent. Deforestation has been directly responsible for declining levels of waters in Lake Victoria, River Nile and other rivers resulting in a scarcity of drinking water and reduction in hydroelectric energy production. Continued destruction of Uganda's surviving forests will have further grave ecological consequences -- threatening ecotourism revenues, rare species, sparking soil erosion and water pollution. Already the movement for sustainable rainforest use and development in Uganda has won. Maintaining and expanding rainforest protection has been established as a critical pillar of climate change mitigation, water availability and national ecological sustainability for Uganda's future. Please contact the entire Ugandan parliament, Ugandan ministries and embassies and insist that the Mabira sugar cane project be abandoned, and Uganda's remaining rainforest strictly protected. Take Action!

February 12, 2007

PRESS RELEASE VICTORY: Brazil's Cristalino State Park's Rainforests Saved

By Ecological Internet, http://www.ecoearth.info/
February 12, 2007
Contact: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

White Whiskered Spider MonkeyEfforts by the State Government of Mato Grosso, Brazil, to drastically reduce the size of Cristalino State Park, one of the Amazon's most biodiverse reserves, have been stymied by exemplary on the ground organizing by Fauna and Flora International (FFI), many local groups and supportive international protests by Ecological Internet's (EI) Earth Action network. An important precedent has been set regarding the strength and permanence of protected status for ancient rainforests under Brazilian law.

The Cristalino State Park is a world-renowned ecotourism destination, whose 184,000 hectares are home to over 550 species of birds, and protects endangered species like the white-whiskered spider monkey. Some 27,000 hectares of forest were to lose protection by a vote of the state government; becoming vulnerable to logging, cattle ranching and agribusiness.

In total 4,237 participants in EI's network sent 137,800 protest emails to Brazilian officials, including Brazil's Ministerio Publico, which has now ruled that the proposed reduction of the park by the Mato Grosso State Government is illegal. An FFI spokesperson states "I am convinced the alert played a big part in saving the park. Thank you. I think Ecological Internet is a fantastic creation."

Continue reading "PRESS RELEASE VICTORY: Brazil's Cristalino State Park's Rainforests Saved" »

January 25, 2007

ALERT! Brazil Approves Deforestation of Important Amazon Reserve

TAKE ACTION: The strength and permanence of protected status for ancient rainforests under Brazilian law is at stake
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=brazil_reserve

The State Government of Mato Grosso, Brazil, has voted to drastically reduce one of the Amazon's most biodiverse reserves. What is at stake is the strength and permanence of protected status for ancient rainforests under Brazilian law. The Cristalino State Park is a world-renowned ecotourism destination, whose 184,000 hectares are home to over 550 species of birds, and protects endangered species like the white-whiskered spider monkey. Some 27,000 hectares of its forest will now lose protected status; becoming vulnerable to logging, cattle ranching and agribusiness. State Governor Blairo Maggi initially vetoed the reduction of the park on the grounds that it would "be seen as endorsing illegal occupancy and deforestation of public lands", and that it would suggest Brazilian environmental law can be flouted. The veto was short-lived, however, as members of the Mato Grosso House of Representatives immediately overturned it. Mato Grosso has suffered the highest rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and yet it looks like the State Government is manipulating this particular situation for political gain. Please contact key players in Brazil's Federal and State governments, and let them know that removal of protected status so easily from preserved Amazonian ancient rainforests is simply unacceptable.

January 20, 2007

VICTORY: Ecuador Strengthens Some Rainforest and Indigenous Protections from Oil and Logging

"Save America's Forests" reports on a stunning partial victory in the international campaign to end oil exploration and production in the world's "protected" rainforests, in this case in Ecuador. Many key demands in Ecological Internet's longstanding "Oppose Oil Production in Ecuador's Yasuni National Park" campaign have been met, which is still running and now updated. The heavily rainforested Yasuni National Park region is widely recognized by scientists as one of the most biodiverse on Earth.

A large portion of Southern Yasuni National Park and adjacent ancient rainforests, 2 million acres or an area the size of Delaware, have recently been declared by Ecuadorian Presidential Decree as an "Intangible Zone". Such designation protects the last two indigenous tribes living in voluntary isolation in the Ecuadorian Amazon from oil and logging development. The victory is partial because the Northern part of Yasuni still remains open to oil exploration and development - albeit without roads due to an earlier victory - and key oil fields were left out of
the designated area.

This campaign which Ecological Internet initiated as an international effort several years ago has grown to encompass a huge amount of groups and individuals. Together we are establishing the precedent that protected rainforests must be totally off-limits to oil, logging and other industrial development. This is the only way their ecological integrity including ecosystem services, biodiversity and indigenous cultures can be most fully maintained.

Please choose to send the updated alert, a congratulatory email that asks for the designation to be expanded to all of Yasuni and other Ecuador protected areas. Networked people power is an amazing thing, together we have generated hundreds of thousands of strategically targeted protest emails on behalf of Yasuni National Park. Thanks to those that collaborate with and participate in our campaigns. Together we are making a World of difference.

