Right now, Scandinavian bank Nordea is considering funding the destruction of forests across the world in Australia -- at a huge cost to both local environment and the global climate.

Nordea think that none of their customers know about this -- after all it's on the other side of the world. Imagine the reactions around their boardroom if thousands of potential and current customers at home in Scandinavia tell them: don't fund forest destruction!

Let's flood Nordea CEO Christian Clausen with messages today!

Send protest email from here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/no_pulp_mill/

Press release – March 16th, 2011

 

The recently approved logging of pristine subalpine forest in Änok has ledto an international outcry. Thousands of individuals have written to theCounty Administration Board in Norrbotten, urging them to stop the loggingand instead preserve this pristine wilderness intact. Environmentalorganizations from Germany and Costa Rica have also reacted, arguing thatlogging in Änok would ruin the credibility of Sweden’s environmental work.

In January, the Swedish Forest Agency granted permission to log virginforest in the Änok river delta. Environmental organizations appealed thedecision, and claimed it was made in conflict with 18 § of the SwedishForestry Act. Protect the Forest and Friends of the Earth Sweden releaseda critical statement, declaring that the decision exposed the collapse ofSweden’s forest policy. The two organizations also initiated the campaign“Stop the Logging in the Änok delta”, which so far has mobilized 3,500 tosign protest letters to the County Administration Board in Norrbotten. InGermany, the organization Pro Regenwald has started a similar campaign.

“We hope that the County Administration Board in Norrbotten takes thisinternational concern seriously, and makes sure to stop the destruction ofthe wilderness in Änok”, says Ellie Cijvat, chairperson of Friends of theEarth Sweden. “Sweden’s reputation is at stake, and we will loseinternational credibility regarding our conservation work if we fail topreserve unique and valuable virgin forest areas like Änok”.

The controversial virgin forest logging in Änok has raised great attentionboth in Sweden and abroad. In the small Central American country CostaRica, environmentalists have shown concern about the threat against Änok.The rainforests of Costa Rica harbor a great richness of biodiversity, andit is one of the countries which has endured a lot of critique for thedevastation of its rainforests. Today more than 25 percent of the forestsin Costa Rica are assigned for nature conservation, and eco-tourism is animportant part of the country’s economy. Now it is Sweden that is put toshame, and has to receive the critique from the countries of the world.

“With the actual decision of the Swedish Forest Agency to allow theclear-cut of virgin forest in the Änok river delta our generationcontinues to destroy the last intact and connected ecosystems with theirinvaluable richness of plants and wildlife”, says Miguel Soto Cruz fromthe environmental organization Arbofilia in Costa Rica. “This clear-cutwould throw back Sweden’s environmental policy and credibility in theworld as a signer of the Convention on Biological Diversity and member ofthe United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”.

Officials at all concerned authorities confirm that the area'sconservation values are exceptionally high. The Forest Agency’s decisionto nevertheless approve the logging, means that the only way to save theÄnok delta from exploitation is to formally protect the area. However,that would require the signature of Per-Ola Eriksson, governor ofNorrbotten County. Per-Ola Eriksson states in an interview that he doesnot intend to protect the area, despite the confirmed natural values.
If this really is the governor's position, it would be a big scandal thatthe highest official of a government agency rejects conservationexpertise, environmental objectives and international opinion in thismanner”, says Daniel Rutschman, secretary of Protect the Forest.

“We urgethe governor to protect the Änok river delta and give us an officialstatement on the matter. If the governor allows the logging, we believethat he would be going against his mandate from the government to worktowards Sweden’s environmental objectives”.

More information about the campaign “Stop the Logging of the Änok delta”: 

http://protecttheforest.se/en/aenok

 

Contact information:

Viktor Säfve, chairperson Protect the Forest +46 (0)72 - 176 53 38 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ellie Cijvat, chairperson Friends of the Earth Sweden +46 (0)73 - 778 22 42 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Miguel Soto Cruz, board member, Arbofilia, Costa Rica +506 - 22 94 62 18 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Daniel Rutscman, secretary Protect the Forest +46 (0)72 - 176 53 44 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.protecttheforest.se | www.mjv.se | www.arbofilia.net

 

Last week an international forest conference, PRIFOR 2010, was held in Sundsvall, Sweden. The conference gathered around 200 forest scientists to contribute with scientific strategies to prevent the ongoing degradation of northern natural forests. The scientists state that saving biodiversity requires protection of more old-growth forests, at the same time as environmental consideration in managed forests must be enhanced.

“We’ll have to stop logging the last natural forests at some point. Why not stop now?” said Professor George Peterken, Nottingham University, United Kingdom. “These forest remnants are important to us humans. They can let us understand what the forests have looked like in an historical perspective.”

