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 You are in: Bureaus/Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary > Policy Planning Staff > Secretary's Open Forum > Proceedings > 2003

Deforestation: Global Consequences and Challenges

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
Remarks to the Open Forum
Washington, DC
April 22, 2003

Opening Remarks and Introduction

Dr. Jane Goodall, Primatologist
Panel Moderator
John Turner, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific

Panel Participants
Bruce Cabarle, World Wildlife Fund
Stephen Cox, World Resources Institute
Tim Jessup, The Nature Conservancy
Ron Jarvis, Home Depot

SECRETARY POWELL:  Thank you so much. Thank you. Well, thank you so very much, Bill, for that warm introduction. I'm very pleased to join all of you here today, and I'm especially pleased to join my good friend Jane Goodall and the other distinguished members of the panel as you come here to reflect on the meaning of Earth Day and to focus on the issue of deforestation.

And this also is an opportunity in this room today to reaffirm President Bush's strong commitment to the conservation and wise stewardship of our environment. It is always a delight to meet with Jane. The last occasion was at the World Summit On Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I had the honor of representing President Bush and the American people. So I'm especially glad to welcome Jane here to the State Department today.

In between our meetings, Jane writes me on a regular basis. We've become pen pals--something of pen pals--and I'm sure she does that with a large number of people around the world. But, Jane, let me take this public opportunity to thank you for the wisdom that you impart in your frequent notes to me. They usually bring a smile during a difficult day, and for that I am grateful. I also have learned from you, Jane, and I thank you for your ideas and your friendship, especially on issues relating to the environment.

In today's globalizing world, it has never been more true that the well being of the American people depends on the well being of all others on the globe. And whether we live in countries large or small, developed or developing, all of our futures fundamentally depend upon the well being of our shared habitat, this wonderful planet that has been entrusted to our care by a generous God.

When you, our leading environmental experts and advocates, look at our world, you see the endlessly intricate interrelationships that comprise our global ecosystem. When I look at the world as Secretary of State, I see complex interdependencies as well. Experience has shown us time and again that environmental issues have farreaching implications in other spheres of diplomacy, because environmental issues also are health issues; they relate to good governance; they hold important consequences for stability within a region or stability within a particular country; and environmental issues are absolutely integral to development throughout the world. It is no coincidence that in places where conflict, chaos, and humanitarian crises reign, where governments are corrupt and unaccountable to citizens, where citizens struggle to scratch out an existence, it is there that we also tend to find the severest environmental problems that have to be dealt with.

We see a devastating cycle. Environmental degradation often is both the cause and the effect. The governmental and non-governmental representatives at the Johannesburg summit all recognized that sound economic management, investment in people, and care for the environment are inextricably linked, and are essential ingredients for global development.

At the summit, we also recognized the challenge of creating conditions for sustainable development. Those challenges are much too big for governments to tackle alone. Strong public-private partnerships are needed. And I am glad to say the United States has established such a partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute, as we have with other NGOs in the audience. And I hope that we will be forging many such partnerships in the years ahead.

Deforestation, the subject of today's Open Forum, vividly illustrates the links between environmental and other international challenges, and the importance of public-private partnerships to meeting these challenges. Forests are critical to life on this planet--not just to forest-dwelling plants and animals, humans included--but to all life, and the air, water, and soil from which life draws sustenance.

Yet the world's forests are disappearing. More than 46% of our planet used to be covered by forests. Today half of all our forests are gone, perhaps forever. According to the World Bank, every year an area of forest three times the size of Belgium is cut down, and there is simply no way to replace completely that which has been lost. Global wood consumption is expected to double over the next 30 years. Deforestation not only decimates plants and animal species, it destroys livelihoods, spreads disease, undermines societies, erodes economies, and can destabilize entire regions. Let me cite just a few examples.

There is a connection, a direct connection, between cutting down woodlands and the spread of disease. Logged forest areas can be breeding grounds for malaria. Malaria kills one African child every 30 seconds. As people move into formerly forested areas, malaria, therefore, becomes a greater threat. Human exposure to the deadly Ebola virus also is more likely in areas where logging is underway.

