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Rainforest Action Network speaks at Bangkok


by: Alex Lopatka, MD, USA

The Rainforest Action Network spoke at the Bangkok Climate Talks 2009 on September 29th about the deforestation of the Bukit Tigapuluh rainforest in Sumatra. They specifically condemned Asian Pulp and Paper for destroying the forest to make “plantations” of trees. The untouched Bukit Tigapuluh rainforest has 1500 species of trees; if Asian Pulp and Paper got their way, it would have 2!

If this isn’t bad enough, the Bukit Tigapuluh rainforest is home to indigenous people as well. Asian Pulp and Paper, as well as other paper logging companies, are literally destroying the homes of other human beings for extra profits. Many big companies, such as Staples and Target, have already declared the deforestation practices as human rights violations and ended their business with Asian Pulp and Paper.

There has been a lot of progress in deoforestation, but many organizations are still working today to preserve and protect rainforests. REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) has become the new buzzword. It was spoken about at Bonn, and will certainly be an important component of the Copenhagen talks. In order to make REDD work, the definition of a forest must not include forest plantations or paper companies like Asian Pulp and Paper can continue business-as-usual.

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