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27 May 2008 @ 09:28 pm
345 - Earth's Tree News  
Today for you 37 new articles about earth’s trees! (345th edition)
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--British Columbia: 1) GBR is being destroyed and no one’s stopping ‘em, 2)
Lodgepole pine policy maximizes carbon emissions, 3) Bring down Coleman, 4) Slowdown in third-party cutting, 5) Nothing yet done to stop carbou extinction, 6) 10,000 square kilometers of new protected areas, 7) Taser Coleman! 8) Coleman cont. 9) 1,000 people rally to regain jobs that’ll never return, 10) Industry created the Pine Beetle disaster,

--California: 11) Motorised recreation wants roadless areas kept open, 12) After 7 years Sierra Pacific wins eco-challenge in state supreme court, 13) cold weather killed trees mistaken for Sudden Oak Death, 14) Six Heritage trees to be cut via school exemption,

--Canada: 15) Three first Nations demand sovereignty from mining policy, 16) Norfolk residents given rare species checklist, 17) Grassy Narrows moratorium is a sham, 18) Don’t use the boreal, use wheat! 19) Poplar River First Nation defends land from loggers and miners, Tembec delays harvest till next fall,

--Germany: 21) Fight biopiracy, 22) Women from the Orange Bloc, 23) Via Campesina protest, 24) Biodiversity is fundamental to human life, 25) Chopping down GE trees,

--Australia: 26) New Tassie premier, new style of clever & kind double-speak, 27) Greens say new premier won’t make any changes in the near future, 28) Money to stop logging in other countries, but not at home, 29) 10,000 new Tassie hectares to be destroyed after Brown’s lawsuit fails, 30) Plantations produce 2/3rds of the wood supply, 31) I put him out of business, now we’re friends, 32) Protections in Victoria means increased logging in NSW, 33) Forest destruction as union pacifiers and political bribes, New Zealand welcomes Tassie premier, 34) $2 billion pulp mill is dead, 35) Forest and Wood Products Stats, 36) FSC criticises guidelines?

--World-wide: 37) World Bank is a major driver of deforestation


British Columbia:

1) Western Forest Products is now blasting roads into Ellerslie, Ingram, Mooto and Western lakes. This complex of large lake systems remain one of the largest, intact, contiguous low elevation rainforests left on the mainland coast. It is why, just a few years ago, front line blockades, threats of cancelled softwood lumber contracts and a host of other campaign related activities successfully stopped this road. This logging plan has little to do with EBM. The vast clearcuts and associated roads will merely keep WFP afloat in red cedar for a few more years. It is truly heartbreaking to see this happening with no opposition. -- Ian McAllister

2) The B.C government is advertising license opportunities to log and burn 4.4 million cubic metres of lodgepole pine and other species each year for a 20 year period to create of electricity. Not only will this be a major assault on biodiversity by clearcutting 44,000 hectares of forest each year, it will introduce 3,168,000 tonnes of CO2 into the skies above B.C. annually, about twice as much CO2 emission as the population of Chilliwack. This is a dramatic step backwards for a province which is trying to lead the way with tough targets for the reduction of green house gas emissions by 2020. These licences offerings come at a time when the overwhelming consensus of world scientists is that global warming beyond 2 degrees C will cause species extinction rates to soar above 30% globally and be catastrophic for human populations. To avoid overshooting this 2 degrees C threshold, we must start reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions immediately to 65% below current levels by 2050. The B.C government has reacted to this situation with good policy in terms of CO2 emission reduction targets of 33% below current levels by 2016 and 80% below current levels by 2050. In fact, the policy calls for all new electrical generation facilities to have zero net green house gas emissions. This is an ambitious, well intentioned CO2 reduction plan which needs to be given full support. However, a closer look reveals a massive flaw in part of the policy initiative. The B.C. government's new green energy strategy intends to licence a significant number of industrial "Biofuel" facilities designed to burn forests to create bioenergy, particularly electricity. The rationale is to reduce CO2 emissions by shifting from fossil fuels to trees. As well, this new policy claims it will rehabilitate the beetle-altered forest, create jobs, and help the B.C. government achieve its CO2 emission reduction targets. This whole plan rests on the government's assertion that carbon released when trees are burned does not contribute to global warming because newly planted trees will pull that carbon back out of the air as they regrow to replace the ones burned. This idea originated in the tropics where life cycles can be measured in ten or fifteen years for fast-growing plants like switch grass and other short rotation woody crops. http://chilcotin.wordpress.com

3) The Steelworkers have demanded it, and so have the NDP. It is now time for Dogwood Initiative and our supporters to publicly demand Forest Minister, Rich Coleman’s resignation. It's time to find a Forest Minister who offers real solutions for the forest industry. Early next week petitions for Coleman's resignation will be officially submitted to the provincial liberal party in a legislative session. If you haven’t already signed the petition asking for Rich Coleman’s resignation do so now at bc4sale.org, and forward this e-mail to a friend. If you want your name and comments to be submitted please sign on no later than Sunday May 25th at 5:00pm. (If you miss the deadline, you can still sign and we will send those signatures at a later date). We are up to 900 signatures, and we are aiming for at least 1200 to submit! Maurita@dogwoodinitiative.org

4) With the Prince Albert Pulp Mill continuing to sit idle, activity has also slowed in the provincial forest where mill owner Domtar has timber rights. Domtar vice-president Michel Rathier said in a recent interview there has been a slowdown in third-party cutting in the area under the Prince Albert forest management agreement (FMA). As well, there will be no tree-planting activities in the FMA this year because the company was caught up on its reforestation requirements last year. Tree-planting will continue next year, he said. "We harvested much less so we're due to plant much less," said Rathier by telephone from Montreal. Talks are continuing between Domtar and the Saskatchewan Party government over reopening the mill, which was closed by former owner Weyerhaeuser in 2006. However, few details are forthcoming from either side. http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/local/story.html?id=e2f4b0f5-7ef2-4a56-bc8c-
f49c3c0a7756

