RELEASE: Global Campaign to Protect and Restore Old Forests Gaining Traction

Campaigns to end industrial primary rainforest logging in Papua New Guinea and Madagascar based upon ecological science, and meant to end corruption and ecological harm
By Earth's Newsdesk, a project of EcoInternet (EI)
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org
Forests logged industrially for the first time are permanently ecologically damaged in terms of composition, structure, function and dynamics
EcoInternet's (EI) ongoing campaigns in Madagascar [1] and Papua New Guinea [2] (PNG) to end primary forest logging [search] (please continue to take action below), is part of EI's global network's campaign to globally protect and restore old forests. Ecological science reveals forest and other terrestrial ecosystem destruction to be a primary cause of climate change, biodiversity loss, water and soil degradation, and social disintegration. Yet forest policy-makers, including major environmental groups, continue to assert "sustainable forest management" and "FSC certified" logging of primary and old-growth forest logging is possible and desirable. They are wrong, as ecologically intact old forests are vital components of Earth's biosphere and are the optimal land cover to absorb and hold carbon long-term, while maintaining biodiversity and operable ecosystems, and the Earth System.
The term "old forests" is used to encompass primary unlogged forests, late successional natural regrowth, and planted mixed-species forests regaining old-growth characteristics. Forests logged industrially for the first time are permanently ecologically damaged in terms of composition, structure, function and dynamics. It is becoming abundantly clear that ending industrial diminishment and working for the full protection and restoration of old forests are a keystone response to climate change (to say nothing of biodiversity, ecosystem, water and poverty crises). More of the Earth's terrestrial ecosystems -; and old forests in particular -; have already been lost and diminished than required to maintain an operable climate, all species and a fully operable biosphere.


"As an ecological scientist, with over 20 years of studying the roles of old forests within the global Earth System, I can say with virtual certainty that protecting and restoring old forests -; both in the tropics and temperate/boreal regions -; is a keystone response to the climate, biodiversity, water and food crises," states Dr. Glen Barry, President of EcoInternet. "Ecologists know keeping old forests' stored carbon in place, continuing new carbon sequestration, and keeping these ancient forests from burning and becoming a massive carbon source is best served by avoiding fragmentation associated with selective logging; while allowing planted and secondary natural forests to regain late successional characteristics."
Madagascar is down to its last biodiverse rainforest remnants amongst a sea of poverty. There will be no chance of national advancement if final logging of rare rosewood continues. PNG contains Earth's third largest remaining rainforest tracts, yet the country is mid-boom with huge areas being logged without landowner prior and informed consent. In both cases corruption endemic to the tropical timber trade -; and conservationists unwillingness to take a stand against old forest logging -; are dooming these millions of year old primeval ecosystems to be lost forever. It is questionable whether the Earth System will function and whether the Earth will remain habitable without these ecosystems. EI reiterates its position that any government, company, NGO or person espousing falsehood primary forests and other old forests should be industrially logged is killing Earth and is legitimate protest target.
### MORE ###
Over past years ecological science has learned much regarding the importance of primary forests in regard to avoiding the worst climate change scenarios. Contrary to conventional thought, intact old forests continue to act as a major sink for new carbon, as some 20% of industrial emissions were found to be ending up in primary tropical forests. Another found that when old forests are industrially logged for the first time they lose at least 40% of their carbon immediately, and are unlikely to ever fully recover their carbon holding potential. Untouched forests and their soils were found to hold 60% more carbon than replacement plantations.
By finding a way to fully protect old forests, you keep the long-term stored carbon that would be released out of the atmosphere (about 20% of emissions) AND you remove 20% of the remaining 80% from fossil fuels. You avoid the 40% immediate loss from logging, and greatly decrease the probability of full carbon loss from fires. That is a net swing of at least 35% of anthropocentric carbon being kept or removed from the atmosphere by protecting and restoring old forests. Finding the will to end old forest logging, and ingenuity to allow local peoples and governments to benefit economically from standing old forests, would appear to be second only to ending use of coal as a one shot action to address climate change. Let's together make it so.
### ENDS ###
[1] Protest Madagascar's Legalization of Rosewood Log Export from Protected National Parks
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=madagascar_landgrab
[2] PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Logging Violence and Corruption Flare in Ramu, Madang's Mighty Rainforests
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=png_ramu_rh
Donate to Ramu/Sogeram Landowners Resisting RH & primary rainforest logging:
http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/donate/png_ramu/
Discuss this release at:
http://www.rainforestportal.org/issues/

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12 Responses

  1. Monica says:

    Thank you Glen for working to protect old forests.

