NGOs send a letter to Asia Pulp & Paper

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A group of nearly 60 Indonesian and international NGOs sent a letter to APP director, Linda Wijaya, to express their concern regarding a new possible supplier, PT. Bangun Rimba Sejahtera (PT BRS). According to a recent NGO report, the company has a concession laying up to 85% on land used by local communities for their livelihoods.

The report suggests that 100,000 people in West Bangka Regency could be affected by PT BRS operations, and that 21 villages (the majority of the affected villages) have expressed their opposition to the presence of PT BRS. The report finds that PT BRS has failed to undertake a credible Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process.

The concession, in order to be viable, must use lands claimed and used by local communities, consequently risks further igniting social unrest, undermining local livelihoods and creating serious land conflict. The NGOs ask APP not to choose PT BRS as supplier.

Please, find the letter here

 

Please don’t pulp the last Swedish old-growth forests!

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Sweden produces more paper than any other country in Europe, but at what cost? A letter signed by 45 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has asked the Swedish government to introduce tighter legislation to improve forestry practices in the country. It expresses concern that clearcut forestry threatens some of the last remaining fragments of old-growth forests in Scandinavia, endangering species and the livelihoods of indigenous Sami people.

Most of the NGOs signing the letter are our member organisations. Letter to Swedish government april 2015.

Find here the reply of the Swedish government. 

New film: The Future of Paper

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A new film expressing a vision for the future of paper was launched by civil society today in advance of Paper World, the paper industry gathering in Frankfurt, Germany. The film argues that as a global society we need to look at this everyday material with new eyes, and transform the way we use it to achieve a more equitable and sustainable future.

Mandy Haggith of the European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) said, “We hope that everyone who watches the Future of Paper will value it a bit more and think again about wasteful paper use. Everyone in Europe, North America and China uses paper numerous times every day and yet we mostly take it for granted. This film will help people to make the connection between their own daily consumption and the impacts it has on forests, people, the global climate and water.”

Peter Gerhardt of German NGO denkhausbremen, said, “Current paper consumption in industrialised countries must be reduced dramatically in order to lower the pressure on forests and forest people, who suffer from the impacts of the pulp and paper industry around the world.”

Richard Wainwright of FERN, said “This film urges paper companies to rise to the realistic and achievable challenge of ensuring paper production is never to the detriment of local communities who depend on the forests for their survival.”

The film is the outcome of an international process over the past year, in which more than 140 organisations around the world have endorsed a shared Global Paper Vision. This vision describes a future in which the pulp and paper industry and all governments, financiers and consumer companies associated with the industry, have transformed to achieve sustainable production and consumption.

The film can also be watched on the Youtube Channel of the Environmental Paper Network here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7e9yEc7FUs

For more information contact:

Mandy Haggith on +44 1571 844020 or +44 7734235704 or hag@environmentalpaper.eu

 

Helping China Achieve Sustainable Paper Production and Use

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What is China’s impact on forests and communities, given that it is the world’s biggest paper consumer and the fastest-growing investor in the pulp and paper industry? Activists from Indonesia and from the Chinese Environmental Paper Network are working together to increase understanding of this question. To assist this learning process, we are organising an exchange between environmental activists from China and Indonesia, together with European and North American campaigners.

During September and October 2014, Chinese activists will travel to Indonesia, and Indonesians will travel to China. The Indonesian visit will involve meetings in Jakarta and travel into forest lands in Sumatra, to observe the impacts on the ground of pulp and paper production, and to meet representatives of affected communities. The participants will learn about the impact of the policies and practices of the pulp and paper industry, governments and finance in Indonesia, and consider the role that China is and should be playing.

The return visit will involve a public event on 15 October exploring China’s role in the global publishing paper trail, looking at how printers and publishers can make sustainable paper choices, to supply books to Chinese and international markets with the miminum environmental and social harm. This visit will also include learning about the methods of paper production that have been carried out sustainably for thousands of years since paper was invented there, and it will be a chance for international campaigners to learn about Chinese culture and the potential and challenges for environmental advocacy.

Following the launch of our Global Paper Vision earlier this summer, this project demonstrates that the Environmental Paper Network is a truly global coalition, working together to find international solutions to the environmental and social problems caused by the pulp and paper industry in Indonesia and other producer countries.

 

Our new Global Paper Vision

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One hundred and twenty organisations share a vision for sustainable production and consumption of paper

Today, together with our membership of more than one hundred twenty civil society organizations on six continents, we are proud to unveil a powerful new Global Paper Vision uniting a myriad voices currently challenging the paper industry to adopt more sustainable practices. This blueprint for change addresses priorities for social responsibility and environmental conservation in response to global paper consumption patterns and the industry’s influence on biodiversity, forest health, global warming, air and water quality and local communities.

The new Global Paper Vision harmonises several regional vision statements for industry reform around the world into a more coordinated effort to match the globalised supply chain for paper products and raw materials. The signatories of the Vision are known collectively for their successful efforts moving the marketplace to more sustainable products, reforming forest governance, securing improved forestry practices by the world’s largest paper companies and accelerating the transformation of the entire industry over the past decade.