5) There has been no real progress in efforts to save the southern mountain caribou in B.C., according to a longtime wildlife biologist. Even though the B.C. government announced a caribou recovery plan last October, the animals are facing extinction, says Dr. Lee Harding, formerly with Environment Canada. Harding was hired by the environmental group ForestEthics to evaluate the progress of the first six months of the new government recovery plan. He found that while many teams of experts and stakeholders are working to find a way to protect the remaining herds, once again, government action is not living up to promises. "We have had three different recovery plans developed for these caribou in the last 20 years and there still has yet to be any substantial action to actually protect the caribou," said Harding on Tuesday in Coquitlam. Government constraints on habitat protection and upcoming agreements with recreation groups spell doom for the remaining animals, said Harding, because the caribou are dependent on the same old growth forests favoured by loggers, and they can't survive disturbances that come with snowmobilers and heli-ski operators. "I can imagine all of them going extinct in a few decades, and more than half of the populations going extinct very soon," said Harding. There are just an estimated 1,900 southern mountain caribou left in B.C., down from approximately 5,000 about 20 years ago, said Harding. The remaining population is spread out among 11 herds. However, three herds are so small that the government is making no efforts to save them, according to Harding. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/05/21/bc-caribou-recovery-plan-stalled.html

6) The B.C. government has added almost one million hectares or 10,000 square kilometres, to B.C.’s parks and protected areas with legislation introduced last week. The Bill 38 includes the Sea to Sky Land and Resource Management Plan, which incorporates First Nations land use plans by the Squamish, Lil’wat and In-SHUCK-ch Nations. In total, the number of conservancies in the province will double to 135 through the legislation, and 11 new Class A parks are being created, to bring the total to 604. According to Environment Minister Barry Penner, the Liberals have protected more than 1.8 million hectares of land since 2001 by establishing 57 new parks, 135 conservancies, one ecological reserve and eight protected areas, while also expanding 50 parks and six ecological reserves. In total, 13.5 million hectares of B.C. are now protected, or more than 14 per cent of the land base — more than any other province in Canada. http://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/pique/index.php?cat=C_News&content=Protected+areas+1521

7) Tasering Forests Minister Rich Coleman won’t help. That, according to Coleman, was one of the suggestions tossed out by NDP hecklers last week as they devoted yet another chunk of their daily question period to calling for his head. The crisis in the forest industry is his fault, along with Premier Gordon Campbell, they shouted, as the two parties traded blame over the continuing wave of mill closures and layoffs across B.C. Coleman is taking time away from the legislature’s posturing this week to join his forestry roundtable, where industry, union, aboriginal and government representatives are looking for a way out of the woods. http://www.bclocalnews.com/opinion/19159299.html

8) Three reasons why Coleman must go! 1) Coleman?s forest policies have taken control of our valued forests and recreation grounds and given them over to corporations, including international ?asset management? companies. A clear example of this is Coleman?s decision to delete 28000 ha from Western Forest Products Tree Farm Licences, some of which has been conditional sold to developers. 2) His policies have left the forest industry vulnerable to predictable cyclical market downturns and have lead to mill closures and layoffs in the forest sector. Over 10 000 jobs have been lost?in the last?year?and his government contiues to perpetuate these problems through support for raw log exports, and other trade liberalization schemes. 3) His Coastal Forest Action Plan will further jeopardize the long term viability of our forests and forestry sector.His plan calls for the continued liquidation of old growth and shorter harvest rotations, leading to ?smaller trees and lower quality wood. http://www.bc4sale.org/Betrayed+the+Public http://www.dogwoodinitiative.org/Members/maurita/2008-05-15forestcrisis http://www.bc4sale.org/Coastal+Forest+Action+Plan

9) On Friday United Steelworkers (USW) Wood Council Chair Bob Matters spoke at a gathering of over 1,000 people rallying to save forest industry jobs in this northern Interior community, joining a list of some 20 speakers which included BC NDP leader Carole James, NDP Forest Critic Bob Simpson, CEP National President Dave Coles, PPWC President Jim King, USW Local 1-424 executive board members Alf Wilkins, USW Local 1-424 forest worker transition representative Terry Tate, and others. The crowd, which represented nearly 25 per cent of the community's population, marshaled near the union hall in town and proceeded down Mackenzie Boulevard to Centennial Drive and towards the rally site in the Alexander Mackenzie mall parking lot. Matters said the BC government must intervene to re-establish an office with the powers of the former Jobs Protection Commissioner, which it abolished after taking power in 2001. He recounted how jobs at the former Evans Plywood plant in Golden (now Louisiana Pacific LVL) were saved in the mid-90s when the commissioner worked with an investor, the government, the community, and with workers and their union to save the mill and community. Matters also took aim at Pat Bell, the MLA for Prince-George North and Minister of Agriculture and Lands, who said that logs are not being exported from the community while sawmill and pulp operations are down. Matters said that workers and the union are going to hold the government accountable on that issue now and into the future. Steelworker Alfr Wilkins read out a locally developed list of 11 demands, which include tying timber to jobs in Mackenzie and restricting log exports out of the area. http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2008/23/c3967.html


10) The BC public lost a $30 plus billion investment in ridiculously irresilient lodgepole pine silviculture and no one is pointing a finger at our forest industry's self serving psuedo science largely because trusted scientists like David Suzuki are providing comfort and cover to the forest industry because they like the idea of hanging this huge economic consequence as a foreshadowing of climate change. For sure, climate change is going to trash the resource economy but why pretend that this particular MPB catastrophe is the result of climate change? Where is your commitment to honesty and scientific rigour. The build-up of available beetle food in the lodgepole pine forests courted disasterous linked and cascading epidemic mode outbreaks. At some points in the last 20 or so years, the catastrophe became inevitable and the irreversible. The climate could have chilled significantly and the MPB catastrophe would still occur. There is absolutely no need to blame climate change unless you think delaying it a year or two might make a big difference. The fact is that the fuse was lit on the MPB bomb and anyone who was banking on cold winters putting and end to its smouldering was simply building a safe haven in a swiss bank account. Why would Suzuki get sucked into pretending that the MPB catastrophe is a consequence of climate change? StumpsDon'tLie@forestcouncil.org

California:


11) "Once again, the motorized recreation community have little choice but to respond to attempts to close treasured access to historical roads in these 'roadless' areas," said Don Spuhler, Cal4 President. The California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs led a coalition of recreational access groups seeking to enter the latest lawsuit challenging motorized recreation in California. The lawsuit was filed by the California Attorney General's Office on behalf of the California Resources Agency, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the People of the State of California. It was filed against the U.S. Forest Service's "forest plans" for the Angeles, Los Padres, Cleveland and San Bernardino National Forests in southern California. The State contends the Forest Plans fail both to comply with various federal laws and to properly "harmonize" the State's input on "roadless area" management with the long-range federal planning vision. The Recreation Groups filed a motion to intervene on May 15th in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Case No. C 08-1185-MHP). The groups petitioning the court include the California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs, American Motorcyclist Association District 36, California Enduro Riders Association, and the BlueRibbon Coalition. http://www.sharetrails.org/releases/media/?story=585


12) After seven years of litigation, the California State Supreme Court released a decision today that directly affects clearcut logging plans by Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) in the Sierra Nevada region. The Court’s decision favored the lumber company in its claim that it does not need to do a more thorough job of assessing the cumulative impacts of clearcuts on wildlife across its vast timberlands in the State. Rather than ruling on the merits of whether or not clearcuts were harmful to wildlife or whether herbicide spraying caused environmental damage, the Court narrowly focused on technical points concerning adequacy of review. --Jodi Frediani, Chair, Forestry Task Force Santa Cruz Group, Ventana Chapter, Sierra Club JodiFredi@aol.com
The California Supreme Court in San Francisco rejected environmental challenges to a timber company's plans to harvest trees on about 1,400 acres of private land in Tuolumne County. Two conservation groups contended that timber harvest plans developed by Sierra Pacific Industries didn't adequately consider the broad impact on two wildlife species, the California spotted owl and a small mammal called the Pacific fisher. The California spotted owl is not listed as an endangered species, but is a cousin of the northern spotted owl, which is federally listed as a threatened species. The Pacific fisher is classified as a species of concern. Sierra Pacific Industries plans to harvest pine, fir and black oak trees on the land by clear-cutting most of the trees on the land and then replanting the forests. The procedure of logging most trees in an area at the same time is known as "even-aged" management. The high court unanimously ruled that the plans did adequately consider the impact on the Sierra Nevada region before concluding the two species wouldn't be harmed. John Buckley, executive director of the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, said his group is considering whether there are additional legal challenges to be resolved by a state appeals court. Buckley said his organization believes the ruling focused on a narrow procedural issue and failed to evaluate "whether clear-cutting has a significant impact" on wildlife. http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_9348910


13) Dead oak trees killed by a fast-spreading microbe have become an all-too-common sight across Northern California. But a University of California, Berkeley scientist says many oaks in the Sierra foothills and along the North Coast have been left leafless this spring because of a cold snap, not disease. Oak expert Douglas McCreary said most trees should recover after several nights of cold temperatures hit when many were just starting to leaf out. He said landowners should not assume the leafless trees are dead and cut them down. The ruthless spread of sudden oak death has killed more than one million trees and left 14 California counties under quarantine. http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_9378428?nclick_check=1

14) This summer, most likely mid- to late-June, six heritage trees at Oak Knoll School in Menlo Park will be destroyed. During the span of one-hundred fifty to four-hundred fifty years their roots have hugged the earth and through them sent nourishment up through massive trunks into far-reaching branches and leaves. In turn, the canopies of these trees – four oaks, a pine, and Joshua tree have provided shelter and food for a myriad of birds, and squirrels. For the many children who have played there, they have provided shelter from the sun and rain, and for all of us, beauty. Soon, these mighty oxygen-producing trees will be gone, and for four of those trees a grassy soccer field, with demands for water, will be their replacement. During the twenty-four years I taught at this school, the trees were always a delight for scavenger hunts, bird identification, and in the fall observation of the gathering of acorns pounded into the oaks’ individually drilled holes carved out perfectly by Acorn Woodpeckers. In the spring there was always the joy of watching birds carrying material to nests, and it would be impossible to count the many times baby birds, accidentally fallen from their nests, were brought into my classroom for rescue. I agree with Kent Steffens, Director of Public Works for Menlo Park, when he stated in a letter to the Menlo Park City School District (MPCSD), “The School District is encouraged to use every reasonable effort to preserve heritage-sized trees at Oak Knoll School.” To do so, in planning for new additional buildings, a soccer field, and parking lots at Oak Knoll School, the school board could have made the decision to adopt the Menlo Park Heritage Tree Ordinance, thereby saving the trees and planning around them. Instead, they chose to exempt itself from that city ordinance. In addition, the Board could have chosen a full-blown non-partial Environmental Impact Report, as they did at Encinal School. They chose otherwise. What the Board did choose was to adopt the Negative Declaration Report, and voted for its passage the evening of May 8th, 2008, which states in part that there will be no negative impact resulting from disposal of the six heritage trees. http://www.almanacnews.com/square/index.php?i=3&t=1451

Canada:

15) Three First Nations will be calling on the province today to respect their right to say NO to mineral exploration and logging on their lands at a rally at Queen's Park. The rally, scheduled to begin at 5pm with a press conference at 4:30pm, is an event of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI), Ardoch Algonquins and Grassy Narrows. It is supported by over 25 environmental, social justice, student, faith, and union groups from across the province and Canada. Masters of Ceremony will be Thomas King, celebrated author and Cathy Jones, actor, writer and comedian from CBC Television's This Hour has 22 Minutes. Signifying the importance of the issue to Aboriginal rights and sovereignty, former National Chief Ovide Mercredi of the Assembly of First Nations will address the rally. A letter from Mr. Robert Kennedy Jr. to Premier McGuinty will also be read at the rally. In the letter, Mr. Kennedy asks that the Premier reform Ontario's outdated mining rules and do whatever possible to halt ongoing drilling on traditional lands of jailed First Nations' leaders. "We never surrendered our traditional lands and we never agreed to be
bound by the reserve. We will never give up our duty to protect our traditional lands that we use for hunting and fishing," said KI Counsellor Sam MacKay from jail in Thunder Bay. He and five others known as the KI Six are being detained after being found in contempt of court for peacefully opposing mineral exploration on their traditional lands 600km north of Thunder Bay in the Boreal Forest. http://www.nationtalk.ca/modules/news/article.php?storyid=9848