  2. With the realization that the very survival of humankind and life as we know it could be put at risk soon, somehow we have to find ways and means of engaging one another and the broader human family in discussions like this one that at least provide an opportunity to reasonably and sensibly connect the unsustainability of global overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities of the human species with the ecological realities of the finite and frangible planet we inhabit. One way or another, we have to find the means of opening the way for ideas, policies and programs that lead us to “sustainable progress” and to effective designs for practicable business enterprises as well as for the construction of viable human communities in our planetary home.

  3. Chris Matera says:

    At the following link is a just released article on logging and carbon storage in forests from the University of Vermont.
    http://www.maforests.org/Keeton.pdf
    As common sense would suggest and that which the report confirms…
    1. No logging will produce the most carbon sequestration
    2. The next best option is single tree selective logging
    3. The worst carbon storage option is clearcutting
    See figure 3 on page 8 for comparisons of different management regimes…..
    According to the report:
    “even with consideration of Carbon sequestered in harvested wood products, unmanaged northern hardwood forests will sequester 39 to 118% more C than any of the active management options evaluated. This finding suggests that reserve-based approaches will have significant Carbon storage value."
    Chris
    Massachusetts Forest Watch
    http://www.maforests.org
    http://www.maforests.org/Biomess.ppt
    413-341-3878
    Speak Up For The Trees!

  4. Lance says:

    > Logging makes forests more flammable: study
    > Last Updated: Thursday, February 11, 2010 | 9:21 AM ET Comments13 Recommend10
    > Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    > Commercial logging of moist native forests creates conditions that increase the severity and frequency of bushfires, an international study claims.
    > The finding by Australian, Canadian and U.S. researchers is based on a review of previous studies and is published in the latest issue of the journal Conservation Letters.
    > Prof. David Lindenmayer of the Australian National University says the team focused on how industrial logging practices in native forests might change fire loads, fire frequency and susceptibility to ignition.
    > “The evidence from rainforests is unequivocal, the evidence from the wet forests in North America is unequivocal and the evidence is starting to build in Australia as well. When you mess with [native wet] forests, they become more flammable,” he said.
    > The researchers found the removal of trees by logging creates canopy openings and this in turn alters microclimatic conditions, especially increased drying of understory vegetation and the forest floor, Lindenmayer said.
    > “Work in tropical rainforests suggests that when microclimatic conditions are altered by selective logging, the number of dry days needed to make a forest combustible is reduced,” he said.
    > Vegetation composition shifts
    > In one study, uncut native forest would generally not burn after less than 30 rainless days, but selectively logged forest would burn after just six to eight days without rain.
    > Lindenmayer said logging also influences the fire regime by changing the density and pattern of trees, altering the spacing between tree crowns and the composition of plants.
    > Philip Burton of the Canadian Forest Service and University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George also contributed to the study.
    > According to Lindenmayer, logging in the moist eucalyptus forests of East Gippsland in southeastern Australia “has shifted the vegetation composition toward one more characteristic of drier forests that tend to be more fire prone.”
    > He said clear-felling of moist forests in southern Australia can create more fire fuel because it leads to the development of dense stands of regrowth saplings.
    > Lindenmayer said these young forests are more flammable, which often lead to older, less flammable forests abutting them to burn.
    > Rethink buffer zones: researcher
    > Logging slash – the debris left by logging – can also sustain fires for longer than fuels in unlogged forests, he said, and can harbour fires when wind conditions are not suitable to spread the blaze.
    > Lindenmayer said the industry needs to think strategically about where they log and rethink buffer zones and how big they might need to be.
    > For example, he points to the Ponderosa pine forests in the U.S. that are now being thinned to restore tree distribution to its more natural state as a way of reducing fire risk.
    > He said these forests became denser and had a higher fire risk after the native bison, which used to roam through the forest creating large gaps between trees, were decimated.

  5. What is Galileo doing tonight? My hope would be that the great man is resting in peace and that his head is not spinning in his grave.
    How, now, can Galileo possibly find peace when so few leaders and experts speak out clearly and loudly regarding whatsoever they believe to be true about the distinctly human-driven predicament that could soon be confronted by the family of humanity which results directly from the unbridled overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities of the human species now overspreading the Earth and threatening to ravage the planetary home God has blessed us to inhabit? Many too many leaders and a predominant coterie of experts are choosing to remain silent.
    Where are the leaders and experts who are willing to openly support science that is being presented in solid scientific evidence and validated empirical data? Look at the dismaying disarray in which we find ourselves now and how far we have to travel in a short time to move the human community away from precipitating some unimaginable sort of global ecological wreckage.
    What would the world we inhabit look like if scientists like Galileo had chosen to adopt a code of silence? In such circumstances, Galileo as well as scientists today would speak only about scientific evidence which was deemed by the super-rich and powerful to be politically convenient, religiously tolerable, economically expedient, socially correct and culturally prescribed. Galileo and modern-day scientists would effectively breach their duty to science and humanity to tell the truth as they see it, as best they can report it. If science does not overcome silence, then everything the human community believes we are preserving and protecting could be ruined.
    Perhaps there is something in the good reports of scientific evidence by members of the Climate Ark community regarding what could somehow be real about the world we inhabit that will give Galileo a moment of peace.

