Resolute Forest Products
Resolute Forest Products is the largest logging company in Canada, responsible for destroying critical caribou habitat in “Endangered Forest” areas. That’s why Greenpeace refuses to be silenced by a $7 million lawsuit for standing up for Canada’s endangered Boreal Forests.
Resolute, formerly AbitibiBowater, operates and sources from large areas of the Boreal Forest, including in the Montagnes Blanches “Endangered Forest” in Quebec and the Trout Lake-Caribou “Endangered Forest” in Ontario. The company has a long history of unsustainable activities in Canada’s Boreal. It is involved in disputes with First Nations communities for logging in areas without their consent and its operations threaten iconic species such as the woodland caribou. Other environmental groups have decried the company’s unwillingness to do even the “minimum” required by science in terms of conservation.
The forest can’t defend itself. #StandForForests now!
Resolute is diverting your attention from the forest
In May 2013, Greenpeace released “Resolute False Promises: the [un]sustainability Report 2013”, a report challenging many of Resolute’s sustainability claims. Greenpeace was not alone in speaking out against Resolute Forest Products’ forestry practices. On 15 May, 2013 the Grand Council of the Crees filed an international appeal to one of Resolute’s Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificates in Quebec. Later that year in December 2013, two of Resolute's FSC certificates, covering 5.7 million hectares of forest in the Montagne Blanches region, were suspended because of the company’s failure to gain consent from the Cree community and its destruction of woodland caribou habitat and the degradation of old-growth areas. Also in May, seven environmental organizations severed discussions with the company under the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. Shortly after, on 23 May, Resolute filed a $7 million lawsuit against Greenpeace and two of its campaigners Richard Brooks and Shane Moffatt.
To Greenpeace and others Resolute’s $7 million lawsuit is a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). We believe the lawsuit is a meritless intimidation tactic intended to silence the company's many critics. SLAPPs like this from deep-pocketed multinational corporations risk a chilling effect on free speech.
Greenpeace and its campaigners refuse to be silenced and will continue to stand for forests because the forest can’t defend itself.
Act now and #StandForForests by adding your name to the Guardian Tree as a symbol of our shared resolve to protect Canadian forests.
On the road to extinction
© Markus Mauthe / Greenpeace
Woodland caribou are an iconic Canadian species that unfortunately, are also listed as endangered or threatened under the federal and provincial species at risk registries. This herbivore needs large areas of undisturbed Boreal Forest to survive, up to 9,000 km² to be precise. Because of this, the woodland caribou has a low tolerance for human activity such as logging. More than just the animal featured on Canada’s quarter, the woodland caribou is also an “umbrella species” meaning its well-being is an indicator for the well-being of many other species living in the same habitat.
There are many caribou herds in the "Endangered Forest" areas where Resolute Forest Products operates and sources. While the company talks up the “vital role” protecting habitat plays in its operations, the company is operating and sourcing from the remaining habitat of caribou herds that are at serious risk. For example, the Manouane herd in the Montagnes Blanches "Endangered Forest" is unlikely to survive beyond 50 years due to continuing habitat destruction. The Brightsand herd, overlapping with Resolute’s tenure in the Trout Lake-Caribou “Endangered Forest”, is facing excessive disturbance levels which cast doubt on the herd’s long term survival.
Aboriginal rights and title not Resolute’s priority
For many years, Resolute has been at loggerheads with Aboriginal communities and groups, and continued to log on traditional territories without consent or support.
In January 2013, Resolute joined the Ontario government in successfully challenging a 2011 Ontario Superior Court decision upholding Grassy Narrows First Nation’s Treaty rights against clearcut logging on their traditional territory. The Supreme Court has since granted Grassy Narrows leave to continue their legal fight after this set back. The first judgment came after years of blockades and boycotts against Resolute’s logging operations in the area. Resolute (then known as AbitibiBowater) was forced to leave the region in 2008.
In Quebec, the Grand Council of the Crees filed a formal challenge to Resolute's Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate in the Montagnes Blanches based on a violation of their right to free, prior and informed consent. In December 2013, two of Resolute's FSC certificates, covering 5.7 million hectares of forest in the Montagne Blanches region, were suspended because of the company’s failure to gain consent from the Cree community and its destruction of woodland caribou habitat and the degradation of old-growth areas. Meanwhile, while Resolute has to date respected a moratorium in a 13,000 km2 portion of the larger Broadback Valley “Endangered Forest” area, to the south members of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake continue to protest logging on their traditional territory by the company.
Resolute greenwashes its dirty logging
In marketing itself to customers looking for responsibly sourced products, Resolute makes numerous “sustainability” claims to assure them and the public of its commitment to preserving Canada’s forests, respecting Indigenous rights and supporting local communities. However, a closer look reveals that Resolute’s sustainability claims simply do not stand up. Here is the report that triggered their $7 million lawsuit. In this report, Greenpeace documents unsustainable forest practices, regulatory infractions, failure to protect endangered species, disregard for Indigenous rights and communities, and “green” products that don’t warrant the name. Take a closer look for yourself in “Resolute’s False Promises: the [un]sustainability report 2013.”
The forest can’t defend itself against Resolute
It’s impossible to protect “Endangered Forests” while ecologically or culturally sensitive areas are actively being logged. Resolute must suspend logging in and sourcing from “Endangered Forest” areas and publically support the creation of large-scale protected areas alongside sustainable harvesting. We invite Resolute to sit down with Greenpeace immediately to complete conservation planning so we can bring them to First Nation and provincial governments for approval.
Sign the pledge to #StandForForests and help protect this critical habitat. Visit StandForForests.ca to help protect this critical habitat and add your name to a Guardian Tree as a symbol of our shared resolve to protect Canadian forests.
Conservation – the only option for "Endangered Forests"
The International Boreal Conservation Science Panel is calling for at least 50 per cent of the Boreal Forest to be permanently protected in order to maintain its ecological functions and wildlife. Environment Canada, in turn, has identified that a minimum of 65 per cent of a caribou herd’s range must be undisturbed to be considered self-sustaining. It is clear that vast areas of the Boreal Forest must be protected to ensure its ecological integrity over time.
Greenpeace believes this can be done in a way that protects the long-term economic interests of local communities, respects the rights of First Nations and ensures continued prosperity of the forest sector. We’ve done this before. But it takes collaboration, because the forest can’t defend itself.
We urgently need you to stand with Greenpeace to help stop Resolute from destroying the Boreal Forest.