16) Rural residents in Norfolk will be given a checklist of rare species to watch for as part of a conservation effort across the Carolinian region. The package, which will go to about 11,000 households and farms, includes information on environmental groups that can be contacted to find out how to carry out individual conservation projects. The idea is to increase awareness of Ontario's Carolinian region, a stretch of land in southern Ontario that is home to plants and animals found nowhere else in Canada. The Carolinian region includes everything south of a line running from Sarnia to Toronto, an area with a climate warm enough to support such species as tulip trees and flying squirrels. A coalition of government and non-government groups, known as the Carolinian Canada Coalition, is organizing the checklist and will distribute it in seven counties across the region. "A lot of people still don't know what it's all about," said Nikki May, project co-ordinator with Carolinian Canada Coalition. "We want them to know about the national treasures that are in their own county." Norfolk residents will be asked to watch for the red-headed woodpecker, barn owl, gray ratsnake, and the American badger. Bernie Solymar, co-author of the factsheet, said that when local residents were asked years ago to watch for the badger, sightings soared. In two weeks, there were more reports of badgers than in the 10 previous years combined, said Solymar, who spoke to a group of environmentalists who gathered Thursday at Bird Studies Canada to mark the kick-off of the Norfolk campaign. A growing number of people, including snowmobilers, hikers and hunters, are using Carolinian forests for recreational purposes, said Michelle Kanter, executive director of the Carolinian coalition. "Everybody wants to use them," she said. "We need to engage them on how to take care of the area." http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1039395

17) Grassy Narrows still wants a moratorium on logging so the forest is protected until all the issues have been addressed, he said; but instead, ''it's business as usual out there. ... To me, it looks as if there's been an increase in harvesting.'' In an interview after the signing of the MOU, Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield brushed aside questions about the moratorium. ''We've moved forward,'' she said, adding that she's focused on the work ahead. ''We'll have the pilot up and running as we move forward to whatever the final resolution is.'' Cansfield, accompanied by Fobister, flew over the Whiskey Jack Forest May 12. Their reactions were very different. Fobister said the forest looked ''terrible'' and he was shocked to see very large clear-cuts and very small buffer zones, with little space for animals. Cansfield said she was impressed by the protected spaces known as marten cores - usually several thousand acres that the ministry requires companies to set aside for pine marten (a type of weasel prized for its fur) and other boreal forest animals that need large, undisturbed tracts of mature conifer. In fact, the Whiskey Jack Forest has an unusually low proportion of marten core - 3.7 percent, according to a 2005 study by CPAWS Wildlands League. Ministry guidelines call for 10 - 20 percent. Currently, according to the minutes of an MNR team working on the 2009 - 19 forest management plan, its estimated marten core will be a skimpy 5.9 percent in 2009, and will slowly increase over 60 years to 8.5 percent. Despite this projected shortfall, the company has been pushing the natural resources ministry to allow it to cut in several protected areas. Although ministry guidelines may permit selective cutting - no clear-cutting - of up to 30 percent in marten cores, no such harvesting was allowed under the 2004 - 09 Whiskey Jack Forest Management Plan. But the marten cores are more accessible and will save the company money, AbitibiBowater officials told the MNR team, which is comprised of ministry staff, company representatives, local citizens and aboriginal representatives. The company was unable to get approval at the Kenora district level and in January the matter was referred to regional director Al Willcocks in Thunder Bay. His decision was to ''release'' an entire marten core for harvesting, in the southern part of the Whiskey Jack Forest, outside of Grassy Narrows traditional territory, committee minutes show. http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096417371

18) Canadian Geographic is publishing its annual environment issue on paper made from wheat, a first for a North American magazine. The issue is being printed on sheets made with wheat straw — what's left of wheat after the grain harvest. The magazine says adding agricultural waste to pulp from trees could offer farmers a new source of revenue and cut the demand for pulp from the continent's boreal forests. The special issue is the result of a four-year project the magazine's staff has been working on with Markets Initiative, a Canadian environmental group devoted to the protection of the boreal forest, the Alberta Research Council and the magazine's printer, Dollco Printing. "We are all quite elated," the magazine's editor-in-chief, Rick Boychuk, said. "This has galvanized the whole company. People are thrilled to be at the forefront of an initiative of this nature." The idea was the brainchild of Nicole Rycroft, a committed environmentalist who works for Markets Initiative. "Canada's forests are disappearing at an alarming rate and if we just look at newsprint, for example, 100 million trees are logged every year in Canada just to make newsprint," Rycroft said. The wheat-straw pulp used in the making of the issue was imported from China, where papermakers have been using wheat and rice for centuries. But Rycroft hopes to sell North America's pulp and paper industry on the idea that magazine-grade paper can be made here from agricultural waste produced by Canadian farmers. According to Canadian Geographic, Canadian farmers annually produce an estimated 21 million tonnes of wheat straw, which could be turned into eight million tonnes of pulp and enough paper for 20 million magazines. That straw could be a new source of revenue for farmers willing to bale and sell it to pulp-and-paper companies. The magazine has been published by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society continuously since 1930. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/05/21/magazine-wheat.html

