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Jul 20, 2010

Australia Must Close the Door to Illegal Timber

by PhilLee — last modified Jul 20, 2010 10:32 AM

Today, Indonesian environmental and social justice groups will ask Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to close the door to illegal timber and forest products. A letter carrying the message will be delivered to the Prime Minister through the Australian Embassy in Jakarta by Friends of the Earth Indonesia.

The Australian Government made an election promise in 2007 to ban illegal timber. Last Saturday, PM Gillard set the date for the next election for August 21st. The Government has just one month left to uphold its commitment on illegal timber.


Australia has continued to expect timber supplying countries, especially Indonesia to stem out illegal logging.


"Of course, Indonesia needs to tackle the serious and chronic problem of illegal logging because it is in our national interest to do so. However, Australia is a timber importing country and an influential power in the Asia-Pacific region. It has to walk the talk on good governance by banning the trade in timber stolen from other country’s forests." says Mohammad Teguh Surya, Head of Campaigns for WALHI. 


"For the last few decades, WALHI and other civil society groups in Indonesia have been campaigning hard to fight illegal logging to protect what is left of the once dense and mighty Indonesian tropical rainforests. Teguh explains, "we are fighting a losing uphill battle. Illegal logging operations are organised criminal activities. They operate above the law, bribing law enforcers, using force to intimidate forest communities and those who stand in their ways to cut down the trees, leaving a trail of destruction behind."


Illegal logging is highly profitable. Those who benefit from it will be open for

business as long as there are buyers. A recent UK-based Chatham House research showed that tough actions taken by the US and EU has resulted in a drop in demand for illegal timber. However other timber importing countries including Australia must act aggressively in order to maintain the momentum created to eliminate this trade.


GMO-Free Europe Conference 2010

by PhilLee — last modified Jul 20, 2010 02:13 PM

Come and take part in the 6th European Conference of GMO-Free Regions, Brussels and Ghent, September 16-18, 2010. Co-organised by Friends of the Earth Europe.

GMO-Free Europe Conference 20102010 will be a decisive year for the future of GMOs in Europe. New approvals for the cultivation of GMOs and new legislative proposals by the European Commission are pending. With his approval of the first GMO for cultivation since 1998  the new Commissioner in charge sent out a clear message about his intentions.GMO-Free Europe 2010 will send back an equally clear message and prepare for further action.


The GMO-Free movement has continuously expanded, increased and diversified all across Europe and well beyond. On September 16 at our session in the European Parliament we will present our demands to the public and to institutions in Brussels. For two days we will then retreat to Ghent for exchanging experience, information, ideas and strategies, for discussing the challenges ahead and for preparing joint activities.


We invite representatives from formal and informal GMO-free regions, GMO-free initiatives and activists on related issues from all over Europe. Breeders and seed exchangers, farmers, bee-keepers, gmo-free traders, processors and retailers as well as consumers, critical scientists and environmental activists are welcome. 


  • An organizing committee has started to work and is open for your suggestions.

  • If you want to organise workshops, present ideas, share experiences please do contact us now.

  • If you can help with organisation (e.g. translation, web maintenance, outreach) please let us know.

  • The budget for the conference is not yet secured: We are urgently looking for co-sponsors and funders. We therefore cannot make any commitments to fund travel expenses at this moment - but will try our best

  • Participants fees will be 80 € for institutions and organisations and 50 € for small NGOs.


Get ready - Get going - lets do it again!
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