There also is a correlation between environmental degradation and the international drug trade. In the Andes, forests are slashed and burned for coca cultivation and the construction of clandestine landing strips and laboratories. The Peruvian Government estimates that it has lost more than 5.7 million acres of rainforest to the depredations of the narcotics cartels. Illegal logging and bad environmental management equate to billions of dollars each year in lost revenue--billions--billions of dollars that instead could be used by governments to build schools, to get rid of debt, or to lift millions out of misery and poverty.

The Bush Administration is playing a leading role in international efforts to address the causes of deforestation and to conserve and sustainably manage the world's forests. The men and women of the Department of State and the Agency for International Development are proud to do their part. And the presence here today of Paula Dobriansky, my Undersecretary for Global Affairs, Assistant Secretaries of State Turner and Kansteiner, and Assistant Administrator for USAID Connie Newman attest to the active engagement of the State Department family in this effort.

But a good example of the projects underway is the President's initiative on illegal logging. The State Department is working closely with other agencies to develop and carry out this ambitious program, which will assist other nations in combating this environmental crime. We are in the midst of hosting a series of ministerial meetings beginning in Asia and extending to Africa and then to Latin America to raise awareness of this scourge, and galvanize effective action against it.

The State Department also is working with other federal agencies and NASA, as well as the private sector and non-governmental organizations, to map global deforestation patterns using remote-sensing technology. We all hope this will lead to new and effective approaches to this very serious and growing problem.

We are working with our partners to combat the illegal trade of species that are at risk, such as big-leaf mahogany. We are pleased that the signatories of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species are now committed to even stronger measures to ensure that mahogany trade is legal and sustainable. I am especially pleased with our close cooperation with Brazil, that repository, that great country and repository of Earth's largest expanse of tropical forest.

The Congo Basin Forest is the world's second-largest intact tropical forest, after the Amazon, that is. It is 700,000 square miles--the size of California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah combined. Last year, the United States launched, as you heard a moment ago, the Congo Basin Forest Partnership with 29 partners, including the Jane Goodall Institute. Jane's institute is helping to protect animals at risk from being hunted for bush meat, especially the Congo Basin's chimpanzees, gorillas, and elephants.

The Forest Partnership initiative is close to my heart. I visited Gabon last year after the Johannesburg summit. And in that meeting in Gabon I demonstrated our dedication to this partnership. I also had a chance to walk through one of the forests and see the treasure that we are protecting and to understand the importance of what we were doing. I must say, however, that it was a bit of a disappointment. It was a nice walk; it was a beautiful forest--I was expecting to see animals, but my security people were there--(laughter)--and they are very good. I saw not one animal, not one insect, not one reptile--nothing. (Laughter.) They had been cleared for a mile around. Nevertheless, I know they are there.

This is an important initiative, and I say this with not only conviction and commitment, but with great fondness. We plan to invest over $50 million of U.S assistance in the partnership through the year 2005. The forest partnership is leveraging the energies of a broad range of supporters from Kinshasa to Berlin, to Paris, to Tokyo, to Jackson Hole, where this fall I understand the International Wildlife Film Festival will spotlight this promising worldwide undertaking.

I began these remarks by talking about profound interrelationships, the interrelationships that constitute Earth's ecosystem and the interrelationships between promoting responsible stewardship of the environment and other international challenges from sustaining development to encouraging good governance, stemming disease, and fostering stability. The message I want to leave you with today is that President Bush and every member of his Administration understands these complex interconnections. We understand their far-reaching implications for our country and for the world we live in. We are deeply committed to forging partnerships among nations and between public and private sectors across the globe for the sake of our forests, our flora, our fauna and, above all, our future.

Fundamentally, our collective efforts on behalf of the environment and sustainable development come down to creating hope--hope for all the creatures of this planet. Few people have worked harder to generate such hope than Jane Goodall, and no one appreciates the interconnections more deeply than she. Jane has seen them first-hand. Her pioneering work has not only led to extraordinary advances in primatology; it has led her to establish the Jane Goodall Institute, dedicated to the promotion of peace and well-being among all living animals.

In addition to pursuing primate research, the institute works with villagers in dwindling forest areas to improve their access to health care, education, and economic opportunities. No one advocates more passionately and more effectively than Jane for the adoption of wise environmental strategies. She is an inspiration to men, women, and children all around the world, and she certainly is an inspiration to me. It is now my honor and pleasure to present our valued partner in the Congo Basin Forest Initiative and our dear friend, Dr. Jane Goodall. (Applause.)

