Greenpeace Paradise Forests Campaign

The protest vessel Rainbow Warrior 2 is currently in Papua New Guinea as part of Greenpeace's Paradise Forests Campaign. The group's "forest crime patrol" hopes to raise awareness of the continuing destruction of ancient "paradise rainforests" from Solomon Islands to Indonesia. As they go, the activists teach sustainable forestry practices whereby stakeholders selectively harvest and process their trees on a small scale, as opposed to the hit and run depredations of those only interested in exporting round logs from clearcuts. In PNG's Western Province, Greenpeace has set up a Global Forest Rescue Station to help landowners map and mark their lands to allow for effective management and law enforcement.

In the Solomons, Asian logging companies have bribed officials and used other underhanded methods to gain access to the country's pristine rainforests, often over the objections of local communities. The same companies routinely try to avoid taxation and royalty payments by under-reporting and transfer pricing (selling assets at below market value to a subsidiary). Commercial logging only begin in the Solomon Islands in 1961, but already half the accessible lowland rainforests have been logged. Only about a tenth of this area has been replanted, and then in one or two exotic species. Clearcut logging leads to massive erosion and soil degradation, while eliminating biodiversity and causing climate change. Unfortunately, governments and international agencies usually favor high-impact logging methods, which is why the work of NGOs like Greenpeace is so important.

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