A team of 40 Greenpeace activists today boarded the Norwegian flagged vessel MV "Star Harmonia", while it was entering the harbour of Livorno. The ship was said to be carrying several thousand tonnes of pulp from the companies Norske Skog and Canfor, both major buyers of Interfor wood extracted from British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest.
Four swimmers placed themselves in front of the ship to prevent it from docking while others opened a banner: DO NOT DESTROY THE ANCIENT FORESTS. Other activists chained themselves to the buoys.
Italy is the fourth largest pulp importer from British Columbia, with annual imports for 191 million dollars said Sergio Baffoni from Greenpeace Italy. These pulps are destined for Italian paper mills producing goods such as paper tissues and toilet paper. We are literally flushing these last temperate rainforest down the toilet.. Greenpeace urges the Italian industry to stop using pulpwhich causes the destruction of ancient forests._Ž—
Ninety five percent of Interfor's (International Forest Products) operations include large-scale clearcutting of the last ancient forests of Canada, such as the Great Bear Rainforest. Last May, Interfor, together with another logging company, West Fraser, walked away from landmark negotiations on protecting the Great Bear Rainforest, and broke the moratorium on logging in intact areas. (1)
The Great Bear Rainforest is home to many threatened species. A unique habitat for black tailed deer, grey wolves, grizzly bears and a rare snow-white variation of the black bear called the Kermode or "Spirit Bear". Thanks to licences sold decades ago for just a few dollars, a small number of loggingcompanies are destroying one of the most extensive areas of rainforest remaining in the world, and its ecosystem.
Greenpeace has revealed that about 93% of timber supplied by this region is obtained through industrial "clearcutting" because it is fast, cheap and requires less labour. In many fragile rainforests this figure is as high as 97%. This process destroys the entire ecosystem of immense areas - at times more than 100 hectares of land.