  6. Please recall the wonderful quotation by Joseph Campbell,
    “When we talk about settling the world's problems, we're barking up the wrong tree. The world is perfect. It's a mess. It has always been a mess. We are not going to change it. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.”
    Let us imagine (in full agreement with Joseph Campbell) that “our job is to straighten out our own lives” and that it is precisely the unsustainable ways we are living out our lives in this wondrous planetary home we inhabit which is inducing the formidable global challenges now looming so ominously before all of us on the horizon. Consider that human beings are the primary cause of certain converging ecological threats the children could confront in the future.
    In all the discussions I can recall about “the human predicament” never have I heard the idea presented that human beings cannot resolve problems which we are responsible for creating. We are not asked to change a world which is perfect, but to make changes in unsustainable patterns of behavior that are within our control. The mastery that gave rise to the global challenges to human wellbeing and environmental health is the same mastery that can be deployed in responding ably to those challenges. If conspicuous per-capita overconsumption and extravagant hoarding of limited resources; rampant overproduction of virtual mountains of unnecessary stuff; and unbridled overpopulation activities by the human species, when taken together, are “producing” threats to humanity, Earth and its environs, then sensibly changing these ways of behaving will mitigate and eventually resolve our plight. Is there any reason to doubt that human beings can alleviate any plight human beings can produce? Our task is to adequately deploy gifts God has given humankind to acknowledge, accept, address and overcome the human-induced challenges before us.
    By choosing necessary changes in our behavioral repertoire (in the sense of willing the inevitable), the family of humanity will find its way through the human-driven mess we have made in this world (not of this world) which is the perfect creation of God, I suppose.

  7. Why not stop rewarding the rampant spread of human selfishness?
    Let us imagine that it is a cultural perversion for people to widely share and consensually validate the pernicious belief that both “doing the right thing” and “doing the greedy thing” are virtues. I would submit to you that doing what is right is surely a virtue but doing the greedy thing is certainly not. The perversion in such circumstances is this: doing the right things is good, but this good behavior is often not rewarded. Alternatively, doing greedy things is not virtuous and yet is much more uniformly rewarded as if it were somehow good behavior.
    Please consider that great wealth and the political power it purchases are derived from unbridled greed and that greediness is everywhere incentivized. Then we can see how greed rather than doing what is good comes to effectively rule the world in our time.
    What if economic incentives rewarded doing right things and put at a disadvantage doing greedy things? Would that allow us to move forward along another path marked by mitigating the noticeably disasterous global ecological effects of rampant human selfishness and, thereby, to go a long way toward resolving the human-driven global challenges already visible in the offing?

  8. Steven Earl Salmony says:

    Please assist me. Our species has given itself the name “Homo sapiens sapiens”.
    In light of the deplorable, human-induced state of our planetary home as well as all of the unfinished work we have immediately ahead of us in order to begin accomplishing the many things that some of our brightest and best say “matter most” for the future of life, are we justified by reason or common sense in naming ourselves as we have or is this way of identifying ourselves a misleading moniker of a sort that reveals more about human hubris than it says about human intelligence, much less our possessed wisdom?
    Would the name “Homo hubris hubris” be more accurate?

  9. Patrick Troup says:

    Hello, Dr. Glen!
    I was wondering why you don't write more essays like you used to?
    That was the main reason I visited your website.
    Your outspoken-ness on issues such as climate change, deforestation, and habitat destruction were absolutely outstanding…writings I couldn't find anywhere else.
    I hope you resume the work that you once did.
    You are a great inspiration
    Take care
    Patrick

  10. david dunn says:

