Ancient Forests Can't Be Copied

New cyber-campaign targets copy paper from companies using old-growth forests

Press release - 3 December, 2003
A new Greenpeace campaign aimed at a number of photocopy papers that are currently available in Europe is launched today in Finland. Certain copy paper manufacturers are using paper that is being derived from ancient forests in northern Finland. Finnish state-owned logging company Metsähallitus (Forests Park Service) lifted a moratorium on logging of critical forest areas in August, and resumed logging in northern Finland. Much of the wood from these areas is being turned into pulp, which is being used to manufacture a range of products including copy papers by companies such as Xerox, Canon & PaperlinX (formerly Buhrmann)(1), which are sold in some European countries (2).

"With 80% of the world's ancient forests already devastated by logging, protecting the last remaining tracts is all the more important. In Finland only 5% of the forests left are still considered old growth forests, and only half of this 5% is protected. Logging continues unabated in critical forest areas," stated Greenpeace Forests campaigner Matti Liimatainen, "These last ancient forests cannot be copied: they are unique global treasures."

Greenpeace is calling for a moratorium on logging in the last ancient forest areas, so that a science-based planning process can be completed in order to protect more of Finland's forests and to ensure that where logging does happen it is sustainable. Metsähallitus has recently refused to discuss this moratorium, and instead has logged in eight areas, with plans to log in dozens more in the coming months. A recent visit to a fresh logging site by Greenpeace revealed trees over 300 years old, and trees up to 700 years old have previously been found at these logging sites.

"When you run your office photocopier, you don't necessarily know that you may be driving the destruction of Finland's last great forests" said Greenpeace International campaigner Gavin Edwards. "Consumers have a right to know where their copy paper comes from so that they can make informed choices about the products they buy, and our new Forest Guardians website does just that "

The new Greenpeace 'Forest Guardians' website is an innovative cyber-action centre, which not only provides useful information to individual consumers, but also encourages them to interact with each other. Chat rooms allow cyber-activists to brainstorm ideas for cyber-actions, and encourage individuals to participate in the building of the copy paper campaign. The site also contains lots of useful information on how to cut paper consumption, and advocates recycled and Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC®) certified papers as a practical alternative to ancient forest destruction.

Join the 'Forests Guardians' website today

Notes: 1 - According to Greenpeace research, the following copy paper companies utilise paper from a mill that processes old-growth fibre in northern Finland. All companies have been contacted by Greenpeace regarding this issue.Brand name Product examplesStoraEnso "Berga" rangeXerox "Xerox Premier"Guilbert (in Office Depot) "Niceday 3000"Canon "Copy", "Extra" and "Excel"PaperlinX (formerly Buhrmann) "motif"2 - Some of these paper brands have so far been found in the UK, Germany and France, however multi-lingual text on the copy paper wrapping suggests a European wide distribution.