Thursday, February 22, 2007

Celebrities and Environment Groups Join to Save Boreal

A coalition of celebrities and environmental groups is launching a campaign to transform Ontario's boreal forest into a model of sustainable forestry and a global warming solutions. David Suzuki, Robert Bateman, Farley Mowat, Yann Martel, Margaret Atwood and Sarah Harmer have joined with Greenpeace, Forest Ethics, Sierra Legal and NRDC to push Premier Dalton McGuinty into:

1. Creating certainty for industry and benefits for local communities by planning for conservation and development in the boreal forest, and deferring forestry and mining development until that plan is complete;

2. Protecting a significant amount of caribou habitat within boreal forest areas that were allocated to mills that have closed;

3. Committing to keep the billions of tonnes of carbon in the intact boreal forest;

4. Supporting the certification of Ontario's forest practices by the Forest Stewardship Council and instituting a policy to ensure the Ontario government purchase only certified wood products and paper; and

5. Helping to market Ontario's forest products in global markets as sustainably harvested.

The campaign was launched with a formal letter to the Premier and an op-ed co-authored by Bateman, Suzuki and Mowat, which ran in Thursday's Globe & Mail. The campaign is being pitched as a win-win-win solution that provides critical habitat to endangered species like the woodland caribou, makes Ontario a leader in sustainable forestry, and provides a global warming solution. The boreal is one of the largest untouched tracts of forest remaining on the globe, and its unique nature allows it to store 50% more carbon then the best managed industrial forests.

A complete list of the celebrities and environmental groups involved can be seen at the campaign's website -

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