Thursday, 31 March 2011

Bad Logging Practices for Nova Scotia?

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

N.S. pulp mill sold to Paper Excellence; Greenpeace criticizes deal

By: The Canadian Press
Posted: 03/30/2011 3:49 PM
PICTOU, N.S. - A Nova Scotia pulp mill has been sold to Paper Excellence in a deal greeted by union members but criticized by environmentalists.
The Vancouver office of the company announced the agreement to buy Northern Pulp and Northern Timber of Abercrombie, N.S., in a news release posted today.
No figures were disclosed in the release.
The news release says the deal is "good news" for the 230 employees of the mill, and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union issued a news release saying it provides job stability.
However, Greenpeace also issued a news release saying it is unhappy about the acquisition due to the firm's forestry practices.
Paper Excellence operates three mills in Canada: Meadow Lake in Saskatchewan and Howe Sound and Mackenzie in British Columbia, and is in the process of acquiring the long closed Prince Albert mill in Saskatchewan.
Greenpeace Canada
March 30, 2011-03-30
Greenpeace is concerned about the negative impact on the forests of Nova Scotia and the security of jobs that will result from the sale of Northern Pulp’s Pictou mill to a subsidiary of Asia Pulp Paper (APP).
APP’s subsidiary Paper Excellence has been on a buying spree, scooping up prime Canadian pulp assets in British Columbia andSaskatchewan and shipping jobs offshore. The majority of the pulp produced by the company’s other mills is shipped to China for processing into paper products.
Statement by Greenpeace forest coordinator Richard Brooks:
“It is a great concern that Canadian mills are being bought up by Asia Pacific Paper, one of the most destructive logging and pulp and paper companies operating anywhere on the planet.  APP is the primary contributor to making Indonesia the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet. We urge the Nova Scotia and federal governments to investigate APP which has been involved in illegal logging and deforestation in Indonesia for decades and continues to be involved in conflicts with local communities there. APP is also a debt-ridden company. Do we want that kind of company as a major player in Canada’s forest products sector?”

The destruction of rainforest and carbon-rich peatlands is the key reason for why Indonesia accounts for around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation. The palm oil and pulp and paper industry are the two major drivers of these escalating emissions. The endangered orang-utan and Sumatran tiger are just two of the species under threat of extinction due to habitat loss caused by Asia Pulp and Paper.
Asia Pulp and Paper, the ‘family treasure’ of the Sinar Mas Group and the notorious Widjaja family, defaulted on more than $14 billion of debt during the Asian financial crisis in the 1990s. It was saved by suspicious government financed ‘restructuring’.  At the end of 2009, APP’s Indonesian mills still owed $4.2 billion of restructured debt.
Virtually all of the pulp output from APP’s newly purchased Canadian mills has been redirected away from North American paper manufacturers and associated jobs to the company’s own mills in China.
Major forest products companies Office Depot, Staples, Xerox, Ricoh, and Target have all cancelled contracts with APP over risks to their brands of using APP products and over APP’s links to deforestation. APP is subject to a global campaign by Greenpeace and other 
environmental organizations.

Sierra Club BC


Environmental Organizations to CANFOR: Do Not Sell Howe Sound Pulp and Paper to Global Logging Villain SINAR MAS

Vancouver Aug 11, 2010
ForestEthics, Greenpeace, Sierra Club B.C. and Canopy are alarmed by Canfor Forest Products’ decision to sell its Howe Sound Pulp and Paper operation to Paper Excellence BV, the Netherlands-based unit of Indonesia’s Sinar Mas Group. In a letter to Canfor, the environmental organizations are urging the company to not sell Howe Sound Pulp and Paper to Paper Excellence, but instead explore alternative ownership scenarios.
Sinar Mas, in particular its pulp and paper arm Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), is known globally for massive environmental destruction for palm oil and pulp and paper, including logging intact rainforests and peatland, wiping out Orangutan habitat, human rights violations and financial scandals in Indonesia. Internationally, environmental and human rights organizations have condemned Sinar Mas operations. In July 2010 a group of 40 non-governmental organizations released an open letter to the marketplace alerting any company doing business with APP that this would pose a serious risk to their respective brands. Greenpeace International has a major marketplace boycott campaign against Sinar Mas/APP.
“Sinar Mas represents everything we are working against in B.C. and other parts of the world: rainforest destruction, use of violence against Aboriginal people and unbridled corporate greed,” said Jens Wieting, forest campaigner with Sierra Club BC.
“We have a global responsibility and should not be inviting companies who apply ‘worst practices’ in other parts of the world intoCanada,” said Will Craven, Media Officer at ForestEthics.
“Sinar Mas or any of its paper tiger companies setting up shop in BC is a problem. They need to clean up their act abroad by stopping the destruction of natural Indonesian rainforests for pulp and paper and palm oil. We cannot risk Sinar Mas bringing what they consider business-as-usual practices to British Columbia,” said Stephanie Goodwin, Greenpeace B.C. Director.
Howe Sound Pulp and Paper’s joint owners, Canada's Canfor Forest Products and Oji Paper Co Ltd. of Japan, agreed in July to sell the operation to Paper Excellence / Sinar Mas for an undisclosed price. Finalising the deal could take until October. Howe Sound Pulp and Paper is the Dutch company’s second purchase in BC this year, in what an industry publication has described as a “buying spree.”

Based in the Netherlands, Paper Excellence BV also owns Meadow Lake Mechanical Pulp (BCTMP) in Saskatchewan and two mills in B.C., Mackenzie Pulp Mill (kraft pulp) and Howe Sound Pulp & Paper (kraft, TMP and newsprint). Paper Excellence is the Netherlands-based arm of Sinar Mas' Asia Pulp & Paper (APP)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Bad forestry meets problematic energy policy in N.S. |

"Add this up if you can. After decades of public outrage and expert testimony about too much clearcutting in Nova Scotia and a three-year process to create a natural resources policy meant to bring about sustainable forestry, the NDP government appears to be sending the whole thing up in smoke at the last minute". Read on ..............

Bad forestry meets problematic energy policy in N.S. |

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Forests of the Crown

Whole-tree harvesting operation, Caribou Mines, NS.
Five Hundred Thousand People, yes 500,000, petitioned the British Government in the UK to stop a sell-off of State owned forest. Amidst the huge outcry the government backed down. Out of those 500,000 voices I imagine very few were voices of foresters. But, hey, since when was there a God given right that those who grow and cut down trees for profit can ride rough-shod over the rest of us - those of us who grow trees for their life giving properties and their natural beauty. Is it time to stand up and say enough is enough? And if the Crown owns the forests should not they be looked after and protected in the best interests of the people? The Crowns subjects. Check out the blog thread at the green interview.

The Forests of the Crown

All is not Well in the Acadian Forest by Mark Brennan

Spring Breakup, The Acadian Forest from Mark Brennan on Vimeo.
Spring is a special time of year, a time of renewal and if we pay attention to its arrival by just watching and listening we can feel connected to the Earth, we slow down, we truly live.

In this short film March temperatures have warmed slightly and once frozen rivers begin to break up in the Acadian Forests of Nova Scotia.

There is trouble in the forests though, industrial forestry is changing eco-systems into tree plantations through clear cutting and herbicide spraying of the once great forests of Eastern Canada.

When an Acadian Hardwood Forest is clear cut, sprayed and replanted with a nursery grown hybrid, non-native tree species it is no longer a forest but a crop, a plantation, void of the biodiversity it once held.

Pulp companies are in the business of growing pulp this way, it looks like they are doing a great job growing trees, their pulp supply might be sustainable, but the Acadian Forest and the native species that dwell within it pays the price.
Mark Brennan

Coppice Agroforestry: Perennial Silviculture for the 21st Century

Mark Krawczyk and Dave Jacke

We humans must develop land management systems that provide diverse products to meet our needs while regenerating healthy ecosystems. Coppice agroforestry systems can do exactly this.
Many woody plants resprout from the stump or root suckers when cut to the ground--we call the regrowth "coppice", and the management system "coppicing". Many ancient cultures understood this plant behavior and managed coppice to produce their fuel, craft and building materials, livestock fodder, fencing, and much more. In North America, coppicing was a casualty of European emigration from a culture of resource conservation (by necessity) to one of widespread overexploitation and industrialization. We now must re-engage with these practices and develop them to a high art for our times and for our future.
Mark Krawczyk ( and and Dave Jacke ( have therefore decided to write "Coppice Agroforestry: Perennial Silviculture for the 21st Century." Coppice Agroforestry will serve as a detailed manual for foresters, farmers, craftspeople, and land managers describing the history, ecology, economics, design, and management of agroforestry systems based on the repeated harvest of small diameter wood products from resprouting tree stumps. Bridging ancient coppice traditions and cutting-edge agroecosystem design, Coppice Agroforestry will articulate a practical vision of forest management that integrates ecosystem health, economic viability, multi-generational tree crops, and diverse non-timber forest products.