Professor Bengt Gunnar Jonsson, Mid Sweden University, is the initiator of the conference. He is also one of more than 200 scientists who have signed Protect the Forest’s appeal “Protect Sweden’s Old-Growth Forests”. The appeal is addressed to the Swedish parliament and government, demanding protection for all remaining old-growth forests.

“The situation is urgent. Look at the Red List of threatened species in the forest, it hasn’t exactly become shorter,” said Professor Bengt Gunnar Jonsson. “To improve the state of the forest, the gap between science and forest management must be reduced.”

During the conference, Professor Ilka Hanski from the University of Helsinki, gave a lecture on the importance of preserving the remnants of old-growth forests in northern Europe. Besides their significance for biodiversity, the old-growth forests play an important role in climate mitigation.

Protect the Forest argue that the Swedish politicians need to embrace the scientists’ message, and ensure the cease that all logging operations are halted in remaining unprotected old-growth forests. The organization claims that Sweden will otherwise not be able to live up to the international Convention on Biological Diversity, or achieve the parliament’s environmental objectives.

“There is no time to lose,” said Josefine Gustafsson from Protect the Forest. “Since leading scientists from many countries share this opinion, it should provide our politicians with a solid basis to act now.”

Contact:

Josefine Gustafsson, Protect the Forest, +46 (0)73 – 664 17 44

Daniel Rutschman, Secretary, Protect the Forest, +46 (0)76 – 112 88 26

 

180 000 petition for IKEA

 to stop logging

old-growth forest

skovladurskog

As reported earlier this year by both Swedish and German public television and environmental NGO:s, intact primeval forests are being logged by Ikea in Russian Karelia, which has led to an international outrage against the furniture giant. On Friday, Protect the Forest handed over a petition with 180 000 signatures to Ikea demanding that the company should keep their environmental promises to their customers, and stop logging forests with high conservation values.

People from countries such as Sweden, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, and Belgium have signed the petition, which was made by Protect the Forest and the partner organizations SumOfUs and Rainforest Rescue. The petition was handed over to Ikea at a meeting with environmental NGOs from Sweden and Russia.

“Right now, Ikea is continuing to log inside some of Europe’s most important intact forests. This is not acceptable, which is clearly underlined by this massive storm of protests”, says Viktor Säfve, chairperson of Protect the Forest, a Swedish environmental organization.

Initiators of the meeting were Protect the Forest, Friends of the Earth Sweden, the Karelia Regional Nature Conservancy SPOK and Greenpeace Russia. The four NGOs demand that Ikea stop logging inside valuable areas, and have summed up the criticism in a joint statement which was handed over to Ikea at the meeting. Representatives from the Swedish WWF also attended, as guests of Ikea. WWF have not signed the demands.

"Ikea has claimed that the criticism from Protect the Forest is extreme and does not have the support of the Russian environmental movement," says Alexander Markovsky, chairman of SPOK. "At the meeting, we made it clear that the criticism is also voiced by Russians. Ikea's first mistake was to lease forests with so much high conservation values."

Ikea claims that logging old growth boreal forests is both sustainable and responsible, referring to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.

"Ikea continues to hide behind the FSC label, which in reality does not secure that valuable forests are being spared," says Linda Ellegaard Nordström, board member of Protect the Forest. "The company has not yet given any concrete guarantees that customers can be sure that no old-growth pines are turned into cheap Ikea furniture. We will await Ikea’s answer to the demands from the environmental NGOs and the 180 000 people who have urged Ikea to change. The campaign will continue. Everyone who has not yet signed the petition on our website, please do so now!"

 

Press contacts

Linda Ellegaard Nordström, board member of Protect the Forest +46 70 25 411 48

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alexander Markovsky, chairman of SPOK +79 602 15 11 22

Viktor Säfve, chairman of Protect the Forest +46 76 11 488 11

 

 


 

Background

During year 2010 and 2011 , Protect the Forest went to Russian Karelia to examine Ikea/Swedwood's loggings. In April of 2012, the Swedish TV program "Uppdrag granskning" reported on IKEA's logging of old-growth forest and other forests with high conservation value in Russian Karelia. After that, Protect the Forest launched a campaign, demanding of Ikea to improve.

At www.protecttheforest.se/ikea the joint statement from the four environmantal NGO:s can be read, as well as the petition which 180 000 people have signed. The petition is aimed at the management of Ikea's wholly owned subsidiary Swedwood, which conducts Ikea’s loggings in Russian Karelia.

Free press photos: here

More info on the partner organizations for the petition can be found at http://sumofus.org/ and http://www.rainforest-rescue.org/

 

"Papua New Guinea (PNG) has some of the world’s largest rainforests but sadly industrial logging and oil palm 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."


Take action here now