Copy That: Xerox gets the message

Feature story - 23 March, 2005
Copy paper giant Xerox has announced that it will stop using fibre from Sámi Reindeer Forests in northern Finland. This is a small but significant victory in the campaign to save some of the last ancient forest in Europe.

Ancient forest threatened by industrial logging to make cheap copy paper and magazines.

The indigenous Sámi peoples still practice traditional reindeer herdingin Arctic Lapland, relying on remaining old-growth forests to providevital food for their reindeer during the cold winter months. But theirforest is being industrially logged for the production of pulp andpaper - ending up as magazine and copy paper throughout Europe.

This is why Xerox's announcement is good news for Finland's ancientforests. In fact it should be good news for many forests if Xerox keepsits word. As part of our ongoing correspondence, Xerox has informed usof the adoption of a new procurement policy, ensuring that suppliers donot source timber from 'old-growth forests, conservation areas or otherareas designated for protection'.

Under siege

Howeverthe Finnish reindeer forest is still under siege as many othercompanies are profiting from the destruction. The Finnish state loggingcompany logs supposedly protected areas. Most of these logs go toFinland's largest paper company StoraEnso to be turned into paper andsold as magazines and copy paper.

Up in the frozen north, we have our Forest Rescue Station to helpdefend the rights of the Sámi peoples against industrial logging. Wehave been helping mark their lands as protected for reindeer herding.We are pressuring the Finnish government to stop logging in protectedareas. We are asking StoraEnso to stop profiting from the destructionand writing to ask StoraEnso customers to pressure the company. Xeroxhas been one of the first to respond.

Help save the Reindeer forests!

We can't do this alone - we need your help. We are still here inArctic Lapland working with the Sámi reindeer herders to ensure thatthe Finnish paper industry doesn't sell out these forests to make cheapmagazine and copy paper products. Help us defend these forests frombeing logged by the Finnish government's own logging company,Metsähallitus and sold for pulp and paper production.

Write to StoraEnso and the Ministry of Finance,who are the largest single shareholder in the company. We already knowthey are feeling the international pressure and ministers arecomplaining about getting 1000's of messages - so keep up the pressure!

More information

Read the report "Lapland: State of Conflict - How the Finnish government is abusing the forest rights of Sámi reindeer herders

Check out the Forest Rescue Station weblog to keep in touch with, and show your support for, our icy activists!

You can also read more about the Forest Rescue Station or check out the FAQ.

Read the full letter from Xerox.

Play Eco Quest 3 - The Reindeer Herders