Continue reading "VICTORY: Ecuador Strengthens Some Rainforest and Indigenous Protections from Oil and Logging" »

January 12, 2007

ALERT: Stop the Great Ugandan Rainforest Give Away

TAKE ACTION! The rainforest destruction crisis in Uganda [search], which we first informed you of in December, has worsened considerably. The Ugandan President now proposes to degazette over nine additional municipal forest reserves, presumably to spur industrial and agricultural development. This is in addition to two existing proposed large agricultural plantation projects in an important protected rainforest, and another forest that buffers Lake Victoria, to grow palm oil and sugar cane crops. Destruction of Uganda's surviving forests will have grave ecological
consequences, changing the country's climate including more frequent droughts and floods, threatening hundreds of rare species, sparking soil erosion, and further reducing the health and water volume of Lake Victoria [search]. Please contact the Ugandan government to insist these projects be abandoned and that existing protected forests maintain their status, informing the government that Uganda needs more not less intact protected and restored rainforests if they are to develop in an ecologically sustainable manner and have any hope of alleviating poverty in the long-term. TAKE ACTION!

January 3, 2007

ALERT: Europe Must End Their "Deforestation Biofuel" Energy Policy

TAKE ACTION: Industrial biofuels threaten Rainforests and European land sustainability

There exist serious concerns regarding the production of plantation crops on lands cleared of ancient rainforests for production of biodiesel in Europe in particular. For example, remaining natural orangutan habitat and their rainforest ecosystems in Southeast Asia are threatened by the unsustainable harvesting of palm oil for the use of biofuels. The campaign to stop Europe's "Deforestation Biofuel" Economy is now at an important decision point, as the European Commission is expected to finalize the "Biomass Action Plan" policy by January 10th for biofuels sourced from plantations cleared from ancient rainforests. Earlier the European Parliament voted for rapid market expansion before safeguards are put in place. Please tell the European Commission now that they must prevent biofuels from causing ever greater deforestation, biodiversity losses, and evictions and impoverishment of local communities both in tropical rainforests and Europe. Unrestrained industrial biofuel expansion will accelerate, not slow down, climate change; as peatlands, rainforests, forests and croplands across the world are converted to energy crop monocultures and release their carbon in the process. TAKE ACTION!

December 19, 2006

Asian Timber Cabal Threatens Creation for Your Dinner Table

Rainforest logsA massive criminal timber cabal including elements of China's and Malaysia's government is liquidating the world's last ancient rainforests [more] for low cost forest products for the planet’s over-consumers. The basic biological elements of being are being transformed into consumer throw-away goods. This is not to suggest that European and American loggers have not pioneered the transnational industrial timber trade [search]. But the Asian timber mafia [search] differs in its ambition and scale of impact. Should industrial logging of ancient forests by these criminal companies, their distributors, customers and environmental apologists not be globally banned, humanity will be left with a much biologically diminished and ecologically depauperate planet. Those logging, buying the products and otherwise abetting the destruction of the world's last ancient forests are evil, selfish criminals. They are destroying the basis of creation for a relative pittance. Millions of years of evolutionary and ecological brilliance reduced to rubble to bring the consumer a cheap dinner table. This must be stopped. It must be stopped now. And it must be stopped at any cost and by any means. Or we are all going to suffer and then die as a species from lack of a biosphere.

December 15, 2006

ALERT: Protest Plans to Destroy Uganda's Few Remaining Rainforests for Plantations

TAKE ACTION: Let the Ugandan President and Parliament know rainforests and their ecological services are more valuable than sugar and oil palm production

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is pursuing legally dubious plans to destroy much of Uganda's last few rainforests to grow palm oil and sugar cane crops. Uganda has long been facing a deforestation crisis, with forests covering 20 percent of Uganda 40 years ago, but now just covering seven percent. Loss of forest cover in Uganda has had devastating ecological impacts which will be intensified by the proposed projects. Deforestation has been directly responsible for declining levels of waters in Lake Victoria and the River Nile, resulting in a scarcity of drinking water and reduction in hydroelectric energy production. The whole matter seems to reflect a desperate power grab by the President to reward cronies under false and illusory promises of industrialization. The government has no legal mandate to give out constitutionally protected forest reserves to be cut down by private companies. Please contact President Yoweri Museveni, the entire Ugandan parliament, and Ugandan ministries and embassies and insist that these projects be abandoned, and Uganda's remaining rainforest strictly protected as ecological reserves while restoring forests where they historically occurred.

November 29, 2006

Fragmented Rainforests' Species and Carbon Much Diminished

forest fragmentationForest fragmentation is rapidly eroding biodiversity and worsening global warming [more] in the Amazon rainforest according to research to be published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Forest fragmentation [search] is the process whereby a large, contiguous rainforest landscape is cut into pieces by industrial logging (including what is sometimes called "selective" but opens large forest gaps creating fragmentation), large-scale cattle ranching, slash-and-burn farming, rapid soya expansion, and wildfires. "Fragmentation causes profound changes to forest dynamics and ecology, resulting in the disappearance of rare species and forest specialists." Fragmentation also has global climate impact since fragments experience a considerable die-off of trees attributed to drying winds and storms.

Continue reading "Fragmented Rainforests' Species and Carbon Much Diminished" »

November 8, 2006

ALERT: Oppose Oil Production in Ecuador's Yasuni National Park

TAKE ACTION: After an earlier successful campaign to halt oil road construction, the message must still be sent that oil extraction and protected areas do not mix

In two separate letters delivered to the Ecuadorian government, a group of over 40 Yasuni scientists (known as the Scientists Concerned for Yasuni) and 6 international NGOs have criticized Petrobras' new Environmental Impact Study (EIS) of their new "roadless" plan to build oil production facilities in Ecuador's world class Yasuni National Park. Although both letters praise Ecuador for stopping Petrobras from building an access road into Yasuni National Park, they emphasize that the new project design (construction and operation of 2 drilling platforms, flow lines, a processing facility and pipeline) will cause major impacts to the region's biodiversity and indigenous peoples.

