For immediate release: Wednesday 31 October 2001
Friends of the Earth International (FOEI) and other Global Forest Coalition
members announced three nominations for a special TREETANIC AWARD this
afternoon. The TREETANIC AWARD is handed over during the climate negotiations
to the company implementing the worst carbon sink project.
FOEI and other groups are highly concerned that the decisions on Land Use,
Land Use Change and Forestry that were taken at the resumed 6th Conference of
the Parties of the Climate Convention last July will lead to the development
of large-scale monoculture tree plantations. These plantations are highly
detrimental from a biodiversity perspective and they often lead to the
displacement of Indigenous Peoples and other social conflicts. They also
distract attention from the long-term solution to climate change, a dramatic
reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The three nominees for the TREETANIC award are:
1. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Australian North Forest
Products company - for their plantation investments in the Australian State of
Tasmania. North Forest Products has a long history of replacing Australia‚Äôs
native forest and rainforest with softwood and hardwood plantations. TEPCO‚Äôs
A$ 10 million investment in North Forest Products will expand the current
Tasmanian Tamar Tree Farm program by 3000 hectares of monoculture eucalypt
2. The French company Peugeot and the French Forestry Department - for their
‚ÄúMarathon Vert‚ÄĚ reforestation project in the Brazilian State of Matto
Grosso. On the basis of technical advice by the French Forestry Department,
the area - which is based in the middle of the rainforest, was first treated
with the dangerous pesticide ROUNDUP. This led to the death of many turtles
and other forest animals. The project is a typical example of a greenwash
initiative by a major polluting company that could have contributed much more
to mitigating climate change if it had brought advanced technology instead of
trees to the developing countries.
3. Coillte, the State-owned Irish Forestry Company - for its plans to afforest
peatland, a highly precious ecosystem from a biodiversity perspective.
Peatland afforestation is known to lead to carbon emissions because the
drainage of peatland exposes soil carbon to oxidation. However the Irish
government has stated that it is not concerned about these effects, as they
would only affect their carbon balance if the clearance takes place between
2008 Ā` 2012.
The TREETANIC AWARD will be handed out Thursday 1 November 2001, at 11:00 am
at the CAN Press Conference Room at the Palais des Congres in Marrakech,
Contact: Simone Lovera (Forest Campaign Co-ordinator FOEI) and Alex Phillips
(Press Support), +44 771 284 3450
Jutta Kill, FERN, +49-160-4617617