DR. GOODALL:  Well, thank you, Secretary Powell, and goodbye. (Laughter.) And good morning to everyone here. And isn't it strange? You know, I began studying chimpanzees, I had no degree. I was a little girl, born in England without very much money, who just fell in love with Tarzan and went to Africa. And now I'm traveling around the world and being spoken of in such terms in front of an audience like you on an occasion like this.

And I think just to bring us to reality here, I want to bring the voice of the being that I spent 43 years learning about right here into this room on Earth Day, because we tend to spend so much time talking about the environment, talking about conservation, but we very rarely get the feeling during these meetings of the animals themselves. So here's a greeting for you from a chimpanzee: (Chimpanzee greeting.) (Applause.) And that may be the first time that the voice of the chimpanzee has been heard in the State Department here in Washington. (Laughter.)

Over the years we have learned how like us chimpanzees are. They've taught us that we are indeed a unique primate species, we humans, but we are simply not as different and unique as we used to think. There isn't a sharp line dividing us from the rest of the Animal Kingdom. It's a very fuzzy line. And as we come to admit that we are not the only beings on the planet with personality, mind, and feelings, this leads to a lot of ethical concerns. We have a new respect not only for the chimpanzees but for the other amazing animals with whom we share this planet.

Itís very sad to find that chimpanzees in Africa where they live are disappearing. There were maybe somewhere near 2 million a 100 years ago. There are no more than 200,000, probably 150,000 left in Africa, spread across 21 nations, many of them in very small isolated groups. This fragmentation occurs because of habitat destruction--habitat destruction because human populations grow--and people who are--when there are more people living on an area of land than that land can support--and they are too poor to buy food from elsewhere--you get this terrible degradation of the environment. You get trees cut down so that poor people can desperately try to grow food on the soil that for a little while is fertile. But gradually as the soil dries, the tree cover gone, the people find it ever harder to scratch a living from the surface of that land, and then another piece of forest is cut down. And so what was once lush, green, and beautiful becomes rapidly an arid desert.

The Gombe chimpanzees live in a national park that's only 30 square miles on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Within the park it's as it was when I arrived in 1960, but today outside that 30 square miles, where there was chimpanzee habitat stretching as far as you could see to the north and to the south and to the east, the forest has gone. When I flew over the park about 15 years ago and realized the extend of the deforestation outside, how the farmland had crept right up to the boundaries, how this land was rapidly becoming in many places like a desert--when you see the effect of the soil erosion, sometimes even houses are washed down to the lake in the rainy season because the tree cover has gone, and there is nothing to hold the top soil in place. And when I flew over and realized that the Gombe chimpanzees were absolutely separated from others of their kind, and probably wouldn't survive in the long term because the gene pool isn't big enough, I realized also that it was going to be impossible to save them when the people living around this tiny little oasis of forest were struggling to survive.

And that led to one of the JGI, Jane Goodall Institute, programs that I am proudest of--Take Care. It's a program that addresses the needs of people living in 33 villages. It started much smaller, supported with a European Union grant, and since then it's grown, and we have partners like UNDP and UNICEF. We are now forging a partnership with USAID, particularly in the Congo Basin, but also hopefully to help our work in Tanzania. This is a program which is led and directed by Tanzanians. It addresses the needs of the local people to start environmentally sustainable development programs. In particular, it works with groups of women to encourage them to develop small environmentally sustainable projects that will give them for the first time the power to earn some money, and will give them increased self-esteem, which leads to increased self-esteem in their village.

We work with the regional medical officers to provide primary health care, especially for women and children. We provide scholarships for gifted girls to go from primary school to secondary school, which otherwise doesn't happen very often in this very poor part of Tanzania. And we have microcredit banks set up, so that women can take out tiny loans. And there is a strong emphasis on agri-forestry, on ways of preventing and controlling the terrible soil erosion. Now a new effort to help the people to stop cutting down the tiny stumps of the trees that once were there as they desperately seek firewood; instead, they are growing their own wood lots and allowing these stumps to regenerate. In 5 years you can have a forest which is about 30 to 40 feet high. And this is the hope for the Gombe chimpanzees, that they could use a corridor of regenerated forest to link up with other remnant groups in the north.