Continue reading "ALERT: Oppose Oil Production in Ecuador's Yasuni National Park" »

November 6, 2006

Brazil Proposes Fund to Protect Amazon

The World and Brazil in particular have come a long way in recent years regarding acknowledging the need to protect the world's rainforests and climate, and developing policy sufficient for doing so. Not so long ago Brazil's government railed against any suggestion by the international community that the Amazon should be protected. Now at the international climate talks in Kenya the Brazilian government has asked "rich nations to back a plan to help it slow deforestation". Along with other tropical rainforest rich countries like Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica, it has proposed that a fund be established "that developing countries can tap after they prove they have slowed initial deforestation rates". This proposal definitely represents progress towards solving two of the world's most dire ecological crises - terrestrial habitat loss [search] and global warming/heating [search]. But as always with such proposals, the devil is in the details. Forest diminishment such as what is caused by "selective" logging and other industrial developments permanently lowers the ability of ancient forests to hold carbon. To be truly effective, such climate funding for forest conservation must protect against deforestation as well as all ecological diminishment of large, contiguous and relatively intact forest expanses. Ancient forests can simply not be acceptably industrially managed while still holding all their carbon.

October 18, 2006

Southeast Asia's Peat Fires and Global Warming

Press Release
Southeast Asia's Peat Fires and Global Warming

By Ecological Internet and Biofuelwatch
October 18, 2006

(Madison, WI, USA) - Hundreds of peat and forest fires are once again burning across Indonesian Borneo and Sumatra, releasing vast quantities of greenhouse gases and destroying the livelihoods of local communities and rainforest habitats of countless species. Those annual fires release as much carbon as 15% of all emissions from burning fossil fuels worldwide.

So far some 2,500 people from 75 countries have written to the UK, US and other governments from http://www.climateark.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=indonesia_peatland to demand urgent international action at the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Nairobi. The ongoing campaign is organized by Ecological Internet and supported by the British campaign group Biofuelwatch. It calls for urgent measures to stop the conversion of peat forests into timber and oil palm plantations, or agriculture, and to restore the peatlands which have already been drained and degraded.

Continue reading "Southeast Asia's Peat Fires and Global Warming" »

October 13, 2006

VICTORY: French Guiana Rainforest Gold Mine Successfully Blocked

PRESS RELEASE

Ecological Internet's Campaign Protest Given as Major Factor in Decision

By Ecological Internet, http://www.ecoearth.info/
October 13, 2006

(Madison, WI) - French Guiana's environmentalists are rejoicing as it became known yesterday that gold mining activities of Canadian multi-national Cambior in the heavily rainforested Kaw region in French Guiana have been blocked. In late September, Ecological Internet's Earth Action Network mobilized, upon the request of local and international conservationists working in the area, a last ditch effort to protect the area from certain ruin - inundating government officials with tens of thousands of protest emails.

Continue reading "VICTORY: French Guiana Rainforest Gold Mine Successfully Blocked" »

September 29, 2006

No More Ancient Forest Logging, Anywhere, Anytime

Rainforest logsThere exists a terrible, painful split within the forest conservation movement between those working to preserve with full protection [search] all the world's remaining ancient forests, and those that believe that certified industrial forest logging [search] of the world's last forest wildlands adequately protects these resources and their ecological values. The latter have worked for two decades and have failed both to demonstrate ecologically sustainable forest management on any scale, and to acknowledge and adapt to new science that indicates selective logging irreversibly diminishes biodiversity and ecosystems, including ancient forests' ability to hold carbon.

Continue reading "No More Ancient Forest Logging, Anywhere, Anytime" »

September 26, 2006

ALERT: Say No to Industrial Mining in French Guiana's Ancient Rainforests

French Guiana rainforestTAKE ACTION: Protected areas, water resources and indigenous peoples will all be devastated if French Government grants environmental approvals - decision expected soon!

The French government will soon decide whether to grant the last required environmental license for industrial open-air gold mining in the primary rainforests of French Guiana by the Canadian multinational Cambior. The site chosen for the project covers 30 square kilometers of rainforest and an important nature reserve. Local peoples are protesting by organizing the "No to the Cambior project at Kaw Mountain" campaign made up of a coalition of 24 organizations in French Guyana against the gold mining activity. The gold mining activities as planned by Cambior S.A. will devastate the ecology of these priceless tropical rainforests of Guyana and their inhabitants.

September 2, 2006

Brazil Proposes Rainforest Conservation Fund

Brazil has joined the calls for a fund to compensate developing countries that slow the destruction of their rainforests. Paying countries to reduce deforestation and forest diminishment would yield tremendous benefits in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem services including reducing carbon dioxide releases blamed for global warming. Deforestation accounts for at least 20% of humanity's greenhouse gas releases [search]. Global environmental agreements allow credit for planting trees but "offer no incentives for preventing cutting in areas like Brazil's Amazon, home to nearly a third of all species and a quarter of the earth's fresh water." Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica have made similar proposals in the past, but these have languished. Brazil in coming around to an idea they have previously resisted has moved the ball forward. International policy development to address both deforestation and global heating needs a renewed sense of urgency and linkage between the issues.

