Environmentalists campaign leads to Vicaima group announcing new responsible timber policy

Press release - 3 June, 2005
One of Portugal's largest timber buyers, Vicaima, targeted by environmentalists earlier this year for trading in timber from illegal and destructive logging, has today announced a new environmentally and socially responsible timber purchasing policy.

 In March of this year,Greenpeace and Quercus targeted Vicaima because of the group's purchaseof timber from companies known to be involved in illegal anddestructive logging.i The group has now introduced a new timber buyingpolicy, committing them to ensuring that all wood comes fromenvironmentally and socially responsible logging operations, aiming forcertification by the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC®). To implementtheir new policy Vicaima have joined the Tropical Forest Trust.

Responding to today's announcement Luis Galrao of Quercus said, "Thisis good news for the world's ancient forests. We are delighted to seeVicaima taking action to stop the use of timber from illegal anddestructive logging and we call on other companies in Portugal tofollow their lead."

Andy Tait of Greenpeace said, "Vicaima have woken up to theirenvironmental and social responsibilities, but there is still much workto be done in Portugal. The Portuguese Government must fully supportEuropean action to tackle the trade in illegal timber, and must actdomestically, to ensure that any timber it buys also comes fromwell-managed forests, certified by the FSC®."

Other contacts: Luis Galrao , Quercus, +351 937788471Gina Sanchez, Greenpeace International, +31 627 00 00 64

Notes: i Greenpeace and Quercus held a protest at the group headquarters in Vale De Cambra on 29th March 2005. Vicaima was known to be one of the purchases of Amazon timber supplied by DLH, onboard the vessel 'Skyman' which docked at Leixoes, Porto during March. Among the timber supplied by DLH on this vessel was wood from Rancho da Cabocla, who's owner was arrested at the end of 2004 for illegal land grabbing and Milton Schnorr, fined for illegal logging in 2001, 2002 and 2004. In March 2004 photos of timber from Rougier and Fipcam were taken at Vicaimas timber yard. Both companies were fined in Cameroon in 2004 for illegal logging operations. (Minef Communiqué/ press release no. 147, 19 april 2004)

Exp. contact date: 2006-06-17 00:00:00