19) In 2004, residents of Poplar River First Nation convinced the Manitoba Government to stop all mining and logging on their traditional land, 600km northeast of Winnipeg, for the next five years. Sophia Rabliauskas is a member of this community and at the forefront of their struggle for full protection. She is now being recognized for her tenacity with one of the province's highest awards, the Order of Manitoba. "It feels great to be recognized," Rabliauskas says."It's good because it gives the whole community of Poplar River the support we need and it's also bringing a sense of pride to the community and the people." In 2002, Rabliauskas, along with several other community members developed a comprehensive land protection and management plan for their territory-a precedent setting accomplishment among First Nations in the boreal. The plan outlines core elements for the protection of the forests, such as respecting traditional knowledge; benefiting from environmental analysis; developing economic opportunities, including protection of traditional hunting, trapping and fishing activities; and creating sustainable tourism opportunities. "It's been a long process and the work continues to protect the land," she says. "We got temporary protection but what we really need is full protection of this land, and we're busy negotiating with the provincial government now to get that." Rabliauskas is working with other First Nations in the area to safeguard an even larger section of the boreal forest and declare it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. She hopes her work will be an inspiration to other First nations who face similar challenges protecting their land. Vast areas of Canada's boreal forest have been clear-cut by logging companies and subject to invasive mining development. The Boreal Forest Network reports that nearly 65 per cent of Canada's boreal forests have been slated for long term clear-cut. Environmentalists and residents fear that these boundless forests could be the next target of the world's pulp and paper industry. Gaile Whelan Enns, Manitoba Wildlands director, says Rabliauskas's involvement in her community has to do with preserving the traditional knowledge that has been passed down to her. http://www.firstperspective.ca/fp_combo_template.php?path=20080522boreal

20) Tembec today announced that it will delay the resumption of harvesting activities to late fall 2008 in the Northern Ontario West Region. Today's decision will temporarily affect approximately 100 unionized and staff employees. "Relative to present and forecasted market conditions, there is a sufficient supply of logs to meet production requirements. Given the stockpiles already in mill yards and in-bush inventories, we can delay the resumption of bush operations in the Northern Ontario West Region until November. Normal road construction and road maintenance work as well as reforestation will continue during the summer," said Mike Martel, Vice President, Ontario Division of Tembec's Forest Products Group. "To minimize the impact on our employees, we intend to start our harvesting early in November for the Gordon Cosens Forest and a few weeks later in the Hearst Forest. This harvesting suspension is another indication of the serious state of lumber market conditions, driven primarily by the dramatic fall in the number of housing starts in the United States and the related impact on lumber demand and pricing. The continued high value of the Canadian dollar against the US dollar as well as high energy and wood costs further aggravates these conditions," concluded Dennis Rounsville, Executive Vice President and President of Tembec's Forest Products Group. Management has met with employees to inform them of the Company's decision. http://foresttalk.com/index.php/2008/05/26/tembec_delays_harvesting_until_fall

Germany:

21) Amongst the suits in the luxurious hotel hall, Sebastian Haji immediately catches the eye. He is small, dark-skinned, and wears a crown of feathers on his head. Sebastian is a Machineri Indian from the Amazons region in Brazil, and he is in Bonn for serious business with the suits. He is here to fight biopiracy. "Multinational companies are stealing the knowledge and resources of Amazonian people, and international institutions and our own government are just looking at the thieves," Sebastian told IPS. "And this robbery is taking place despite international conventions and alleged legal protection of our rights anchored even in the Brazilian constitution." Like many other representatives of indigenous peoples from around the world, Sebastian is in Bonn for the UN conference on biodiversity May 19-30. The conference is taking place within the framework of the UN Convention on Biological diversity (CBD), the international treaty adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio in June 1992 to protect biodiversity. The CBD's three main goals are conservation of biological diversity, sustainable economic use of flora and fauna, and the equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources among all countries. The last of these is a euphemism to describe the fight against biopiracy. Biopiracy means, for example, how Amazonian indigenous peoples might lose two of their traditional healing methods to multinational companies. http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=42497


22) Friday evening, 23 May 2008, women from the Orange Bloc surprised the 'German Forestry Council Forest and Wood For a Future With Life of Quality Get Together' at their side event in the museum. One by one, during a cocktail and appetizer party on the museum's roof, women stood on a chair and spoke out against monoculture timber plantations, genetically engineered trees and cellulosic ethanol. Although a few of the timber industry walked out, many others applauded and stayed on to talk with the women and other members of the Orange Bloc. Besides the Orange Bloc attendance at the gathering, the leading representatives of the national and international forest and timber industries and conference delegates attended the affair. The unofficial Orange Bloc presentations came after classical music in the museum's first floor and the very strange presentation by Prof. Dr. Gerd Wegener, full professor at Holzforschung of the TU Munich. Dr. Wegner, as described in the CBD side event announcement spoke on: "What ecological, social and cultural dimensions the sustainable production and usage of wood will have in the future. Thereby, nature and technique will undergo a unique symbiosis: By means of modern technology, high performance building materials and wood based products, natural fibers for the paper and textile industry as well as sustainable energy sources, for example, will develop from materialized solar energy from the forest." [translation: use genetic engineering and other synthetic biology technologies to transform wood into agrofuels, plastics, chemicals and other products.] Where will the Orange Bloc show up next? For photos of this and other actions, please see http://www.globaljusticeecology.org/gallery.php?catID=26


23) This afternoon activists from all over the world have hung a banner, banged on teacups and handed out messages by Via Campesina during the official celebrations of Biodiversity Day at the 9th Conference of Parties (COP-9) of the UN convention on Biodiversity. They did so at the end of a message by UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon read by the Programme Officer of the Secretariat of the CBD to the distinguished delegates of the Convention. The banners read "No Agrodiversity Without Farmers" and "Nature for People Not for Business". The written message was brought to the attention of the delegates by farmers' group Via Campesina, who were refused to be part of the celebration ceremony just before biodiversity day. According to Via Campesina as well as many other present at the convention small famers are the key to both the solution to world hunger and the safeguarding of the world's biodiversity. Via Campesina also warns against corporate interests advocating for a new Green Revolution in Africa as a strategy to increase productivity. Although they use concepts such as "sustainability", "participation", and "biodiversity management", the production model is the same as that which has created the present crisis and growing loss of biodiversity Small farmers, though, have the ability to feed the world. Peasant agriculture promotes food diversity, sustains traditional cultures and does not burden the environment. Moreover, small-scale, local and ecological production is an effective and immediate way of reducing carbon emissions and cooling down the planet. After a few minutes the banners were taken away by UN police officers and officials and the people holding them were escorted out of the Maritim Hotel, and lost their accreditation badges, which are required to participate in the meetings.Members of Via Campesina were given a round of applause from the delegates when they chanted "nature for people, not for business". Prior to the banner hanging action, members of Via Campesina and their supporters disrupted an industry lunch where agro-industrialists were congratulating each other for their excellent work at monopolizing the seed supply and destroying agricultural biodiversity. http://www.globaljusticeecology.org/gallery.php?catID=26