August 31, 2006

ALERT: Stop ANZ Bank Funding of Illegal Logging in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea cultureTAKE ACTION! Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Australian community groups have filed a formal complaint against Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ Bank) of Australia over its financial support of ancient rainforest logging companies that are engaged in human rights abuses and environmental destruction in PNG. The complaint alleges that ANZ is "actively facilitating and supporting" the PNG operations of Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau [search], a company whose operations involve "serious human rights abuses, environmentally devastating logging practices and repeated, serious illegal conduct." Most of PNG's logging operations are illegal because of their failure to comply with a whole host of legal requirements including the need for sustainability and informed consent as well as non-compliance with harvesting and labour regulations. TAKE ACTION!

August 16, 2006

China Denies Plundering World's Rain Forests

China is directly responding to claims made for years by Ecological Internet and others that its importing of illegal and endangered ancient rainforest timbers must end. Despite well documented reports of illegal logging trade (search | news) between China and Burma, Indonesia, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea; the government has flat out denied that they are meeting their booming economy's need for timber (when there is a ban on logging domestically) from rainforest timbers. Where are all those illegally begotten timbers going then? I would not place a great deal of merit in governmental statements from a totalitarian prison state. Earlier this year China denied using ancient rainforest timbers for Olympic construction, yet the media still reports Indonesian Olympic rainforest harvest for just such a purpose.

August 14, 2006

VICTORY: Malaysian Logging Blockade Successfully Maintained

TAKE ACTION: Continue to stand with the Penan as they protect their last large contiguous rainforest lands (updated)

Ecological Internet's Earth Action Network has yet again contributed to the successful defense of rainforests and their indigenous inhabitants. As our recent alert asked, based upon information from "Bruno Manser Fonds", Malaysian authorities have refrained from dismantling a logging road blockade set up by the Penan tribe in the interior of Borneo. The two year old blockade seeks to protect one of Sarawak's last virgin jungle areas from logging. Riot police had massed to smash the blockade and arrest protestors, when our barrage of hundreds of thousands of protest emails hit - along with the protest efforts of many others. The blockade and rainforests still stand, and violence has been averted, and this is a victory.

Continue reading "VICTORY: Malaysian Logging Blockade Successfully Maintained" »

August 3, 2006

Malaysia's Belum-Temengor National Park a Step Closer

HornbillLogging has ended in a portion of 130 million year old ancient rainforests in Belum-Temengor, in Northern Malaysia near the Thai border. Recall that in May Ecological Internet's Earth Action network supported local conservationists including the Malaysian Nature Society to have this area's 300,000 acres of hornbill filled rainforests given the strictest of ecological protections. The alert asked that this and adjoining Belum rainforest be declared a National Park. Ending of logging in one area is certainly a positive step towards this eventually happening.

Continue reading "Malaysia's Belum-Temengor National Park a Step Closer" »

July 27, 2006

Amazon Rainforest's Reprieve from Soya Farmers

The Amazon rainforest has won a temporary reprieve from the on-going invasion by soya farmers [more | more2], after Brazil's major soy traders agreed to a two-year moratorium on buying crops from newly deforested land. Cargill Inc. and other traders were responding to protests against expanding soy plantations in the Amazon rainforest by Greenpeace and others. As reported here, soybean production has become a major source of destruction of the Amazon rainforest. The industry, under pressure from customers such as McDonald's, has now agreed to set up a monitoring system and safeguards to ensure that soya is not sourced from newly deforested land. This is an important tactical victory, yet the two-year ban is clearly insufficient to permanently protect the Amazon rainforest from soybean production. Industrial agriculture of this sort can never be ecologically sustainable within standing rainforest ecosystems, and further Amazonian rainforest clearing for soya production must be banned.

July 12, 2006

The Rape of Papua New Guinea's Rainforests

Papua New Guinea cultureThe world's third largest intact rainforest expanse found in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is being devastated by brutal criminal logging by Malaysian logging company Rimbunan Hijau. For years brave campaigners have fought their virtual invasion at great risk to their person. PNG is on the verge of losing all of its major timber resources for a pittance and at great cost to future development potential and the environment. Increasingly these ill-gotten illegal timbers are facing important bans from Australia and other importers (except China who will steal any resources (search) they can). Prime Minister Somare has a long personal association with the loggers and is personally profiting from their law-breaking. The next action alert on this matter will target the ANZ bank of Australia because the bank provides guarantees for Rimbunan Hijau (search).

Continue reading "The Rape of Papua New Guinea's Rainforests" »

July 10, 2006

The Penan Struggle Continues

PenanMalaysia's indigenous Penan peoples (search) are again resorting to logging road blockades to protect their native customary land rights and last remaining ancestral rainforest reserves. Logging workers of Malaysian Interhill logging have already dismantled a Penan logging road blockade near Ba Abang in the Middle Baram region of Sarawak on the Island of Borneo. Now the Police and Federal Reserve Unit are reportedly moving into the Baram region to break at the behest of Samling logging a long-standing second blockade erected by the Penan to protect the boundaries of their last remaining large rainforest expanse. The Malaysian government must be held accountable for the conduct of Malaysian logging companies (search) there and throughout the world. TAKE ACTION!

