Monday, 21 August 1989

Tropical Rainforest Campaign Autumn 1989

Tropical Rainforest Campaign Autumn 1989

An ongoing campaigning area for the group is the lobbying of the council to try to get them to impose a ban on the specification of tropical hardwood timber for construction work and furniture. Recently a resolution has been passed by the Heeley ward of the District Labour Party, calling for action on this front.

This has gone out to all officers of the council  and we are following this up with letters urging the implementation of the resolution  A growing number of councils are stating that they will not allow the use of hardwood and it is unfortunate that our own council appears to be dragging its heels on this issue.

Another angle of our campaign is the lobbying of local retailers of of tropical hardwood products. In this connection, a letter was recently sent to the Sainsbury's Homebase store. In their reply, they fully acknowledged the importance of maintaining the world's tropical rainforests and stated that they are
actively encouraging their timber suppliers to obtain reafforestation guarantees for their products.

However, FOE are still concerned that only 0.2% of tropical hardwoods are harvested on a sustainable basis, and are disappointed that Sainsbury's letter stops short of what we would like to see, which is a commitment to only stock timber that is demonstrably produced in this way.

At the beginning of July, five members of the local group attended the National TRF campaign workshop which was held in Birmingham. Among the many recent developments concerning the rainforests  it is encouraging to note that the stopping of the Power Sector loan to Brazil by the World Bank has opened up a debate as to how this large sum of money should be spent if not on destructive dam projects. FOE have suggested that it be used to tackle the problem of global warming, by promoting energy efficiency and conservation; developing renewable resources, and transferring technological resources and
expertise to the developing world so that they may be able to avoid the pollution effects which have accompanied our own progress towards industrialisation.

On the theme of industrialisation and ensuing environmental disaster, the Brazil Network are holding their national conference in Sheffield on 10 September, focusing on Amazonia. The meeting will be addressed by a number of Brazilian speakers and will include workshops on projects such as Grande Carajas, the rubber tappers movement, debt, tribal people and sustainable development. Pre-booking for the conference is essential as demand is expected to be high. Further information and application forms are obtainable from SCAU, 75 West Street.

As an event associated with the conference FOE are hosting a slide show and talk by Anna Culwick who has worked as a naturalist/photographer in the Tampopata Reserve in the Amazonian forests of Peru. Anna's talk will take place on Friday 29 September at 7.30 pm in the council room at the Montgomery Hall, Surrey Street.

lt will be illustrated with oven 200 original slides and also sound recondings of the regions fascinating wildlife. The evening is open to all so come along and bring your friends. We look forwand to meeting you. If you would like to help in the campaign to save these unique and precious areas of the world, come along to one of our meetings and find out how you can become involved. These will be held at 8 pm in C.V.S. House on the following Wednesdays: 25 Oct. 15 Nov. 13 Dec.

Angela Dignan.