24) Biodiversity is fundamental to human life. It meets our material and cultural needs and ensures the stability of ecosystems. Worldwide, however, there is evidence of a dramatic demise in species diversity which is primarily attributed to the way humans use the land and to climate change. In order to understand the interactions between environmental change, climate change and species loss better, it is necessary to study the role of biodiversity in ecosystems more closely. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) is therefore not only funding projects on functional biodiversity, but is also endeavouring to bolster research involved in the debate on biodiversity - for example at the UN biodiversity conference, which started in Bonn on 19 May. At the exhibition "Millions of Ways of Life - Research for Biological Diversity", where German biodiversity research will present itself alongside the UN conference, some DFG-funded projects will be among those presenting the goals of this research: to measure, conserve and promote sustainable use of species diversity. The "Biodiversity Exploratories" for example, are studying near-natural ecosystems - forests, fields and meadows - at three sites in Germany and are combining experimental and observational studies. The "Jena Experiment" project, on the other hand, is studying the function of biodiversity on the basis of artificially created grassland systems in which individual factors can be changed deliberately. A project based in Bayreuth, on the other hand, is looking at the distribution of species in various elevation zones of a mountainous region, focussing on the biodiversity on Mount Kilimanjaro. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/108444.php


25) A large number of activists today stopped and cut Genetically Engineered frankentrees that attempted to invade a tree planting ceremony outside of the meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). "We came here to this event because this tree planting ceremony is representative of corporate green-washing initiatives pretending to protect biodiversity," said Peter Gerhardt of the German based group Robin Wood. "The tree planting ceremony is symbolic of what industry is pushing--non-native, often invasive trees for monoculture timber plantations. If industry has its way, in the near future these will be genetically engineered (GE) trees for production of second generation agrofuels or pulp and paper," he continued. The activists expressed concern about the refusal of the EU and Brazil to ban GE trees. "These trees are simply too dangerous, not only to forests, but also to local communities and Indigenous Peoples who depend on forests for their existence," stated Camila Moreno of Terra de Direitos of Brazil. "Already forest dependent communities, especially women, are threatened by monoculture timber plantations and GE trees will mean more plantations and an even greater threat," stated Anne Petermann, of Global Justice Ecology Project, and the STOP GE Trees Campaign. [1] "Imposing a ban on the release of genetically engineered trees into the environment is the only sensible position, which is supported by the entire African delegation plus numerous Parties from Asia and Latin America." The environmentalists also expressed their concern about the One Billion Trees campaign of the UN Environment Program. [2] "This campaign fails to inform people that planting the wrong tree at the wrong place can be ecologically and socially harmful", stated Dr. Miguel Lovera, Chairperson of the Global Forest Coalition. For photographs of this action and other events during the CBD please go to: http://globaljusticeecology.org/gallery.php?catID=26

Australia:

26) New Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett has promised to lead a revitalised "clever and kind" Government. Mr Bartlett was sworn in as Premier after a tumultuous day in Tasmanian politics yesterday. At 11.30am an emotional Paul Lennon announced he would depart politics to clear the way for "generational change". "I want to make sure we are building opportunities for the least advantaged in our community, that we are looking after the children and the elderly and that every Tasmanian shares in the social capital we are building on." At yesterday's press conference Mr Bartlett: 1) Pledged to take a "deeply considered approach based on data, information and knowledge" on forest policy and old-growth logging. 2) Said the Gunns pulp mill would have to survive on its own merits, with the proponent and financiers deciding its future. He said he had never met John Gay. 3) Reaffirmed the Government's commitment to investigating the establishment of an ethics commission. http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,23764981-5007221,00.html

27) The Tasmanian Greens today discovered that the new Premier does not expect parameters around the forest industry to change any time soon in relation to new forest protection measures and creation of additional reserves in forests of high conservation value threatened by logging. Greens Opposition Leader Peg Putt MP was critical that Mr Bartlett reverted to ritualistic name-calling on forest policy despite his early claim that he would abandon such tactics. “David Bartlett made it plain that he will not be pushing for any addition to forest protection as he looks towards the next state election,” Ms Putt said. “So much for talk of changed parameters, it all turned into more of the same hackneyed rhetoric and denigration of the Greens from a man who is apparently unaware of our proposals for better value-adding to alleviate pressure on special forests now destined for the chop. http://tas.greens.org.au/News/view_MR.php?ActionID=3030

28) AUSTRALIA will commit $4.5 million towards helping neighbouring countries reduce deforestation. Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said today that up to $3 million would go to the Indonesia-based Centre for International Forestry Research. The other $1.5 million would help non-government organisations work with developing countries on large-scale pilot projects designed to reduce deforestation. "Globally, there is a shortage of research on how to reduce deforestation and Australia's support for the centre will help bridge this gap and support international efforts to take action," Senator Wong said in a statement. The International Forest Carbon Initiative, under which the money is given, builds on Australia's existing commitments to reducing deforestation and has a particular focus on countries in the region including Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. "In Bali, the international community agreed that demonstration activities were needed to show that activities to reduce deforestation could be effective, long-lasting, support local economies, and reduce greenhouse emissions," Senator Wong said. "Australia is helping get these activities up and running." http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=100485