June 11, 2006

Chinese Olympic Committee Must Independently Prove Olympic Torch Not Burning World's Rainforests

Rainforest logsTAKE ACTION
Beijing Olympics 2008: Destroying Papua's Ancient Rainforests to Raise the Olympic Torch http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=olympic_timber

In April of 2006, Ecological Internet alerted the world to plans by the Chinese Olympic Committee to destroy ancient Papuan rainforests in Indonesia to construct facilities for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Since then our network has sent over one million protest emails to Chinese and Olympic officials, which even the authoritative Chinese government has been unable to ignore. In response the Chinese Olympic Committee has offered vague assurances that construction companies have "specifically prohibited the use of virgin timber". But no independent proof is provided to back up these dubious promises.

Continue reading "Chinese Olympic Committee Must Independently Prove Olympic Torch Not Burning World's Rainforests" »

June 4, 2006

Criticism Grows Over Pipeline Which Will Devastate the Amazon

Here is an important update on plans by Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina to build a massive natural gas pipeline through Brazil's Amazon rainforest. In March, the Rainforest Portal and Ecological Internet took the lead in making this a global issue, as our network mobilized to campaign against this potentially 9,000 km long pipeline. The proposed project would pierce the heart of the Amazon - devastating rainforests, water resources, the climate and indigenous populations across a huge swathe of South America - and ensuring the destruction of the Amazon as a large, operable whole. The article indicates that opposition is growing and the pipeline's prospects are fading. Let's end this boondoggle now - please send now and forward widely the still current and urgent alert: Massive Gas Pipeline to Pierce the Amazon.

May 25, 2006

The Dangerous Myth of "Sustainable Logging" in Ancient Rainforests

Rainforest logsAfter a couple decades and billions of dollars invested in "sustainable rainforest management", the ITTO reports less than 5% of tropical rainforest logging areas meet their limited definition of sustainability. Their questionable methods account little for ecological processes and patterns, instead focusing upon continued wood yields. The ridiculousness of ITTO's position is demonstrated by claims that Malaysian loggers, a global rainforest scourge, have made the "greatest progress in sustainable management".

Groups such as Greenpeace, WWF and Rainforest Action Network that unquestioningly embrace and promote the dangerous wishful myth that ancient primary rainforests can in any manner be meaningfully protected through "sustainable logging" should by now be totally discredited and ashamed of themselves. And this goes for foundations as well.

Continue reading "The Dangerous Myth of "Sustainable Logging" in Ancient Rainforests" »

May 17, 2006

Support Petition to Save Malaysia's Belum-Temengor Rainforests

hornbillMalaysia's magnificent Belum-Temengor rainforests are 130 million year old, making them some of the richest and most ancient rainforests in the world. Located in Perak state along the Thailand border of Peninsular Malaysia, Belum Temengor rainforests are a world-class wilderness with tremendous ecological, aesthetic and economic values including immense tourism potential. Sadly, this large and intact life-sustaining ancient rainforest marvel is now under threat from both legal and illegal industrial logging.

Take Action Now - Proposed National Park "Richest of the Rich" in Terms of Biodiversity and Ecosystems, Threatened by Logging

Continue reading "Support Petition to Save Malaysia's Belum-Temengor Rainforests" »

May 15, 2006

Indonesian Rainforest Victory as Large Orangutan Habitat Safe for Now from Oil Palm

Ecological Internet's Earth Action Network Spearheads Major Victory for Rainforest Movement

OrangutanUnder intense international pressure the Indonesian government has virtually abandoned plans to convert large areas of ancient rainforests, prime habitat for the endangered Orangutan, into a massive oil palm plantation. The original plan called for 1.8 million hectares (nearly 7,000 square miles or 18,000 square kilometers) of mainly native forests to be converted into a mega oil palm plantation along over 850 kilometers of the Indonesia-Malaysia border.

In an abrupt about-face, the Agriculture Minister (formerly the project's chief advocate) last week announced only 180,000 hectares are now deemed suitable for oil palm development. Given long-standing objections by the Forestry and Environment ministries, the larger project is effectively dead for now. International protest in support of local rainforest peoples and conservationists is responsible for reducing the project's expanse by 90%.

Continue reading "Indonesian Rainforest Victory as Large Orangutan Habitat Safe for Now from Oil Palm" »

Malaysia Hits Back at Rainforest Conservationists

Mimicking orangutan sounds, Malaysia's Energy, Water and Communications Minister assailed allegations that oil palm plantations are killing orangutans. He attributes concern over Malaysian's ancient rainforests and orangutans as an attempt to stifle competition. Malaysia has big plans to produce oil palm for biofuel [search], demand for which can only be met at the expense of primary rainforests. "Do you want us to be 100 percent covered with natural forest, so that we don't use cars, so that we swing from tree to tree like Tarzan and Jane? So that you can come and take photos of these loin-clothed natives?" These glib retorts denigrate the noble efforts of millions of Malaysians and global citizens working to protect orangutans [search], one of humanity's closest genetic relatives. And they fly against ecological science - namely that large forests must be protected and restored throughout the world if the global ecosystem is to continue providing humans their habitat. Do they not teach ecology in Malaysia?

