Press Release

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’s

native forest and rainforest with softwood and hardwood plantations. TEPCO’s

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