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Canadian, European politicians say lumber boycott unlikely.

Canadian, European politicians say lumber boycott unlikely

Both the federal forestry minister and an influential European politician/ecologist play down the possibility of a boycott of Canadian forest products in Europe.

"I think it's premature to raise any fears about that," says Forestry Minister Frank Oberle Frank Oberle may refer to:
  • Frank Oberle, Sr., Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) in the Canadian House of Commons from 1972 until 1993 or his son:
  • Frank Oberle, Jr.

And Jup Weber Joseph 'Jup' Weber (born 15 June 1950 in Luxembourg City) is a Luxembourgian politician.

Weber was instrumental in the foundation of the original Greens in 1983, and joined the Green List Ecological Initiative when the party split in two in 1985.
, a Green Party member of parliament in Luxembourg and a co-ordinator of a European boycott of lumber from tropical forests, does not foresee a similar action aimed at Canada.

"I couldn't imagine who would do it," said Weber, who is also a member of Ecoropa, an organization of elected politician and influential editors of environmental publications which promoted the boycott of lumber from tropical forests.

His concerns in Canada are forestry practices in British Columbia British Columbia, province (2001 pop. 3,907,738), 366,255 sq mi (948,600 sq km), including 6,976 sq mi (18,068 sq km) of water surface, W Canada. Geography
 and preservation of the temperate rain forests Noun 1. temperate rain forest - a rain forest in a temperate area
rain forest, rainforest - a forest with heavy annual rainfall
 which stretch from California to Alaska.

"I would say it would be quite difficult to organize a boycott for B.C. products," Weber admitted.

European consumers would not be able to distinguish B.C. wood from European wood, for instance hemlock hemlock, any tree of the genus Tsuga, coniferous evergreens of the family Pinaceae (pine family) native to North America and Asia. The common hemlock of E North America is T.  from larch larch, any tree of the genus Larix, conifers of the family Pinaceae (pine family), which are unusual in that they are not evergreen. The various species are widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere.  or pine, he explained.

However, the boycott of lumber from tropical forests has been successful because it is easy to distinguish from European varieties.

Asked if he had any objections to forestry practices in Northern Ontario Northern Ontario is the part of the province of Ontario which lies north of Lake Huron (including Georgian Bay), the French River and Lake Nipissing.

Northern Ontario has a land area of 802,000 km² (310,000 mi²) and constitutes 87% of the land area of Ontario, although it
, Weber said he could not comment because he has never visited the region.


Oberle is concerned about the Canadian forestry industry's poor international image.

"I'm personally convinced that we don't deserve that image," he said, adding that he believes the negative impressions have been created by Canadian environment The Canadian environment consists of dozens of different ecoregions. Of the factors caused by human intervention that can affect this environment, activities that sustain the economy of Canada are notably influential.  groups.

One group has gone so far as to link Canadian and Brazilian forestry practices, but Oberle refutes that accusation.

"The comparison is preposterous," he says.

Any major thrust against forestry practices in Canada could be similar to those against the seal hunt and fur trapping trapping, most broadly, the use of mechanical or deceptive devices to capture, kill, or injure animals. It may be applied to the practice of using birdlime to capture birds, lobster pots to trap lobsters, and seines to catch fish. , Oberle warned.

"It would affect us all," the minister said, noting that the value of Canada's forestry exports is more than $20 billion.

"We're not taking anything like this lightly," he stated in a telephone interview from Ottawa.

The minister said it is ridiculous that some Europeans compare their own forestry practices with Canadian practices.

Europe has no old-growth forest, he explained, noting that in Sweden, for example, the old-growth forest was depleted de·plete  
tr.v. de·plet·ed, de·plet·ing, de·pletes
To decrease the fullness of; use up or empty out.

[Latin d
 300 years ago.

However, the minister admitted that the image of Canadian forestry has suffered in recent months from stories in the media of killer mud slides in British Columbia linked to clear-cutting and of concerns about large clear-cuts affecting the climate.

"Basically there is an element of truth in everything said, but there is a lot of misinformation mis·in·form  
tr.v. mis·in·formed, mis·in·form·ing, mis·in·forms
To provide with incorrect information.

 as well," Oberle said.

However, the minister said public opinion in Europe has not been negatively influenced.

"It's not a serious problem yet, but it could be."

Oberle said a strategy is being developed, in conjunction with several trade associations, to present a more accurate picture of Canada as a forestry nation.

The groups included the Council of Forest Industries and the minister's Forest Sector Advisory Council.

All Canadian trade commissioners stationed abroad have been asked to submit a situation report.

Oberle said impressions of Canada vary from country to country, but not one commissioner has reported anything serious.

Oberle said the government is also taking initiatives and measures to dispel the myths with facts.

For example, the forestry ministry is developing an updated base of data and facts compiled by professionals and scientists which will be suited to public consumption.

Up until a few months ago the government didn't have accurate figures showing the balance of trees being cut and planted in Canada.

As a result, when a senior official from the United Nations stated at a recent conference in Vancouver that Canada was cutting four trees for every one planted, the government was not in a position to respond until it gathered the facts.

The claim was totally wrong, Oberle said, noting that two trees are planted for every one cut. That does not include areas which regenerate re·gen·er·ate  
v. re·gen·er·at·ed, re·gen·er·at·ing, re·gen·er·ates
1. To reform spiritually or morally.

2. To form, construct, or create anew, especially in an improved state.
 naturally after forest fires This is a list of notorious forest fires: North America

Year Size Name Area Notes
1825 3,000,000 acres (12,000 km²) Miramichi Fire New Brunswick Killed 160 people.
 or are as which are affected by insects.


Weber said the boycott of tropical wood was not organized by European governments, but usually by Green Party members and other politicians acting independently.

"I do not believe in any government boycott," he said, adding that European government are not very supportive of ecological issues.

Weber said the boycott has had a big impact on consumers. He noted that people in Luxembourg would rather pay more for a European oak than for tropical wood.

Weber also described Ecoropa as a very powerful force.
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Title Annotation:News and Features
Author:Bickford, Paul
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Sep 1, 1990
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