29) LOGGING of 10,000ha in Tasmania's east was given the all-clear yesterday after Greens leader Bob Brown lost a court bid to quarantine the forest and protect the broad-toothed stag beetle, the swift parrot and the Tasmanian wedged-tailed eagle. After losing the chance to take the case to the High Court, Senator Brown blamed former prime minister John Howard and Premier Paul Lennon for uniting to defeat him. A panel of High Court judges in Melbourne ruled 2-1 in favour of Forestry Tasmania by refusing to give Senator Brown leave to appeal against a decision allowing the Wielangta State Forest, in Tasmania's east, to be logged. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23749222-5006788,00.html Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has vowed to continue fighting to protect Australia's forests, despite facing an expensive legal defeat. Last year's full court ruling overturned Senator Brown's 2006 victory in the Federal Court, when a judge found that logging in the south-east Tasmanian forest threatened some endangered species. Senator Brown says the High Court did not award costs against him yesterday, but he is still facing a $200,000 bill in relation to last year's proceedings. "The money will be out of my pocket unless some good samaritan comes along," he said. "But I would sell everything I owned and divest myself of every worldly good if it would save the Wielangta forest," he said. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/24/2254452.htm

30) A new report card shows Australia’s forest plantations now produce two-thirds of the nation’s log supply and our forests and plantations offset around 9% of our greenhouse emissions. Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke released the five-yearly Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2008 at a timber mill in Bairnsdale, East Gippsland. The report is a comprehensive snapshot of Australia’s forests, from the tall forests and plantations of Gippsland to the open forests and woodlands of northern and interior Australia. Key findings include: 1) Australia’s plantation estate grew by 12% in the last five years and now produces two-thirds of the nation’s log supply; 2) Forestry and forest products industries are now worth $19 billion annually (a real increase of 10%) and support more than 120,000 direct jobs; 3)Other forest-related industries underpin rural and regional economies, including honey production, ecotourism and handicrafts; and 4)Since 2003, the area of Australia’s native forest in formal conservation reserves grew by almost 1.5 million hectares to 23 million hectares, with additional areas set aside through informal reserves. http://7thspace.com/headlines/282130/australian_forest_report_card_plantations_and_reserves_gro
wing.html

31) Ten or 12 years ago, Roger Hardley wouldn't have been sitting out on the verandah of the Forrest pub in the Otway Ranges. Wouldn't have been game, he says: "They'd have lynched me." The ardent conservationist certainly wouldn't have been sharing roll-yer-owns, coffee and yarns with John "Bluey" Andrew, a tree-faller who'd been cutting and hauling sawlogs in the area all his adult life and still has a passion for timber that he describes this way: "I just friggin' love it." Bluey hasn't cut a tree this year and on Friday the last of the chainsaws, bulldozers and timber jinkers will fall silent as the final licence to log native forests in the Otways runs out. It is the end phase in a process started during the 2002 state election campaign when premier Steve Bracks did a U-turn on long-standing Labor forestry policy and announced he would end logging in the Otways and woodchipping in the Wombat Forest. Today Roger is welcome at the pub and he and Bluey are firm, if unlikely, friends. "The relationship is a classic Australian mateship now," he enthuses. "Bluey gives me a chop-out on different things, I help him with others. We're just quintessential Aussie mates." Still, he admits, they are something of an anomaly in that neck of the woods. "I mean, I put him out of f---in' business and now we're the best of mates." http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/hatchets-are-buried-as-the-chainsaws-fall-silent/2008/05
/24/1211183189537.html

32) The Wilderness Society fears the creation of national parks to protect red gums in Victoria will increase logging in New South Wales. The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council is proposing around 100,000 hectares of new parks be created to protect the forests. The Wilderness Society will deliver more than 1,000 signed petitions to the Premier's office at Lakemba in western Sydney today to call for a similar move in NSW. A campaigner for the society, Peter Cooper, says the NSW Government needs to create national parks along the Murray River to protect the state's red gum forests. "With the Victorian process there, we are concerned that's going to potentially push some of the industry over into the NSW side and seriously compound the problems," he said. "We think that the area really urgently needs to be assessed by the Government". Mr Cooper says the forests stretch from Balranald in the state's south-west to Moama and include the world's largest remaining red gum forest. "The trees themselves are very sick at the moment due to over-irrigation and climate change," he said. "In some areas, up to 75 per cent of trees are either stressed, dead or dying. "This is being further compounded by the fact the NSW Government is allowing patch felling to occur predominantly for low-value products such as firewood, railway sleepers and fence posts." http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/27/2256674.htm


33) No matter what flavor of government has been in over the decades, our forests have been and still are sacrificed as union pacifiers and exchanged for political donations. The only thing that's being 'sustained' is the parties' submission to the logging industry."
“What they didn’t announce yesterday from the report is that Australia has 10% less forests, 200,000 hectares less old growth and more threatened species than was reported in the 2003 report. The report also admits that about 1/3rd of these important conservation forests left remaining are still allowed to be clearfelled for timber and woodchips. Yet we’re told this is sustainable. There are 1,290 forest dependent species classed as nationally rare and endangered. But the ALPs minister for forestry, Tony Burke, says he’s happy to keep the bulldozers knocking over Gippsland’s native forests. There’s been absolutely no change to more sensitive management of our environment since Ironbar Tuckey held the portfolio. Thousands of Gippsland voters are extremely concerned about climate change, the loss of our wildlife, the destruction of our native forests by logging and the loss of water that results. But unfortunately these voters can’t match the political donations given by the large logging companies and unions that seem to influence the ALP, Liberal and National’s forest policies. Tree growers in western Victoria are currently screaming out for a thousand workers to help process their wood. If jobs were really the concern, the CFMEU and the ALP would not support woodchipping but be looking at mature plantations for providing secure employment. http://forestletterwatch.blogspot.com/2008/05/media-release-major-parties-ignore.html

34) OPEN LETTER to Paul Lennon, Premier of Tasmania -- Dear Premier Lennon, Welcome to New Zealand on your climate change research trip. You have stated that you want Tasmania to become a ‘leader on climate change action’.The best way for Tasmania to cut its carbon emissions is to immediately protect its old growth forests from logging. Forestry and land-use change constitute Tasmania’s largest contribution to climate change. The New Zealand Government protected this country’s publicly owned native forests eight years ago, with the help of the Green Party. When we ended native forest logging, the economy didn’t spiral into decline and unemployment rates didn’t go through the roof, scenarios some predicted here then and being echoed by your government and Tasmania’s logging companies. Quite the opposite – tourism has become our biggest export earner and the West Coast of the South Island, the last bastion of native forest logging, has had unemployment halve since the logging stopped. Not only that, but immense national pride in these forests’ protection has grown and endures. We still haven’t got it right. Far from it. The New Zealand Government needs to take far bolder steps to tackle climate change, and the Green Party will continue to push them to do so. But we hope that if you take one thing away from this visit, it is a vision of what can be achieved by protecting forests with high conservation and carbon storage value, and the environmental and economic benefits that can flow from such a policy. While your government continues to engage in destructive logging practices that have been likened to those in developing countries, Tasmania will never achieve your aspiration to be a “leader on climate change action”. http://blog.greens.org.nz/index.php/2008/05/22/open-letter-to-paul-lennon-premier-of-tasmania/