May 11, 2006

UPDATE: Indonesia's Rainforests and Orangutans: Hope Emerges Anew!?

oil palm plantationThe Indonesian government has announced that only 180,000 (of 1.8 million) hectares of the much criticized mega-plantation project along the Indonesia-Malaysia border on the island of Borneo are suitable to be converted into oil palm plantations. Recall the "Heart of Borneo" rainforests are some of the last prime habitat for the world's dwindling viable populations of wild orangutans. What makes these statements even more encouraging than previously reported opposition to the project within the Indonesian government is the fact that announcement was made by the Agriculture Minister, who has consistently been one of the most vocal proponents of the project.

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May 2, 2006

Papua New Guinea Campaigner's Award Shines Light on Illegal Logging

Annie Kajir epitomizes the fearless rainforest campaigner. The recent winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize has been beaten and harassed for her efforts on behalf of Papua New Guinea's rainforests. When only 24 she successfully took criminal loggers Rimbunan Hijau to court. What can we learn from her experience? Firstly, while there are many such activists that usually labor in anonymity, we need more. Pick a rainforest and dedicate your being to saving it. In PNG, the use of the courts to stop the logging invasion must be more adequately funded. The relatively uncorrupted court system may be the last best chance to stop the timber mafia from finishing off these critical rainforest habitats.

May 1, 2006

Beijing, China 2008 Olympics: Destroying Ancient Rainforests to Raise the Torch

From Rainforest Portal, a project of Ecological Internet, Inc., http://www.rainforestportal.org/
Contact: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

Rainforest logsWith two-and-a-half years to go until the start of the 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing China, the Chinese government and Olympic Committee have recently placed a $1 billion rush order for endangered ancient rainforest timbers. They are to be industrially logged from Indonesia's Papua province to be used in construction for the games.

This weekend the Rainforest Portal and Ecological Internet's global ecological advocacy network launched a campaign against this Olympic rainforest tragedy at http://www.rainforestportal.org/. Already several hundred thousand protest emails have been sent to the Chinese and other national Olympic committees. Many dozens of email accounts have been filled and shut down around the world.

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April 30, 2006

VICTORY: Oil Roads Kept Out of Ecuador's Yasuni National Park

Amazon roadIn a huge victory for the rainforest movement, plans to violate Ecuador's Yasuni National Park with an oil access road have been cancelled. The road would have lead to widespread destruction of one of the most important rainforest reserves in the world. Instead, oil drilling and production will continue without roads and the deleterious impact of follow-on colonization upon biodiversity and indigenous populations may be limited. More work remains to be done to fully protect Yasuni, Ecuador's rainforests, and the Amazon; and the local Hauorani peoples, but this is a massive improvement upon previous plans which would have certainly devastated the entire area. Now there is hope.

This is a major triumph for Ecological Internet which was the first to bring the threat to a wide international audience through three different massive email protests, most recently in September of 2005. Other groups we worked with that also provided critical leadership included Save America's Forests, Rainforest Rescue of Germany, the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, and many other organizations which rallied and provided crucial leadership in country.

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ALERT: China Olympics 2008: Destroying Papua's Ancient Rainforests to Raise the Olympic Torch

Olympic loggingTAKE ACTION: Protest China's Plundering of Indonesian Rainforests to Build 2008 Olympic Facilities

With two-and-a-half years to go until the start of the 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing China, the Chinese government has recently placed a $1 billion rush order for endangered rainforest timbers from Indonesia's Papua province to be used in construction for the games. A proposed timber processing factory would industrially harvest 800,000 cubic meters of the famous and threatened merbau (intsia spp) rainforest timbers, to be exported to China for the construction of sports facilities.

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April 29, 2006

Hopes Dim Further for Indonesia's Rainforests

OrangutanA month ago I made the audacious statement that the rainforest movement had achieved a victory in protecting Indonesia's rainforests and orangutans from a huge oil palm plantation. I made this statement fully aware that Indonesia's rainforests were in frenzied crisis and hoping that supporting those in government working to conserve rainforests from such atrocities could make a positive difference. This hope has proven fleeting. I now realize I was wrong, am retracting the victory claim, and have realized there is little or no hope for Indonesia's large and intact ancient rainforests. I apologize for my error.

The latest news is that a Chinese company intends to set-up a massive timber plant in Indonesian Papua to process rare rainforest timbers for Olympic construction. This will set the stage for the final destruction of these relatively intact rainforests. The second story details the ongoing power struggle between various Indonesian factions for and against the massive oil palm project. These actions - which are so grossly unjust and unsustainable, and our inability to stop them - show just how impotent the rainforest movement has become.

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April 19, 2006

China Devastating Asia/Pacific's Rainforests

Rainforest logsChina has joined Europe and the United States as a global drain upon the world's ancient forests. China's appetite for foreign wood arises from its spectacular economic growth and from the decision in 1999 to protect its own environment at the expense of regional forests. China's unsustainable demand for timber is causing widespread deforestation and environmental destruction beyond their own borders - particularly in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar and increasingly Russia.

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April 13, 2006

European Oil Palm Market Causing Indonesian Rainforest Loss

OrangutanBelow is an important update on the global campaign to protect Indonesia's ancient rainforests from unfettered oil palm plantation development. It comes from WALHI (Friends of the Earth Indonesia), an important Indonesian NGO. Their new report importantly links the rapidly expanding European market for oil palm for biofuels (which Ecological Internet was amongst the first to publicize) and other products with wholesale Indonesian rainforest destruction from oil palm plantations.