The reason that Take Care is so successful is that this is not an attempt by a bunch of Westerners to go into these villages and say: We are sorry for you; we know you are struggling, and this is what we are going to do for you. It's not like that. It's going in like offering them a menu. These are the kinds of things we might be able to help you with. Are you interested in them? So they buy into it. They're proud of it. It's their program. And to have a partner like USAID to help us to keep this growing and expanding is fantastic.

We are now ready to replicate this kind of program tailored to the needs in different countries, starting in Nigeria, but also in the Congo Basin. So this is why we're one of the partners in this new Congo Basin Forest Partnership, because we are working on the ground there, and we have a vested interest. There we see the devastating effect on the animals living in the forest of logging, logging companies coming in from outside, and even those practicing sustainable logging, so that you just cut down a few trees every so often, and only trees of a certain size. Nevertheless, in order to log, roads must be built. And what's been found is that these roads open up the forest to exploitation in other ways that logging: people settling, setting snares to catch food to eat. And, worst of all, the roads open up the roads to commercial hunting. Now people have transport for the first time deep into the heart of these previously untouched, unlogged forests. And the hunters go in, camp at the end of the logging road, shoot everything--elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, monkeys, antelopes -- everything down to small birds and bats, smoke the meat on the spot-- sometimes even load it fresh, because now they have transport, and the hunters can take this meat. It's not to feed starving people. It's not to feed starving people. It's to cater to the cultural preference of many people in the Central African area for bush meat. They'd rather have a piece of dried smoked wild animal than they would a piece of goat or chicken, because there's no--they've never cultivated domestic animals for their food. So this is a very complex program. And that's why the U.S. Department of State's initiative, in combination with the European Union that has more or less matched the U.S. dollars, is so very important, because the Congo Basin itself is the most important weather machine in Africa, and the weather system of the Congo is driven northward by the winds of the monsoon, and it affects 300 million people way up north. So if there's a bad year in the Congo Basin, this means that drought and famine spread right up north in Africa. And as the forest decreases in size, as people grow in number and these forests are cut down, so the effects of this kind of weather engine get worse and worse, and more and more people suffer.

So this initiative with its partnerships--and you are going to hear a lot more about that. You have already heard from Secretary Powell about this initiative; it's something which we believe in very passionately.

Like Secretary Powell, last year I was taken by the same amazing person, Mike Fay, into one of these forests. He wanted me to go into a forest that had never been either logged or lived in. Not even the Pygmies had lived there, because this forest is surrounded by marshes. It's the Goualougo Triangle attached to the Ndoki National Park. And it was a 20-kilometer walk, a lot longer than Secretary Powell went, I think--(laughter)--and it was a tough hike. But it was amazing to stand in that forest, to look up at these trees that have been growing for hundreds and hundreds of years and know that they were safe. But at the same time to stand with your hand on the trunk of this tree that's like a wonderful treasure, and know that all across Africa, all across the world, these trees that have been there for hundreds and thousands of years, that have seen history pass them by, are being cut down in 10 minutes.

And the initiatives around the world to save the forests are all desperately important. You heard how the forests are going. You will hear a lot more from my colleagues here. But I think that once you've been in those forests and once you've experienced it, you feel much more passionate about it. I was last on the Hill in Washington in support of the act of Save America's Forests. America's forests are going, too. The heartland of the forests, the old growth, is getting smaller and smaller, and this initiative seeks to protect that forever and to create buffer zones around where certain kinds of logging can happen.

So my road is one to try and save the chimpanzees. This cannot be done without working with the local people, because we need them on our side. And so the last initiative I would mention is our program for youth in 70 countries around the world--our Roots and Shoots program, which involves young people from preschool right through university tackling three kinds of hands-on projects to make the world a better place for their own human community, for animals, including domestic animals, and for the environment. It's a symbolic name that roots make a firm foundation and shoots seem tiny, but to reach the sun, can break through brick walls. If we see the brick walls as all the problems that we humans have inflicted on this planet--the destruction of the forest, the pollution, the crime, the cruelty, the war, the bombing, the destruction--then Roots and Shoots is a message of hope that hundreds and thousands of young people around the world can break through and make this a better world. And as Secretary Powell said, it has a very strong peace initiative in it.

