Release January 27, 2009
the recent collapse of the demand for timber in Finland, it is difficult
to understand why these irreplaceable forests have to be destroyed now.
Why is the state logging some of the only remaining old-growth forest
areas in Europe? says Sini Harkki, forest campaigner for Greenpeace.
organizations have identified hundreds of occurrences of threatened
species in the forest areas being logged. They represent rare remnants
of European natural old-growth forest with ancient trees and a diversity
of species that no longer survive in managed forests. (2) Two of the
areas now logged are also included in the global Greenpeace mapping
of the most significant Intact Forest Landscapes on Earth.
Parts of the threatened
forests have also been classified by the logger Metsähallitus as 'in
natural state'. (3) However, Metsähallitus does not consider this as
a special value that should be protected. Less than five percent of
Finnish forests remain in natural state.
contacted the probable buyers of the pulp wood, paper companies StoraEnso
and Metsäliitto, who have both stated they see no reason to avoid buying
old-growth forest timber from the operations in question. Greenpeace
met StoraEnso yesterday to give them a piece of 300-year old pine from
the pulp wood pile and demanded the company to stop using ancient forests
in their mills.
NOTES: (1) Metsähallitus
is also planning two new logging operations in the Saami Homeland Area
this winter. The local Saami reindeer herding co-operatives opposing
the plans have approached the relevant ministries and media with a demand
to stop the logging that threatens their right to practice traditional