British Columbia: Forest Defenders of Europe unite to act local and global

We know that any commercial logging in primaeval forests will alter their ecological structure and species composition significantly. Even undersustainable certification schemes, like the FSC or Ecosystem Based Management (EBM), these forests will be intensively used and altered. We are AKU (“Council for Northern Primaeval Forests”, founded 1991), a European network of conservationists and ecologists with a particular interest in British Columbia’s magnificent primaeval temperate rainforest.

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Many of us have traveled to BC to experience your beautiful ancient
forests. But having seen the near total destruction of Vancouver
Island forests by industrial logging, we are very concerned about
plans by the BC government, forest industry, and others to continue
commercial forest operations in what little intact tracts remain.

The land utilization schemes for the BC West Coast and the governmental “Central and North Coast Order” and “South Coast Order” legitimate the further destruction of the primaeval forests within the area of the “Great Bear Rainforest” (GBR). “Ecosystem Based Management” (EBM) is an industrial forestry method and does not guarantee long-term protection of primaeval forests. German consumers are dismayed by the fact that in Canada primevalforests continue to be destroyed for the export of wood, wood products, and pulp to Europe.

Tourists visiting Canada (including visitors of the 2010 Winter Olympics) expect to find intact wilderness. They should know, however, that the forest ecosystems in BC are not being preserved for future generations but continue to be exploited as a cheap source of raw materials. With respect for thousands of years of careful First Nation  stewardship, for the sake of the world’s irreplaceable natural  ecological heritage, for the stability of the global biosphere and for  their essential climate-change buffering services, we urge you to  recognize that the protection of these forests is a global
responsibility, and join us in demanding the complete and permanent
protection of what remains of the primeval temperate rainforest!

We therefore demand the following:

1. No commercial deforestation or any other commercial exploitation of the remaining primeval forests!

2. No Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of primeval forests and their wood products.

3. Complete preservation of the remaining primeval forest areas (apart from  ecologically and socially adapted use by indigenous and local people).

4. Secure permanent protection and a significant expansion of the
existing and the allocated preserves (including the adjacent ocean areas). To maintain biodiversity, a contiguous area of at least two thirds of the whole GBR area must be permanently preserved. All preserves must be clearly delineated.

5. Significantly improved protection of the river and lake ecosystems and their drainage areas; no hydroelectric projects in primeval forest areas and watersheds.

6. No mining in the “Great Bear Rainforest”.

Download now or preview on posterous

aku_letter.pdf (53 KB)

Download now or preview on posterous

aku_statement.pdf (56 KB)

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