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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Greenpeace report reveals high profile companies buying Boreal Forest destruction

MONTREAL, Aug. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - A Greenpeace investigative report released today reveals the names of many high profile and recognizable international companies fueling the destruction of Canada's Boreal Forest to create everyday consumer products.

Among the 35 companies listed are Best Buy, Grand & Toy, Toys "R" Us, Time Inc., Sears, Coles/Indigo, Penguin Books US and Harlequin. Rona, the Canadian home improvement and hardware store, is also named in the report.

Each company is profiled as a customer of logging and pulp companies Abitibi-Consolidated, Bowater, Kruger and SFK Pulp, whose destructive logging practices are responsible for decimating nearly 200,000 km2 of Boreal Forest, or 3.5 times the size of Nova Scotia. "Today, we're naming names," said Kim Fry, a forest campaigner with Greenpeace. "The logging companies and customers featured in this report are driving the destruction of Canada's Boreal Forest."

The report, Consuming Canada's Boreal Forest: The chain of destruction from logging companies to consumers, calls for action from the international marketplace to protect one of the largest ancient forests left on Earth. It also condemns the governments of Ontario and Quebec, where less than nine and five per cent of the forest, respectively, is protected from industrial development.

"We expect customers of these logging companies to temporarily suspend their multi-million dollar contracts until action is taken on the ground to protect the forest and end destructive logging," added Fry. "We are looking to the marketplace to transform this situation."

In addition to environmental destruction-including forest fragmentation, climate impacts and loss of wildlife habitat and ecosystem biodiversity-the report also highlights Abitibi-Consolidated's refusal to end operations in the traditional territory of Grassy Narrows First Nation, despite a longstanding blockade against logging.

Canada's Boreal Forest stretches across the north of the country, from Newfoundland to the Yukon. It represents a quarter of the world's remaining intact ancient forests and stores 47.5 billion tonnes of carbon in its soils and trees. Less than 15 per cent of the Boreal Forest in Quebec and 18 per cent in Ontario remains intact. More than 68 per cent of the area managed by the three logging companies has already been degraded or destroyed.

The backgrounder can be downloaded at

http://usaphoto.greenpeace.org/chainofdestruction/CoD%20backgrounder.pdf

The report can be downloaded at

http://usaphoto.greenpeace.org/chainofdestruction/consuming-the-boreal-forest-t.pdf

For further information: Kim Fry, Greenpeace Forests Campaigner, (416) 406-0664; Jane Story, Greenpeace Communications, (416) 930-9055

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