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Timber Industry Warns of 'Eco-Dictatorship' ^ | November 27, 2001 | Marc Morano

Posted on 11/27/2001 4:48:49 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen

Belem, Brazil ( - Timber industry representatives say international environmental groups are trying to establish a worldwide "eco-dictatorship," by creating environmental myths and controlling the forestry industry.

Nilder Costa, a mechanical engineer with the timber company EIR Industries, warned participants at the Plywood and Tropical Timber International Congress in Belem over the weekend that environmental groups want to dominate the industry by way of the Forest Certification Council (FSC), a private group headquartered in Mexico that is trying to establish new restrictions on logging.

Costa called the green agenda "colonialism with a new face" under an "eco-dictatorship," and he detailed how international environmental groups lobby to restrict the timber industry and hurt local populations in the process.

"Millions of dollars are being spent researching a monkey no one has ever heard of while people starve," Costa said.

His comments paralleled those of many attending the conference, some of whom, expressed anger at what they called the distortion of their industry by the green movement.

Worries Over the FSC

The FSC was started by the environmental group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and seeks to become the international standard in forest certification.

A private organization headquartered in Oaxaca, Mexico, the FSC hopes to dictate every aspect of timber harvesting in a manner it considers to be environmentally friendly, as well as socially and economically responsible.

Walter Suiter, executive secretary of FSC Brazil, said the FSC is the only certification system that takes into account "social, economical and environmental issues" and regards them "on the same level."

Estevao do Prado Braga, who works with the FSC's accrediting arm Imaflora, said other lumber certification groups not backed by environmentalists have been "created by members of industry or government" and are therefore not independent.

Most timber representatives say they have no problems with FSC if it remains a voluntary system.

But there is growing pressure to make FSC standards a requirement, and Joao Carlos Malinski, director of Serraria Marajoara, a Brazilian wood exporter, is worried the FSC program could become a means of bankrolling radical environmentalism.

Malinski claims a mandated FSC system of logging would put environmentalists in charge of the timber industry, and he said the costs of winning FSC certification amount to "the way they will get more money to fund their activities."

Manoel Sobral of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), said environmentalists, "together with the media, mislead the public," and he said one of the larger challenges facing the industry today is the need for "an awareness campaign," to explain the benefits of an active timber industry.

"Nowadays, people in urban areas associate the chainsaw with a crime," Sobral said.

Case Study: The Battle Over Mahogany

Representatives of the industry focused on allegations of "illegal" logging of mahogany in the Amazon, which were primarily advanced by the radical environmental group Greenpeace.

Pressure from Greenpeace prompted the Brazilian government to take the unusual step of banning the entire Brazilian trade of the lumber last month, and the environmental group Friends of the Earth (FOE) has been waging a "Mahogany is Murder" campaign worldwide to restrict the trade of the wood.

But Greenpeace critics argue the accusation is bogus. "You have to be very careful to stamp things as illegal," said Duncan Macqueen, research associate of the International Institute for Environment and Development.

Brazilian mahogany was listed as an endangered tree in 1998 under the terms of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), an international agreement between governments to regulate trade of endangered species.

But even that designation is disputed, Macqueen said. "It was very bad science involved in banning [mahogany]. It should never have been put on the list."

CITES provisions do allow restricted mahogany logging, and Macqueen said Greenpeace's allegations of illegal logging are based on paperwork errors, not material violations of the CITES accord.

Macqueen also quoted numerous scientific studies showing an abundance of mahogany in Brazil, and claimed the only reason the wood is listed as endangered is because of "enormous pressure from environmental groups."

Even the Brazilian government agency responsible for the recent mahogany ban admits the trees don't seem endangered.

Selma Bara Melgaco, regional director of the Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovaveis (IBAMA), Brazil's environmental protection agency, said "although some have alleged that mahogany is in danger of extinction, many studies from scientists point in the other direction."

Until the recent ban on mahogany, Brazil supplied about 95 percent of all U.S. mahogany imports according to Traffic, the trade-monitoring arm of the WWF. If the ban continues, U.S. retail prices for mahogany products are expected to rise sharply.