Nova Scotia Biomass Energy Information - Quick Reference

A recent email from Jamie Simpsom at the Ecology Action Centre:

Please find attached 10 points on forest biomass energy in Nova Scotia. The Ecology Action Centre is extremely concerned about forest biomass development in NS. We believe the government has dropped the ball on the potential for sensible biomass use in NS, and instead is supporting and enabling wasteful and forest-damaging biomass development.  The government has also ignored its own advice that biomass development should be tempered by the direction provided by the Natural Resources Strategy. Shameful.

The NDP are falling in the polls, I wonder if their record on the biomass situation plays some role in this?

Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions regarding the attached. And please feel free to circulate among your friends, family and contacts.
Best regards,

Jamie Simpson <>

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Full Moon West Chezzetcook Nova Scotia March 2011

                                                               Picture by Lynda Mallett

When the moon passes as close to Earth as it will on March 19 – within 90 per cent of its closest possible distance to the planet, or 221,567 miles away, it's the closest the moon has been to Earth in 19 years.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Enviromental Issues and Cultural Heritage in Canada

To consider whether Canada's heritage is being effectively managed in relation to other environmental management issues, it is important to start by looking at how ‘heritage’ is defined. A good place to start is by examining definitions used in Canadian politics, legislation and practice. What do we know and understand about broader community perspectives, and what are the emerging directions? Effective environmental management needs to be open and responsive to changing understandings of heritage. Especially if it is to effectively recognise and conserve heritage values. Even after many lengthy consultation processes, the will to bring about improvement appears to be lost in time delaying rhetoric.

Take a look at this video posted on youtube by Toronto Band  GaiaisiMusic. It is powerful and disturbing and clearly shows frustration and anger towards the issues of the environment and cultral heritage values.

Caution: this video contains language and images that may be found disturbing.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Clear Cutting The Nova Scotia Forest

Every picture tells a story. How long do we have to wait for the forestry natural resources strategy document that by law should have been available at the end of 2010?

Friday, 4 March 2011

Where is Nova Scotia's Natural Resources Strategy?

It was started in 2007 and promised at the end of 2010. As we are approaching International Forest Day on March 21st it would be nice if the Strategy was published to coincide with this event.

Natural Resources Strategy 2010

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Discover the cultural heritage of Nova Scotia forests!

The United Nations want the special responsibility that humans bear for forests to become the focus of the world's attention. To this end, they declared the year 2011 as the "International Year of Forests".
In this day and age, forests fulfil a number of functions: They provide a habitat for many plants and animals. They supply wood, a renewable and environmentally friendly raw material. What is more, the forestry and timber industry is a major employer. At the same time, forests provide us with space for recreation and sports activities, covering much of Nova Scotia.

Launch on 21 March 2011
The official beginning of the International Year is on 21 March 2011, the World Forest Day. What events are happening of our own at local and regional level that are intended to give us food for thought: "What if there were no forest?" Why not hold a photo competition to encourage people to deal with the forest in a creative manner and to capture it with an unusual picture. Why not launch a Nova Scotia programme for "Forest cultural heritage"
The programme for the "Cultural heritage of our forests" could be at the heart of the International Year of Forests in Nova Scotia. We could also have concerts and walks in the forest which will allow people to discover the forest and the forest culture across Nova Scotia.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

“Our Heritage Future, A Shared Responsibility”


A Response to the Voluntary Planning Heritage Strategy Task Force: 

Download your copy of The Association of Nova Scotia Museums response here

A Treasured Past, A Precious Future: A Heritage Strategy for Nova Scotia

This document is sets out a Government of Nova Scotia strategy that recognizes the importance of heritage to who we are and all that we can become. "The strategy articulates and details three directions, or areas of focus, the government will undertake over the next five years. In focusing efforts, it will ensure our heritage is preserved, protected, promoted, and presented for present and future generations".

Download your copy here