They are demanding that the Indonesian government officially cancel the proposed mega oil palm plantation along the Malaysian border that threatens the orangutan and other species with extinction. Earlier loose assurances that the project will not proceed must be followed by formal government statements, and the area given permanent protected status that is enforced. Please continue to take action on this important issue.

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April 8, 2006

McDonald's Destroys Rainforests, Eat There and So Do You

mcdonalds.jpgA new report (pdf) accuses McDonald's of destroying rainforests. Greenpeace traced soya grown on land that once was rainforest to an animal feed producer whose chickens are processed into Chicken McNuggets and other McDonald's products. "Fast food giants like McDonald's are trashing the Amazon for cheap meat. Every time you buy a Chicken McNugget you could be taking a bite out of the Amazon." The production of soya is having severe environmental impacts in the Amazon; indeed, much is illegal due to failure to protect rainforests when developing the land. Given Greenpeace's dramatic flash campaign materials, I predict an interesting, educational and effective campaign ahead - start by taking action now!

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April 6, 2006

UPDATE: Indonesia's Rainforests and Orangutans Still Gravely Threatened

oil palm plantationThe Indonesian government recently announced it was abandoning plans to destroy 1.8 million hectares of rainforest by establishing oil palm plantations in prime orangutan habitat. While political maneuvering continues by those supporting the project (as no rainforest is protected, particularly in Indonesia, for long), this strategic victory is encouraging and important.

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March 28, 2006

VICTORY: Brazil Expands Amazon Protection

Calls upon Rich World to Do More for Environment

AmazonBrazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has announced massive protections for the Amazon on the eve of a United Nations biodiversity meeting starting in Brazil. The Brazilian government has announced that 84,000 square miles of the Amazon rain forest - an area about the size of Kansas - will be declared a protected zone over the next three years. Let us hope this is preservation in an intact state, and not illusory "sustainable" logging.

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March 27, 2006

China Conduit for Illegal Rainforest Wood

rainforest_logs.jpgChina is the largest consumer of wood from tropical rainforests in developing countries; and a major conduit to the United States, Japan and European Union for furniture and wood products from countries where illegal logging is common and human rights records are poor. China accounts for over half the log exports from Papua New Guinea, Myanmar and Indonesia. About 70 percent of imported timber is converted into furniture, plywood and other processed products for export. If you buy a product made from tropical timbers, it was likely stolen from a poor country suffering rainforest loss and laundered through China.

March 21, 2006

Mass Extinction Now

OrangutanIn anticipation of a global biodiversity meeting to be held in Brazil, the United Nations has released a new report that finds "humans have provoked the worst spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs were wiped out 65m years ago... the current extinction rate is up to 1,000 times faster than in the past". While these pronouncements are true, it is long past time to write reports and hold international gabfests. The biological and ecological basis for all life is threatened, and we need both international and personal responses that match the scale of the looming disaster. Is it all over? Is advanced life on Earth doomed due to disinterest and selfishness?

March 20, 2006

Ramping Up Amazon Logging

Amazon logging roadWith the blessing of Greenpeace and other mainstream ancient forest sell-outs, the Brazilian government has launched a new type of industrial rainforest logging. The new system copies a failed global forest management model, establishing "Sustainable Forest Districts" which are the equivalent of National Forests, where large scale "sustainable" industrial logging will occur. This comes as a new World Resources Institute report highlights building human impacts upon the Amazon that are greatly diminishing this vital global ecosystem engine as a contiguous, functional whole.

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March 19, 2006

Save Rainforests, Buy Them

AmazonIf the world's rainforests and climate are to be saved, there is a tremendous need to "think outside of the box", developing creative solutions. The existence of the super rich in this inequitable world offers opportunities to buy rainforests in order to protect rather than harvest them. There are potential pitfalls, as such purchases must be socially sensitive and not green colonialism. But what are the alternatives? Simply, global survival require protecting and expanding natural rainforest cover by all means necessary.

March 8, 2006

VICTORY: World Bank Bends on Congo Rainforests

Congo rainforestThere have been significant developments in Forests.org's global campaign to end industrial logging of ancient forests. After a tenacious campaign by Rainforest Foundation-UK with the support of Forests.org's network, the World Bank has admitted it failed to protect the environment and local peoples in its program to develop the Democratic Republic of Congo's massive rainforests. This is a tremendous set back for Bank plan to zone the world's second largest rainforest for industrial logging (which we are assured will be "sustainable" and "manage ecosystems" and perhaps even "certified" but as always means destroying forever more of the world's last ancient rainforests).

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February 28, 2006

Papua New Guinea Rainforest Illegal Logging and Corruption Studied, Again, But What Is to Be Done?

Papua New Guinea cultureA new report makes the not so new or startling observation that Papua New Guinea's rainforests are being ravaged in an orgy of illegal and corrupt industrial logging carried out by criminal Malaysian timber cartels. There have been dozens of similar reports over the last nearly 20 years that have made identical observations and are now gathering dust. The problem has not been lack of awareness, but rather a lack of vision and initiative to do something about it.

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February 23, 2006

Questionable Gas Pipeline to Pierce the Amazon

A massive pipeline through the Amazon is proposed to carry natural gas from Venezuela to Brazil and Argentina. Project approval for the 9,000+ km pipeline, at a cost of over $US 20 billion, could come as early as mid-March. The pipeline would pierce the heart of the Amazon and ensure its destruction as a large, operable whole. If you have additional information, please contact us for an eventual action alert.