And so what is the point of I or any one of us struggling to save chimpanzees or any other kind of animal, struggling to save the forest, if we are not raising new generations to be a lot better stewards as we have been? As we enter this new century, and as we celebrate Earth Day today, we can celebrate what we have done to help, but really we should feel incredibly shameful of the amount of this beautiful planet that we've destroyed. And I have three young grandchildren and two little great nephews. And whenever I look at them and think how much we've damaged since I was their age, I feel this deep shame.

So I am glad to have this opportunity to stand here in front of you with these amazing colleagues who will fill in so many of the gaps, and to hope that this message reaches into your hearts, because we must remember that it's no good pointing fingers at other people. Each one of us makes a difference every single day. Each one of us must do our part, in order that when we come to die we can look our grandchildren or theirs in the eye and be able to say honestly and truly, "I did my best." That's the most that we can do, and I am really fortunate in having a wonderful team at the Jane Goodall Institute- Fred Thompson, our president; David Shear, he's the chairman of the board of the Jane Goodall Institute; Christina Ellis who is actually working in Cameroon in the Congo Basin; and Steven Hamm (ph), who is an intern. And one other person I'd like to mention before I stop is Frank Sheridan (ph), who is sitting right there, because he's the one who brought me into discussions about 6 years ago with industry, talking to the people who are doing forestry on the ground in the Congo Basin. And that I think has led to many of the initiatives that I am proudest of today. So thank you all very much. And I think I kept to my time. Thank you.

MR. KEPPLER: And now I'd like to proceed with our panel and introduce our moderator of today's panel, our Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Mr. John Turner. (Applause.)

MR. TURNER:  Bill, thank you very much for that introduction, and thank you for the wonderful job that you and your staff do to host these forums, and the great program today.

I want to join you and Secretary Powell, my colleagues here at the State Department, Under Secretary Dobriansky, Assistant Secretary Kansteiner, and many other Foreign Service operatives here, and all of you, for taking time to join us today to help us celebrate the 33rd annual Earth Day.

I do want to express a special welcome to some colleagues we have here today, some environment, science and technology, and health desk officers from more than 60 embassies who have joined us today for an extensive dialogue of things we share in common, in resources stewardships, health and science, and today interests that their countries share with the United States. I want to welcome them to the Forum and thank them for coming today for the more extensive dialogue that we have been having.

I want to say, to recognizing Secretary Powell's demanding schedule during these obviously very challenging times, I want to again thank the Secretary for joining us here today. It not only represents his personal affection for Dr. Goodall, but also his personal interest and leadership that he provides this Administration on such important environmental issues as the protection of forest systems around the world. I want to thank him for the enthusiastic support he has given the Congo Basin Forest Partnership. I think it might be a correct observation that his visit to the Basin last year, which he refereed to, just might be the first international trip a Secretary of State has taken on behalf of the United States solely for the protection of wildlife and forest.

And, of course, on behalf of all of you gathered here, I do want to express a hearty thanks to Jane Goodall for being here. Indeed, Jane, you are an ambassador for the world for hope and peace, and we salute you for your fierce dedication to science, for introducing the world to the wonderful natural history of our neighboring primates, for the work you have done to capture the imagination of millions around the world, with the magical secrets of natural forest systems, and, of course, for inspiring each of us to do what we can to leave a future legacy of wild places and wild critters for future generations. Thank you.

Well, indeed, our focus today is appropriately deforestation, which is still a daily phenomenon in too many countries around the world, especially in the tropics. Tropical forests continue to disappear at a rate of 30 million acres a year. And as Secretary Powell and Dr. Goodall have reminded us, that to protect forests, to assure the sustainable management of forests and their dependent resources, we also must remember we need to take care of people. We must all work together to fight poverty;to fight hunger; infectious disease; corruption; provide access to basic education and health care, fresh water, energy, and a decent income. And certainly time is running out on many people around the globe, as time is running out for many of our natural forests.
What remains of the world's relatively undisturbed forests now represent only 20% of the world's original forest cover. Seventy-six countries-- 76 countries--have lost all of their frontier forest, according to a recent study of the World Resources Institute.

