Chilean government's admissions fuel U.S. campaign
against Chilean wood products
New Report Reveals a Government Controlled by
December 13, 2002
Santiago, Chile - Chile's government lacks the
basic information, capacity and legal power to stop endangered forest destruction
in Chile, according to a new report by Miguel Fredes, the Director of Centro
Austral de Derecho Ambiental (CEADA). U.S. environmental organization ForestEthics
released the report today as part of an international campaign to stop
the destruction of Chile's endangered native forests. Based on government
data, over the next 10-15 years more than 2.5 million acres of Chile's
native forests will be destroyed. The campaign to protect these forests
has been front-page news in Chile because wood is the third largest sector
of the Chilean economy and the U.S. is the largest purchaser of Chilean
"The Chilean government is protecting corporate
profits instead of our forests," said Miguel Fredes, director of Centro
Austral de Derecho Ambiental (CEADA) in Santiago. "Our trading partners
in the U.S. should know the truth about the environmental tragedy that
is happening here."
Mr. Fredes's report is based upon admissions signed
by Carlos Weber, Executive Director of Corporacion Nacional Forestal (CONAF),
the only agency that is responsible for protecting Chile's native forests.
Among the admissions disclosed in the report are:
1. The Chilean Government does not have information
about where new tree farms are replacing native forests in the region containing
the largest remaining areas of Chile's unique "siempre verde"
(forever green) forests that include the world's second largest temperate
2. In that same region, for every 900,000 acres
of native forest, there is only 1 person who is "principally devoted"
to enforcement of native forest regulations.
3. For its enforcement activities, the Chilean
Government uses an outdated definition of "native forest" that
leaves many native forests outside the government's jurisdiction.
4. Chile's Government has not assessed the ecological
or social importance of the country's native forests.
"This report stigmatizes all wood from Chile
and signals grave trouble for the Chilean wood industry. Unlike the Chilean
government, American consumers will not participate in the destruction
of endangered forests," said Aaron Sanger, Director of the Wood Campaign
ForestEthics protects endangered forests and supports
the communities that rely on those forests by changing the way that paper
and wood are made and used in America.
For more information, Contact:
Aaron Jackson Sanger,
ForestEthics, (U.S.) 541.738.9238
Miguel Fredes, CEADA, 09-2959059 / 56-2-235-5802
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