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February 20, 2006

Oil Palm Threatens Indonesia's Rainforests and Orangutans

oil palm plantationIndonesia plans to cut a 2,000 kilometer long, five kilometer wide swathe through one of the world's largest remaining areas of pristine rainforest to create a massive oil palm plantation. The project would destroy two million hectares of ancient rainforest in Kalimantan, traversing almost the entire border with Malaysia, and slicing through three national parks. These remote rainforests on the island of Borneo are home to countless species of rare birds, plants and mammals including the largest remaining wild orangutan population.

February 15, 2006

VICTORY: Brazil Creates Massive New Amazonian Forest Reserves

Amazon roadBrazil has created two new national parks in the Amazon rainforest and expanded another, placing 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) of rainforest, an area twice the size of Belgium, completely off limits to development. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's decree seeks to preserve an environmentally sensitive region in the western part of Para state long plagued by land disputes and environmental devastation, and next to where the government plans to pave a major road. Brazil's first four "Sustainable Forest Districts" or national forests for "sustainable logging" were also created.

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February 8, 2006

VICTORY: Indonesia's 'Lost World': Pristine Rainforests Do Still Exist

Indonesia rainforestScientists exploring an isolated rainforest in Indonesia's Papua Province, the western half of the island of New Guinea, have discovered a "lost world" with dozens of new species of frogs, butterflies and plants -- as well as large mammals hunted to near extinction elsewhere, many of which were unafraid of humans. The area located in the Foja Mountains covers more than two million acres of old growth tropical forest, and is possibly the largest pristine tropical forest in Asia. It is critical that remaining rainforest wildernesses of unmatched ecological and evolutionary splendor not be lost forever, and certainly not for logging.

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January 25, 2006

Gas Pipeline Through Heart of Amazon Proposed

Rainforest pipelineSouth American leaders have announced plans to build a massive natural gas pipeline through the Amazon rainforest. Thankfully the $20 billion dollar project is still in the early planning. But if built this may well sound the final death knell for the mighty Amazon. This grotesque ecological sacrilege will set the stage for the final destruction of the world's largest wilderness - creating roads that will draw ranchers and loggers, fragmenting a vital large and contiguous global ecosystem, and polluting water throughout the region. And the economics are dodgy as well as both Brazil and Argentina have ample domestic gas supplies.

January 23, 2006

Humans Push Orangutans to Brink of Extinction

OrangutanA study of orangutan genetics conducted in Malaysia has found strong evidence that humans have pushed orangutans to the brink of extinction. Orangutans found within fragmented rainforests are undergoing a major population collapse. Continued biological homogenization in rainforests is a precursor for broadbased biological decline and collapse worldwide, including human populations. The ape with the big brain is killing itself, all other life, and the Earth they share.

January 12, 2006

Poor Land Planning Destroys Rainforests

rainforest mapThe world's rainforests continue to disappear at an alarming rate despite attempts to 'zone' forests into areas for protection and management, a new report by the Rainforest Foundation reveals. The report, 'Divided Forests', shows that large-scale forest planning exercises in countries such as Indonesia, Brazil and Cameroon have been seriously flawed, resulting in vast areas being allocated to timber companies which then damaged or destroyed the forest. Large-scale 'forest zoning' exercises have also failed to involve people living in the forest and depending on it for their survival.

January 10, 2006

Madagascar to Triple Nature Reserves

lemurMadagascar is a biological treasure trove with at least 10,000 plant species, 316 reptiles, 109 bird species and dozens of species of lemurs. Its government seeks to triple its nature reserves by the end of 2008, and has already successfully protected a million extra hectares. These reserves still fall short of requirements for terrestrial ecosystem sustainability but are amazing in the social context. In Madagascar and throughout the tropics natural areas face a growing threat from poverty and population pressure. The tropical conservation conundrum is meeting local needs while maintaining large natural areas required for their long-term survival and well-being.

January 2, 2006

Panama Power Line Plan to Destroy Darien Gap Rainforest Wilderness

rfprint.jpgPanama and Colombia are planning to construct an electricity transmission line to link their power grids through the remote Darien Gap rainforest -- a 10,000-square-mile swath of impenetrable jungle on the border of Central and South America. This will require cutting a path at least 130 feet wide through virgin rainforest -- opening the area to explosive deforestation, loggers and rebel militias. Please take action now.

Paved Road to Pierce Heart of the Amazon

amazon_rainforest_road.jpgThe Brazilian environmental agency has granted a license to pave BR-163 - the 1,100 mile long north-south highway which cuts through the Amazon. This is certain to increase deforestation in the mighty Amazon rainforest, 17% of which has been deforested over the last four decades. Three-quarters of this deforestation has occurred within 30 miles of paved roads. This is the beginning of the end of the Amazon as a large unfragmented whole, and its ability to maintain its biodiversity and global planetary ecosystem services.

Ecological Internet Launches Rainforest Portal

Focus upon ending ancient rainforest logging and other ecologically sufficient policy responses

(Wisconsin, USA) - A new Rainforest Portal dedicated to protection of the world's remaining tropical rainforests and the rights of their inhabitants is launching today. The new site at http://www.rainforestportal.org/ is the latest is a long list of highly successful environmental portal offerings by Ecological Internet, Inc. The portal provides unprecedented rainforest action, news, search and analysis capabilities.

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