Logging Giant AbitibiBowater involved in risky business - Greenpeace reacts to release of AbitibiBowater financial results



    MONTREAL, Feb. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Quarterly and year end results released
by logging giant AbitibiBowater today raise serious questions about the
direction of the company, says Greenpeace. By not curbing its destructive
logging practices in Canada's Boreal Forest AbitibiBowater is taking serious
risks on the both the financial and environmental front.
    According to Greenpeace, a number of large customers of AbitibiBowater
are concerned about the company's delay in putting into place solutions.
"Customer confidence is dropping because AbitibiBowater continues to log in
the last remaining intact areas of the Boreal Forest," said Richard Brooks,
forest campaign coordinator with Greenpeace. "Customers do not want to be
associated with the conflict of a company trashing one of the planet's most
important forests."
    AbitibiBowater clients in the paper and lumber sector are beginning to
reduce or suspend their purchases. For several months, Greenpeace has been in
discussions with AbitibiBowater customers, informing them about to company's
impact on threatened species such as woodland caribou and as well as the
intact forest areas in Ontario and Quebec that they depend on. In addition,
the company's ongoing conflict with First Nations communities and its lack of
Forest Stewardship Council certification for its products and forestry
operations have been highlighted to a growing list of their international
customers.
    "How can the company expect to achieve financial stability if it is
losing customers and breaking the law?" Brooks questioned. "There is a triple
bottom line that AbitibiBowater needs to find."
    On February 22, 2008 the government of Québec published a list of the top
offenders of the forestry laws in the province. AbitibiBowater topped this
list. AbitibiBowater was found in violation 77 times and forced to pay over
$190 000 in fines.
    According to satellite imagery more than 73% of the forestlands under
management of AbitibiBowater in Ontario and Quebec have been degraded or
fragmented. Greenpeace is demanding the company suspend logging in the
remaining intact forest areas and work collaboratively to create an expanded
system of protected areas.
    The Boreal Forest is the largest ancient forest left in North America and
as the largest terrestrial storehouse of carbon on the planet is critical to
fighting global climate change. Less than 9% of the forest is protected from
industrial development.




For further information:

For further information: Jocelyn Desjardins, Greenpeace Communications,
(514) 212-5749; Richard Brooks, Greenpeace Forest Campaign Coordinator, (416)
573-7209

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