The new Global Paper Vision identifies seven common goals among the organisations that are key objectives for change: reducing consumption; maximizing recycled content; ensuring social responsibility; sourcing fiber responsibly; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; ensuring clean production; and ensuring transparency.

“Paper use has social, environmental, and human rights implications and this vision points at ways to improve them all,” said Saskia Ozinga of FERN, based in the United Kingdom.

“Jikalahari realized one of the underlying causes of deforestation in Indonesia comes from activities of timber plantations to fulfill the world’s demand for pulp and paper, and that is why we need a Global Paper Vision,” said Woro Supartinah of Jikalahari in Indonesia’s Riau province, the province experiencing the most deforestation in the last two decades. “Pulp and paper industry expansion has been associated with social conflict, forest-fires, lost livelihood of local and forest dependent people, loss of biodiversity, violations of law, corruption and modern slavery. With this Global Paper Vision we hope to join a worldwide movement to make a change in the way forest dependent people have been treated and in the way the forest has been managed.”

“By following the guidance of the Global Paper Vision, paper users can drive the market toward better paper products, which helps to reduce global warming pollution, save forests, conserve water and energy, and divert usable materials from incinerators and landfills,” said Darby Hoover of the Natural Resources Defense Council in the United States.

Collectively the signatories commit to developing collaboration and dialogue between NGOs, industry and other institutions; encouraging governments to develop legislative, fiscal and operational measures consistent with the vision; encouraging only responsible investment in the industry; articulating and implementing responsible procurement and purchasing guidance; monitoring the progress of all stakeholders towards the Vision; and campaigning to end socially and environmentally damaging activities by the pulp and paper industry.

The Environmental Paper Network will serve as a hub to facilitate collaboration and dialogue, identify and implement collective actions, host shared resources and monitor progress towards the Vision through publications such as the State of the Industry Report.

To read the complete Global Paper Vision and a list of signatories visit: www.environmentalpaper.org/Vision.

This information is available in Chinese here. (China is the biggest paper user and producer on earth).

The Environmental Paper Network is an international collaborative project of more than 120 organizations working for social and environmental transformation in the production and consumption of pulp and paper. Regional network leadership is provided by committees in Europe (environmentalpaper.eu), North America (environmentalpaper.org) and China (environmentalpaper.cn).

 

Keeping an Eye on the Taiga

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Russia has more forest than any other country on earth, so it is important that there is vigilance to ensure that unsustainable pulp and paper developments do not put the taiga at risk. We are therefore delighted to welcome another Russian NGO into our network: Aetas, which campaigns for forest protection in Archangelsk in Northern Russia.

At the end of last year, one of the most controversial pulp and paper mills in the world finally closed. The mill at Baikalsk had for decades been pouring chlorine-based contaminents into Lake Baikal, the world’s biggest body of freshwater, and a unique and precious ecosystem, as well as sourcing timber from high conservation value Siberian forests. Baikal Environmental Wave, the Irkutsk-based NGO, can take considerable credit for campaigning for closure of the mill for many years.

Unfortunately as one misguided pulp mill closes, another Siberian mill is causing grave concerns. A pulp mill planned in Lesosibirsk by Angara Paper, in partnership with Japanese company Marubeni, has been highlighted as a major risk to Siberian forests. At the EEPN’s meeting in January on pulp mill finance, participants agreed that potential investors must carry out due diligence to ensure that the Angara Mill has sustainable, legal and conflict-free supplies of timber, before providing financial support to the project. Last year, Södra, which had been involved in the project, pulled out.

EEPN’s 2013 Annual Report now online

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The European Environmental Paper Network had a positive year in 2013, and you can now read about the highlights in our short annual report.

It includes a summary of our main activities and projects and disclosure of our finances, which are still very much at the shoe-string end of the spectrum. Thanks to our funders, and to our member organisations, and particularly our steering group members, without whom the vital work of co-ordinating our response to the global paper industry would not happen.

We hope you enjoy finding out what we have been up to. The document is here. Please do not print it.

Happy New Year and Welcome to denkhausbremen

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denkhauslogoclaim3
We would like to give a warm welcome to a new German NGO, denkhausbremen, which has joined our network. We’re very fortunate to have one of its founders, Peter Gerhardt, on our steering group. Peter was formerly with Robin Wood, and has years of experience as a valiant warrior in defence of forests and forest peoples. We wish the new organisation, and all our other member organisations, all the best for 2014.

2012 Annual Report

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The European Environmental Paper Network had a good year in 2012, and better is to come, as the 2012 Annual Report makes clear.

It summarises our priority work co-ordinating campaigning to protect the Indonesian rainforests and their communities from the ravages of the paper industry. It also introduces our work to reduce paper consumption. It includes a fully transparent statement of our meagre finances and we hope you’ll agree that we are making a significant impact and achieving a lot with very limited resources.

Thanks must go to all our members, old and new, for the hard work you contribute to the network, and particularly to our steering group.

The EEPN 2012 Annual Report is here: EEPN 2012 annual report Please don’t print it!