If a damning report on global deforestation is not published, does it make a noise? The
answer, thankfully, is yes.
The wood chips hit the fan when a sanitized version of a 1997 report sponsored by the
European Commission and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) was published in June, after
being suppressed. According to the report's co-author, Nigel Sizer of the World Resources
Institute, the EC worried about being sued by the transnationals singled out by name for
devastating "mining" of huge tracts of forest in Africa, the Caribbean, and the
Asian Pacific. The WWF was reportedly concerned that its offices would be closed down in
the 11 nations in which the report's authors advocate logging moratoriums.
The original report noted a shift in global logging investment from American, European,
and Japanese firms to Asian firms based in Malaysia and Indonesia, which it charged with
bribing local officials. In the edited version, all names of offending companies have been
The original version of "Increased Investment and Trade by Transnational Logging
Companies in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific" is available at www.rainforestfoundationuk.org/.
by Marilyn Berlin Snell
Roads to Nowhere
U.S. taxpayers shell out over $1 billion a year for the pleasure of seeing their
national forests plundered. Much of that expense has financed the construction of 446,000
miles of erosion-causing, fish-killing logging roads.
How much road is that?
Enough to circle the earth 17 times.
Nearly 10 times as much as in the entire federal interstate highway system.
A 51-year hike, if you walked 8 hours a day every day.