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Renowned Scientists Call for Moratorium on Logging
- Subject: Renowned Scientists Call for Moratorium on Logging
- From: Christine Manninen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 16:33:55 -0400
- List-Name: GLIN-Announce
- Organization: Great Lakes Commission
>RENOWNED SCIENTISTS CALL FOR MORATORIUM ON LOGGING OF CANADA'S
>PRISTINE ANCIENT RAINFOREST VALLEYS
>UK, 2 April 1998 - While the UK continues to import timber and
>pulp from British Columbia's ancient temperate rainforests to
>make products like DIY furniture and magazines, 5 Europeans
>are amongst the 18 environmentalists on trial this week in
>Vancouver for opposing the clearcut logging of the some of the
>last remaining pristine rainforest valleys in the Great bear
> Greenpeace campaigner, John Sauven said: "As Europe's largest
>importer of timber from this region, the UK cannot ignore the
>role it is playing in this rainforest destruction. Many
>companies have already stepped back and pulled out of their
>contracts but others are still buying this rainforest timber.
>Meanwhile, people are facing possible prison sentences for
>trying to protect these vulnerable ancient forests."
> Yesterday (1 April 1998), the trial took a new direction as one
>of the world's foremost experts in conservation biology told
>the Vancouver court that the current rate of clearcutting in
>Canada's temperate rainforest is irreparably damaging the
>diversity of the ecosystem.
> The scientist, Dr. Michael Soulé testified at the Vancouver
>trial of the 18 environmentalists, including 12 Greenpeace
>defendants, who were arrested last year for protesting against
>clearcut logging in the Great Bear Rainforest, British
>Columbia, by International Forest Products (Interfor). In his
>testimony, Dr. Soule called for a moratorium of logging in
>remaining pristine valleys of ancient temperate rainforest.
> A report released last year by the Washington-based World
>Resources Institute documented the extent of industrial
>activity in ancient forests and found that, globally, the
>temperate rainforest is the most threatened forest type on
> Dr. Soulé, whose body of work includes having co-written the
>first draft of the 1992 Biodiversity Convention, said that the
>fragmentation of the rainforest caused by road building and
>clearcut logging is damaging soil systems, destroying fish
>habitat and is likely to cause the regional
> extirpation of many species. The British Columbian (BC)
>government lists 743 plant and animal species as being
>endangered, threatened or vulnerable to extinction.
> "The loss of ancient forests globally means that we are
>potentially facing the single greatest ecological catastrophe
>the planet has ever experienced," said Dr. Soulé. "There has
>been mass extinction dating back hundreds of millions of years,
>but this is the first time a mass extinction has been caused by
>one species' impacts."
> Dr. Soulé said that scientists specialising in the field of
>conservation biology estimate that a 90 per cent loss of habitat
>will precipitate a 50 per
> cent loss of species dependent on that habitat, and noted that
>the government of British Columbia's intention to only protect
>12 per cent of the landbase will fail to protect the integrity
>of the rainforest ecosystem. Approximately half of BC's coastal
>rainforest has already been cleared.
> The need to adopt a precautionary approach in conserving the
>pristine valleys in Canada's ancient rainforest was supported
>by BC scientist Dr. Nancy Turner, a respected member of the
>Scientific Panel for Sustainable Forest Practices in Clayoquot
>Sound. The Scientific Panel was a government-appointed panel of
>scientists and First Nations people who jointly formulated
>recommendations for logging in Clayoquot Sound.
> "Increasingly we are seeing a need to adopt a far more cautious
>approach to logging than we have seen in the past," Dr. Turner
>said. "With so much of the temperate rainforest already logged
>and changed significantly from its original structure and
>composition, it's clear that the scientifically responsible
>response is to adopt a moratorium on logging of the intact
>valleys that remain."
> Dr. Turner said that a moratorium would also afford First
>Nations' people a greater opportunity for input and decision-
>making over what activity occurs in their territories.
> While members of the scientific community are calling for
>higher levels of protection for ancient rainforests, the
>international marketplace is beginning to move away from
>products derived by the clearcutting of these majestic BC
>rainforests. In the UK, these companies include: B&Q, BBC
>Worldwide Publishing, Do-It-All, Sainsbury's HomeBase and
> Note to Editors:
> Available on request are:
> Copies of correspondence from companies
> Photographs of the 18 defendants
> Photographs and footage of the Great Bear Rainforest.
> The trial is expected to continue throughout the week.
>Defendants could face a sentence of up to 2 month's in prison.
> The Greenpeace defendants are from Canada, Belgium, Ireland,
>Denmark and the USA.
>Greenpeace on the Internet at http://www.greenpeace.org
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