ForestEthics and the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement: A Historic Opportunity
William Craven, US media requests: 415.863.4563 x. 314, 415.407.3426
Today ForestEthics, along with 8 other leading environmental organizations and twenty-one forest products companies, announced the landmark Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The ambitious initiative commences with a moratorium on all logging across more than 70 million acres of rich Boreal Forest, as key parties begin long-term conservation planning over 175 million acres – an area the size of Texas.
Find out the full list of signatory organizations and companies, and read the press release here.
The largest conservation initiative in history, the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement seeks to conserve critical Boreal Forest land, preserve the vulnerable woodland caribou, and implement world-leading forestry practices. While this planning is done over the next three years, members of the Forest Products Association of Canada will honor a moratorium on logging covering 29 million hectares (71 million acres) of prime caribou habitat – an area the size of New Zealand.
Read the details of the agreement >>
ForestEthics Executive Director Todd Paglia released the following statement today:
"ForestEthics' work with huge US corporate consumers of paper has, along with our allies, quite simply transformed the standards by which the American marketplace chooses its paper – and that is changing how forests are treated in North America. This is critically important because forests are not about the trees – forests are really about the people and wildlife that depend upon them for their survival."
“This is the sort of globally significant action required around the world to stave off the worst impacts of climate change, species loss, and the continued stress on the Earth’s natural systems which provide us with air to breathe and water to drink."
Take ActionRight now, the ink is drying on what is potentially the largest conservation initiative in history – in Canada's precious Boreal Forest – and we need you to act. Make sure this agreement protects our forests, pulls endangered caribou back from the brink, and fights climate change:
Pledge to be a Boreal Watchdog now >>
The ForestEthics Backstory on the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement: markets campaigns create leverage for change
Eight years ago, ForestEthics was faced with a stark reality: Canada’s Boreal Forest – the second largest forest in the world – was being logged at a rate of two acres per minute, 24 hours a day. ForestEthics followed the money to the US marketplace, whose consumption was driving the destruction of the Boreal Forest to produce catalogs, junk mail, and other paper products.
In 2000, ForestEthics launched a campaign targeting the office supply industry, which at that point had virtually no environmental paper standards. In the years that followed, new paper policies, more sustainable paper purchasing decisions, and direct communications from companies including FedEx Office, OfficeDepot, and Staples have been a powerful incentive for reform in the Boreal. In 2005, ForestEthics’ impact on the issue was confirmed when an independent report stated that recycled paper mills were operating at record-high capacity due to demand from the office supply sector—the very sector we’d targeted.
Check out our report on the paper practices of the office supply sector, Green Grades 2009.
Next up was the catalog sector: ForestEthics earned a watershed 2007 victory over Victoria's Secret and parent company Limited Brands in a campaign to get the company out of Endangered Boreal Forests. As our leverage in the marketplace grew, so did the list of large catalogers implementing forest-friendly paper policies with our guidance: Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Patagonia, Macy's, Dell, and several others. Put simply, the catalog industry’s paper practices shifted: by 2009 the number of large catalog companies who met our expectations on core forest-friendly criteria had quadrupled.
Meanwhile, our allies were making huge strides to help transform the paper industry: In 2007, Canopy (formerly called Markets Initiative) worked with Scholastic to print Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on FSC-certified paper. By 2009 Greenpeace had reached an agreement with paper giant Kimberly-Clark that would guarantee that the company would be out of non-FSC certified Boreal lands by 2011.
All of this set the stage for today’s ambitious initiative. We promise to help it reach its fullest potential.
ForestEthics’ unique ability to turn our corporate adversaries into allies has helped us secure agreements to protect more than 65 million acres of forest land, including the Great Bear Rainforest, the Inland Temperate Rainforest, Chile's Native Forests and Canada’s Boreal Forest.
William Craven, US media
requests: 415.863.4563 x. 314, 415.407.3426
Kristi Chester Vance, Canadian media requests 415.902.5885