October 31, 2001 – Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) and other Global Forest Coalition members announced three nominations for a special TREETANIC AWARD this afternoon. The TREETANIC AWARD is handed over during the climate negotiations to the company implementing the worst carbon sink project.

FoEI and other groups are highly concerned that the decisions on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry that were taken at the resumed 6 th Conference of the Parties of the Climate Convention last July will lead to the development of large-scale monoculture tree plantations. These plantations are highly detrimental from a biodiversity perspective and they often lead to the displacement of Indigenous Peoples and other social conflicts. They also distract attention from the long-term solution to climate change, a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The three nominees for the TREETANIC award are:

  1. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Australian North Forest Products company – for their plantation investments in the Australian State of Tasmania. North Forest Products has a long history of replacing Australia’s native forest and rainforest with softwood and hardwood plantations. TEPCO’s A$ 10 million investment in North Forest Products will expand the current Tasmanian Tamar Tree Farm program by 3000 hectares of monoculture eucalypt plantation.
  2. French company Peugeot and the French Forestry Department – for their “Marathon Vert” reforestation project in the Brazilian State of Matto Grosso. On the basis of technical advice by the French Forestry Department, the area – which is based in the middle of the rainforest, was first treated with the dangerous pesticide ROUNDUP. This led to the death of many turtles and other forest animals. The project is a typical example of a greenwash initiative by a major polluting company that could have contributed much more to mitigating climate change if it had brought advanced technology instead of trees to the developing countries.
  3. llte, the State-owned Irish Forestry Company – for its plans to afforest peatland, a highly precious ecosystem from a biodiversity perspective. Peatland afforestation is known to lead to carbon emissions because the drainage of peatland exposes soil carbon to oxidation. However the Irish government has stated that it is not concerned about these effects, as they would only affect their carbon balance if the clearance takes place between 2008 – 2012.

The TREETANIC AWARD will be handed out Thursday 1 November 2001, at 11:00 am at the CAN Press Conference Room at the Palais des Congres in Marrakech, Morocco.

Simone Lovera (Forest Campaign Co-ordinator FoEI) and Alex Phillips (Press Support), +44 771 284 3450
Jutta Kill, FERN, +49-160-4617617