35) Plans for Tasmania's controversial $2 billion pulp mill are dead, say the Greens, following reports the ANZ bank will pull out of funding the project. ANZ said today it had not yet made a decision on whether to finance the Tamar Valley project planned by timber giant Gunns Ltd. A report on the BusinessSpectator website today quoted banking sources as saying ANZ will not provide funding for the project because of tight credit conditions. An ANZ spokeswoman declined to comment directly but referred to the bank's standing comment on the issue, which was last updated in January. "The timing of our decision is dependent on Gunns Ltd completing a number of steps and providing us with further information to enable us to complete our ongoing assessment of the mill," the ANZ statement said. Gunns boss John Gay also told ABC radio he knows of no decision on funding. However Greens senator Christine Milne said the report was "a huge nail in the coffin of the pulp mill project". It signals the "demise" of the project, she said. "ANZ owes it to the people of Australia to come out and make clear what their position is," she said. "Clearly what they are doing is giving Gunns time to stitch up money from elsewhere before announcing they are not funding it." Senator Milne said ANZ had recognised that it was detrimental for it to proceed with such a project. Gunns would now have to scramble around for money from elsewhere but it would meet exactly the same consumer resistance, she said. "If they go to Macquarie Bank then Macquarie Bank also has a consumer base, via the Macquarie Radio network," she said. "Around Australia listeners will be very angry, and Macquarie will face a similar consumer backlash similar to ANZ's," she said. Gunns today declined to comment but Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett announced he had approved a plan to manage some of the environmental impacts of the mill project. "This means construction of the accommodation facility, located on the outskirts of George Town, can now proceed," Mr Garrett's statement said. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23741896-12377,00.html

35) The forest plantation industry is booming, leading to a 10 per cent increase in exports over the past financial year, ABARE says. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics said plantations, exports and the volume of logs harvested had all increased over year to June 30 2007. ABARE's report, Australian Forest and Wood Products Statistics, shows there was a five per cent increase in 2007 of the total area of plantation in Australia. This had been driven by continued investment in short rotation eucalyptus plantations, the report said. "In 2007, the total plantation area increased by 85,100 hectares," it stated. The report said significant investment in the plantation sector over the past 10 years was beginning to show benefits, with a 10 per cent increase in total forest product exports over the financial year. "This represents an addition of $215 million to Australia's export earnings," ABARE executive director Phillip Glyde said. "This includes a 42 per cent increase in the volume of sawnwood exports and a 13 per cent increase in the value of woodchips exported." Mr Glyde said the figures underlined the strong position of Australia's forest industry. Forestry Minister Tony Burke said the report showed Australia's forest plantations now produced two-thirds of the nation's log supply and that the forests and plantations now offset around nine per cent of the country's greenhouse emissions. He said that the since 2003, the area of Australia's native forest in formal conservation reserves grew by almost 1.5 million hectares to 23 million hectares, with additional areas set aside through informal reserves. Mr Burke said regions such as Gippsland would be critical to a modern, vibrant for Australia's forestry industry. "Victoria's forestry industry generates around $3 billion annually - or around 37 per cent of our national timber industry - and accounts for almost 30 per cent of our total wood exports," he said. He said Australia still had a $2 billion trade deficit in the trade of timber and forest products. "The Rudd government is committed to working with the forestry industry to boost global competitiveness and value-adding," Mr Burke said. http://news.smh.com.au/business/forest-plantations-booming-abare-20080521-2gyo.html

36) The Forest Stewardship Council criticised the guidelines as too broad and lacking detail but the CFMEU's National Secretary, Michael O'Connor, believes ANZ has found a balance. "Clearly we all live in a world where we want to get the balance right between social, economic and environmental values," he said. The policy's release comes as timber company Gunns Limited waits for the ANZ to approve finance for its proposed pulp mill in northern Tasmania. Australia's forestry union has praised ANZ's new policy on investing in forestry and timber processing projects. Under the policy, corporate clients will have to meet the bank's standards in areas such as pollution prevention and community consultation to receive financial backing. The policy provides investment guidelines including minimum standards in areas such as community consultation, pollution prevention and the use of natural resources. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/19/2249138.htm?section=business

World-wide:

37) The World Bank is a major driver of deforestation and climate change through its massive financing of monoculture tree plantations, industrial logging, fossil-fuel extraction, and false solutions such as large dams and carbon offsetting. The launch of its Forest Carbon Partnership Facility at the UN climate negotiations last December was met with fierce protest - the inclusion of forests in carbon markets as offsets are set to undermine the land rights of indigenous peoples. The claim that the World Bank has consulted widely is nonsense. The World Bank funds were designed without developing country participation and with the explicit intention of donor country control. This week the global debt movement celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Birmingham G8, at which a 70,000- strong protest catapulted the global debt crisis into the mainstream. It is particularly ironic, then, that Woolas and Thomas called campaigners' concerns that concessional loans are being proposed as a means of tackling climate change "outdated thinking".The debt crisis hampers the ability of poor countries to cope with climate change through the lack of funds it leaves their governments. Climate change has been driven by the rich world, but affects the developing world the most. The UK emits 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person compared with 0.3 tonnes per person in countries such as Bangladesh. We owe far more to the poor than the poor owe us. We need to cancel the debts of developing countries and give grant aid, not loans, to help countries adapt to the climate change we've caused. http://www.tackleclimatechange.co.uk/2008/05/funding-action-on-climate-change.html