Joao Carlos Malinski, director of Serraria Marajoara, a Brazilian wood exporter, accused Greenpeace of promoting "a distorted perception of the environment and they are trying to force policies that are in total disagreement with reality."

Greenpeace as 'Green-Police'

IBAMA faced sharp criticism for letting Greenpeace members accompany Brazilian police on armed raids of logging camps after the group claimed that 80 percent mahogany logging in Brazil was illegal.

"It is preposterous. Greenpeace is the one that spread all of this misinformation. They don't have the knowledge, they just want to stop tropical forestry," stated Malinski.

But Melgaco defended Greenpeace's presence on the government raids with IBAMA.

"We had no alternative. Greenpeace had the means, which the government did not have, airplanes and boats. That was welcomed because the government did not have the equipment or the knowledge," she explained.

Given the Brazilian government's willingness to cooperate with Greenpeace, Sobral questioned the growing role of the group in the Amazon, saying, "I don't think Greenpeace has the right to decide what is legal and what is illegal."

Malinski believes that if environmentalists "win the mahogany battle," they will target other types of wood because "their final goal is to keep the Amazon untouchable."

Myths Advanced in Hitleresque Style

Frustration about how to combat the environmental groups was evident throughout the conference.

"Hysteria can worsen problems and hide the true search for solutions," explained Alfredo Homma of ENBRAPA, a Brazilian agricultural research institute.

"It is always on the same subject -- Amazon is being destroyed," said Homma. "You listen so many times that people end up believing that it is true. [Joseph] Goebbels, the minister of propaganda under Hitler said 'repeat a lie 100 times and it will become truth.'"

Homma said claims that the Amazon is disappearing despite scientific evidence to the contrary, amount to "fanaticism." He also drew a parallel to how "Galileo had to state that the sun was going around the earth. The same thing happens here."

Sobral agreed. "People get their salaries out of bad news. They have to raise funds. If everything is nice in the Amazon, contributors won't give a penny," he stated.

See Related Story:

Environmental Left Targets Amazon Timber Industry

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: enviralists; green; michaeldobbs; unlist
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1 posted on 11/27/2001 4:48:49 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Stand Watch Listen
About time someone called a spade a spade. We're dealing with eco-facism, and it needs to go into the same ashheap of history where Osama is headed.
2 posted on 11/27/2001 7:18:18 AM PST by hchutch
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Stand Watch Listen; boston_liberty
Thanks for the post and the ping!

Earlier this year I was driving home at night from a fishing trip. Somehow, my AM radio station found a Montana radio station while driving in No. Ca.. The host was interviewing an author, who I didn't catch the name.

The author's thesis was that the really big American and Foriegn money that funded the envirals came from super rich individuals with family connections to basic industries. Those basic industries were lumber/paper, energy, aluminum and other basic commodities that society needs daily to function.

The author said that once the envirals here and around the world succeeded in controlling the forests, the coal and aluminum mine sites and other core holdings. There would be no competition left to these mega companies.

When there was no competition, these mega corporations and their envirals would announce that there would be a joint venture between these corporations and the envirals. We would have lumber, energy, aluminum and other basic commoidites available while protecting the environment.

These mega corporations would then be able to charge whatever they wanted and run their organizations without any competition. The head envirals would be super rich in the paybacks.

It was a very scary 30 minutes, and I wish that I could have gotten his name and the name of his book! I do remember that some of the super rich families were Alcoa, Ford, J&J and P&G. These families donate vast sums to the various envirals here and around the world!

Mahogany prices are going out of sight. At our church I run a little Treasures auctions for the members to raise funds. Members donate treasures and we have silent auctions on these treasures. Two pieces of mahogany furniture have brought incredible bids in this past year. A third piece will be auctioned in December. Even before the auction, three couples are having their own unofficial bidding.

So SWL's post here sheds a lot of light on the price of Mahagony!

4 posted on 11/27/2001 8:58:28 AM PST by Grampa Dave
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To: *landgrab; *Green; *Enviralists;UN_list
5 posted on 01/08/2002 9:16:02 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
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