Greenpeace gets called out by activist group on logging agreement

August 13, 2009

A forest activist group has called out Greenpeace on its support of Kimberly-Clark's new fiber-sourcing policy.

Ecological Internet, a campaign group run by forest activist Glenn Barry, says that Greenpeace is implicitly condoning the logging of old-growth boreal forests in Canada by supporting Kimberly-Clark's decision to use wood fiber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a standard that aims to ensure the sustainable use of forest resources. FSC certification has recently been criticized by some environmental groups who say it doesn't do enough to protect primary forests.

Greenpeace says Kimberly-Clark's new policy is a step in the right direction "because it immediately protects areas of ancient forest and will protect much more over time."

But Barry says the policy will allow Kimberly-Clark's suppliers to continue harvesting timber from ancient forests.

A study published yesterday in Trends in Ecology and Evolution reported that boreal forests are fast being degraded by logging, fires, and the effects of climate change.
"Any area of ancient boreal forest is still eligible... for first time industrial clearcut if it is 'certified' by the forest stewardship council or one of four weaker standards allowed under the agreement," he writes. "Nothing is assuredly, explicitly protected under this agreement."

"No one in the [FSC] will release how much of its certified timber and pulp comes from first time logging of ancient forests."

Kimberly-Clark's new sourcing policy

Kimberly-Clark pledged last week to establish a moratorium on fiber produced from the "most ecologically sensitive forests areas", including "Endangered Forests" and "High Conservation Value Forest areas mapped as no-harvest zones" according to Greenpeace. The paper products firm also agreed not to source fiber from primary tropical rainforests and said it would increase the amount of recycled fiber used in its products. Kimberly-Clark's commitment came after a five-year Greenpeace campaign against the company.

Ecological Internet vs. Greenpeace

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mongabay.com (August 13, 2009).

Greenpeace gets called out by activist group on logging agreement.