Talks between Greenpeace and AbitibiBowater break off
TORONTO, Sept. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Formal discussions between Greenpeace and
Canada's largest logging company AbitibiBowater ended today following a
meeting in a Toronto hotel between Greenpeace representatives and company CEO
David J. Paterson. AbitibiBowater expressed an unwillingness to curb
destructive logging in sensitive areas of the Boreal Forest.
"We are saddened that AbitibiBowater has chosen to blame Greenpeace for
the breakdown in talks when, in reality, the jointly approved mediator
adjourned our dialogue because of lack of agreement," said Richard Brooks,
Greenpeace's Forest Coordinator. "The talks may have been more fruitful had
AbitibiBowater focused more on seeking solutions to Boreal Forest destruction
and less on appointing blame and making excuses for their performance and lack
With the support of major customers of AbitibiBowater, Greenpeace
initiated a dialogue with Abitibi-Consolidated and subsequently AbitibiBowater
over 10 months ago. The goal of these discussions was to find reasonable and
fair measures to protect those areas of the Boreal Forest under AbitibiBowater
management. These measures were to include a suspension of logging in
ecologically sensitive intact forest areas while maintaining suitable and
adequate wood supply to AbitibiBowater mills. An independent moderator was
appointed to facilitate the discussions.
"It is now clear that AbitibiBowater came seeking solutions to their
public relations problem, rather than seeking solutions to ongoing destruction
of the Boreal Forest," said Bruce Cox, Executive Director of Greenpeace.
"While Greenpeace prefers a dialogue with industry, we are always aware of the
risk of companies intentionally dragging their feet in negotiations while they
carry on business as usual."
During the several months of discussions, AbitibiBowater did not curtail
logging operations in intact forests. Currently logging is planned in major
intact forest areas in Ontario and Quebec. Less than 35 per cent of
AbitibiBowater's forestlands remain intact. Intact forests are key habitats
for endangered species such as woodland caribou and help mitigate the impacts
of climate change by storing more carbon than fragmented forests.
"AbitibiBowater's actions speak louder than words," added Cox.
"Unfortunately for them, a lack of action will equate to further losses of
major contracts with paper and wood purchasers."
Greenpeace continues to communicate concerns over AbitibiBowater's
logging of intact forests and habitat of threatened woodland caribou to major
European and North American customers.
For further information:
For further information: Richard Brooks, Forest Campaign Coordinator,
(416) 573-7209; Melissa Filion, Forest Campaigner, (514) 581-8216