Mitsubishi Corporation to cease buying Tasmanian ancient forest

Press release - 18 May, 2004
Japanese multinational Mitsubishi Corporation, an importer of Tasmanian woodchip who trade with Gunns Ltd(1), have replied to a letter from Greenpeace Japan and the Wilderness Society stating they will cease buying woodchips from Tasmania's ancient forests and make a transition to woodchips sourced from plantations and second growth forests as soon as possible’.

Greenpeace praised Mitsubishi Corporation's response, which states, 'We want it to be clearly understood that we do not condone unsustainable logging from old growth or high conservation value forests in Tasmania.'

Greenpeace Campaigns Manager Danny Kennedy said, 'We urge Mitsubishi Corporation to honour their promise and to cease importing woodchips from Tasmania's ancient forest as soon as possible.

'In their letter Mitsubishi Corporation state they will prioritise Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC®)2 certification in their forest product operations, where practical. We believe this is a positive first step away from association with ancient forest destruction,' Mr Kennedy said.

Greenpeace has been contacting Japanese paper companies Nippon Paper Industries, Mitsubishi Paper Mills and Oji Paper, asking them to stop buying woodchips sourced from Tasmania's ancient forests and instead look to plantations such as those certified by the FSC®.

Mr Kennedy said, 'The campaign to save Tasmania's ancient forests has been steadily growing amid worldwide condemnation of the state's destructive forestry practices. Over 10,000 cyberactions have been sent to the Japanese paper companies from people all over the world, urging them to stop sourcing woodchips from Tasmania's ancient forests.

'We will continue to send strong messages to these companies until the ongoing destruction of Tasmania's ancient forest by Gunns Ltd is stopped,' he said.

In April of this year, Nippon Paper Industries wrote a letter to Gunns and Premier Paul Lennon requesting a resolution to the debate.

Between November 2003 and April 2004, Greenpeace and The Wilderness Society carried out a tree-sit, known as the Global Rescue Station, perched 65 metres up one of the world's tallest trees in Tasmania's Styx Valley from where Gunns sources its woodchips.

Notes: Mitsubishi Corporation's letter: