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Under threat

Background - 20 June, 2002
Roughly 30 countries throughout eastern and western Europe have no intact ancient forest left; Finland and Sweden retain only one percent and three percent of their original forest cover as large tracts of ancient forest.

Logging Russia's Karelian Forest, one of the last tracts of ancient forest in Europe.

Only European Russia retains extensive intact ancient forest, and even this is under serious threat from industrial logging.

European governments have done little to ensure the conservation of the small areas of ancient forest, which remain in their jurisdiction.

In Finland, the state owned Forest and Park Service is destroying its own last remaining ancient forest, while Finnish industry is increasing its imports from the neighbouring ancient forest in Russia.

European consumers are responsible for the destruction of at least 15,000 hectares of ancient forest in European Russia each year.

The Russian government is responsible for much of the rest.

Meanwhile Europe also remains a critical market for illegal and destructively logged timber from countries such as Indonesia, Brazil and Cameroon despite well publicised accounts of the widespread nature of illegal and destructive logging in these regions.