"The Greenpeace Book Campaign", a new international initiative, has been launched today at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Internationally renowned authors such as Margaret Atwood, Helen Fielding and Kirsten Boie have already joined the initiative, which encourages the use of ancient-forest-friendly paper in books.
"Only about 20 per cent of what were once the earth's ancient forests are still intact as unique habitats of biodiversity," says Greenpeace's forest expert, Oliver Salge in Frankfurt. "Book publishers have a crucial role to play in helping to protect the world's ancient forests by using ancient-forest-friendly paper."
All large European publishers have until now for the most part worked with virgin fibre paper. According to Greenpeace's investigations, some of the paper used by the book publishers is coming from ancient forest areas in Finland and Canada and from forests in Russia, where at least 50% of logging is estimated to be illegal.
Greenpeace is encouraging publishers globally to take the lead from Canadian publishers. Thirty-six publishers in Canada, including Random House Canada and McClelland & Stewart, have been committed to switching to ancient-forest-friendly paper since 2001. "McClelland & Stewart is proud to have made this commitment to help safeguard ancient forests," says Vicki Black, Production Manager for McClelland & Stewart. "During the past three years we've seen significant improvement in the price, availability and quality of ancient forest friendly paper."
Many children's titles are printed in South East Asia, on paper that could be linked to South East Asian rainforest destruction. To protect the world's forests, Greenpeace has also published a guide for book publishers on how to switch to recycled paper and/or paper produced with virgin fibre originating from forests certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council™(FSC®).
"No book is so valuable that the last ancient forests in the world should be destroyed for them," said Kirsten Boie, German children's author, who is supportive of the international initiative.
The initiative sees Greenpeace extending its campaign to protect the ancient forests. Greenpeace calls on the wood and paper industry to stop buying timber produced by destroying ancient forests, and promotes products from environmentally and socially responsible forest management.