    Congratulations for pointing out that the rainforests are doomed and in fact all forests are doomed by the past and present policies of forest development in the very way you have expressed so eloquently in your piece.
    In fact what you have said about rainforests I believe can be said about the bigger picture of the economic and financial systems of the world and their impact on the climatic and environmental aspects of green planet earth.
    It is this very poor understanding of the long term goals and the effects those policies have in the longer term that is so detrimental to earth as we know it.
    The main trouble is mans poor recognition of the change that are happening over a period of time, Man has always changed the earth in lots of ways some small some large, but it is often the small subtle changes that have the most profound effect, like small tribes collecting and burning firewood in areas where there is little rainfall and this the tips the balance over to desertification, but little is said or done about this. It could be solved in one year if solar cooking stoves for example were given out free to all who used firewood everywhere in the world where the sun shines, that is a few hundred million stoves no doubt, and would need to be repeated several times over several years to make a real impact. Simple but Costly!!
    Mankind has recognised most problems but it is the will to do anything about it that is the real failure. As you recognise there are many charities and NGO's that are all trying to do the right thing in addressing the problems but usually they fail because of the local and national politics are failing to support them fully.
    This is just one small part of a huge bigger problem of high population and to much energy and natural resource consumption.
    My proposition is to reform taxation globally and encourage all nations to tax natural resources at a level that will compensate for their environmental impact. Also at the same time remove all present taxes and make the level of the new tax a complete replacement to all the old tax laws. That is to say that oil and gas being the worst may have a tax that could double or triple its present price and all other resources such as timber, farming, quarrying and buildings occupying land etc will have taxes based on the long term effects they have on the environment and climate.
    This Natural Resource Tax would be easier to collect from a few tax points and could save up to 30% of all tax revenues and together with a program of welfare reform to provide a minimum wage for all.
    This could provide most of the incentives needed to push everyone in the right direction of appreciating the true value of the resources we all take for granted and help provide a more transparent and equitable tax system where the polluter pays.
    Radical change is needed and fast , but there is some glimmer of hope here and there but it needs the groundswell of global opinion to make it a reality and with more Madeira's happening all the time in one form or another, then we must believe we have a real chance of it happening in our lifetime.
    My children s generation do not have the wisdom and it is up to us to push the agenda forward as fast as possible so they can realise en mass to take action.

  11. david dunn says:

    Congratulations for pointing out that the rainforests are doomed and in fact all forests are doomed by the past and present policies of forest development in the very way you have expressed so eloquently in your piece.
    In fact what you have said about rainforests I believe can be said about the bigger picture of the economic and financial systems of the world and their impact on the climatic and environmental aspects of green planet earth.
    It is this very poor understanding of the long term goals and the effects those policies have in the longer term that is so detrimental to earth as we know it.
    The main trouble is mans poor recognition of the change that are happening over a period of time, Man has always changed the earth in lots of ways some small some large, but it is often the small subtle changes that have the most profound effect, like small tribes collecting and burning firewood in areas where there is little rainfall and this the tips the balance over to desertification, but little is said or done about this. It could be solved in one year if solar cooking stoves for example were given out free to all who used firewood everywhere in the world where the sun shines, that is a few hundred million stoves no doubt, and would need to be repeated several times over several years to make a real impact. Simple but Costly!!
    Mankind has recognised most problems but it is the will to do anything about it that is the real failure. As you recognise there are many charities and NGO's that are all trying to do the right thing in addressing the problems but usually they fail because of the local and national politics are failing to support them fully.
    This is just one small part of a huge bigger problem of high population and to much energy and natural resource consumption.
    My proposition is to reform taxation globally and encourage all nations to tax natural resources at a level that will compensate for their environmental impact. Also at the same time remove all present taxes and make the level of the new tax a complete replacement to all the old tax laws. That is to say that oil and gas being the worst may have a tax that could double or triple its present price and all other resources such as timber, farming, quarrying and buildings occupying land etc will have taxes based on the long term effects they have on the environment and climate.
    This Natural Resource Tax would be easier to collect from a few tax points and could save up to 30% of all tax revenues and together with a program of welfare reform to provide a minimum wage for all.
    This could provide most of the incentives needed to push everyone in the right direction of appreciating the true value of the resources we all take for granted and help provide a more transparent and equitable tax system where the polluter pays.
    Radical change is needed and fast , but there is some glimmer of hope here and there but it needs the groundswell of global opinion to make it a reality and with more Madeira's happening all the time in one form or another, then we must believe we have a real chance of it happening in our lifetime.
    My children s generation do not have the wisdom and it is up to us to push the agenda forward as fast as possible so they can realise en mass to take action.

  12. r. piller says:

    dear sirs, i've written several papers on an idea i've had on planting forests and in so doing making a fortune for conservation projects. i've been putting this together for the past year but no-one's shown any interest. this is something i know would work. i'd you'd like to get back to me by e-mail, i'd like either to get into discussion or send you a copy of what i've put together. i personally think the forests need people with ideas. i know we could for example replace brazilian soya with rubber trees, replace s.e. asian oil palm with rattan or sugar palm etc., etc. it's all the question of buying up the land. please do get in touch and we can discuss this further.

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