I am proud of the significant efforts this Administration is making to conserve tropical forests. As pointed out by Secretary Powell, President Bush has committed us to an ambitious agenda, which includes such efforts as, number one, a significant expansion of the effectiveness of the Tropical Forests Conservation Act. Number two, the President's commitment to ensure the U.S. Government takes a leadership role around the world in combating the devastating impacts of illegal logging. Third, our support for increased protection of big-leaf mahogany here in the Western Hemisphere by ensuring mahogany products are legally sourced and that the forests are sustainably managed. And, of course, number four, the Congo Basin Partnership, the most ambitious and largest conservation project ever undertaken in the Continent of Africa. This U.S.-led partnership has the potential to positively impact some 75 million acres and the creation of 27 new national parks in one of the largest impact tropical forests remaining on the planet today.

With this partnership we have the opportunity to combine the commitment and expertise and resources of 29 public and private partnerships. We hope to address deforestation in a major way, and provide capacity building to combat illegal logging, combat the destructive bush meat trade, change the slash-and-burn agricultural practices, establish a new working system of national parks, and to enhance the economies of local communities with the growth of tourism.

Some of our partners in the Congo Basin are with us here today, the Jane Goodall Institute, as was pointed out, but also World Wildlife Fund, World Resources Institute, and I am really pleased to have representatives of perhaps our most important partners, the six host African countries in the Congo Basin that have bet their future on the stewardship and conservation of resources. In particular, I want to welcome the Minister of Environment, Chief Tanyi Clarkson from Cameroon who is over here. Thank you for joining us; (Applause.) and the Director of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mokindi (ph) of the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Applause.)

Together we will assess needs, work on the science and base inventories, conduct law enforcement training, monitor force with remote sensing, help with park planning and implementation, and strengthen the capacity of local communities.

Now I want to turn to our very distinguished panel. Actually on many fronts they're also our distinguished partners on many forest initiatives. This blue-ribbon group will address the issue of deforestation, its causes, and its consequences. You can all find their biographies in your hand-out materials, so I will keep their introductions short. I am going to ask each to give a brief presentation, and it's my understanding they've worked together to coordinate the message to present a broad overview combined with specific information on some of their important activities. Hopefully, at the conclusion of their presentation we'll have some time to hear from all of you with questions, etc.

I'll introduce all four, and then ask them to come up on their own, successively. First we'll have Bruce Cabarle, Director of the Global Forest Program and World Wildlife Fund. Bruce will give us an overview of the world's forests; indicate threats; and outline some of the economic, social, political, and environmental causes of these threats, and present some responses to the problem.

Steve Cox is the Director of the Biological Resources Program at the World Resources Institute, and also the Executive Director of Global Forest Watch program. He will explain what WRI is doing to raise the awareness of deforestation in the Congo Basin by providing specific monitoring of illegal activities and producing meaningful resources for the host countries and their partners.

Ken Jessup is Senior Conservation Finance and Policy Advisor for Asia and the Pacific at The Nature Conservancy. He will explain the very exciting collaborative alliances between the Conservancy, WWF, and USAID to combat illegal logging in Indonesia.

And then, finally, I think we all recognize that any successful effort to deal with deforestation and illegal logging must include the private sector whether it's loggers, mill operators, shippers, manufacturers, or those at the retail end. We are very pleased that Ron Jarvis, Vice President for Lumbering Merchandise for Home Depot has joined us to talk about corporate responsibility and Home Depot's wonderful wood procurement policy, and what role others in the private sector and we as consumers play in this important subject. Thank you, and again welcome to our most distinguished panel of experts. Bruce? (Applause.)

MR. CABARLE:  Thank you very much, Assistant Secretary Turner. And I'd also like to extend my thanks to Secretary Powell, Under Secretary Dobriansky, and to Chairman Keppler, for providing this venue today. This is a great panel we've got, and my job is basically to give you an overview and to tell you a little bit about the state of the world's forests, the challenges they face, and then set up my fellow panelists who are going to tell you about some of the efforts to address solutions.

I am going to start off with a map of the world's forests. You have heard many speakers already refer to a seminal piece of work that was done by the World Resources Institute back in 1997. But, essentially, with the advent of satellite imagery being declassified, readily available, we were able to get a look at what the state of the world's forests was from space. And if we roll the clock back about 8,000 years--and the reason why we roll the clock back 8,000 years is because that represents the advent of agriculture--and try to put together what the world's forests looked like back then, and what's happened in that 8,000 years since, we have lost about half of the world's forests. And I was very impressed with Secretary Powell's opening remarks, because he's got some very, very good statistics, and I suspect that's because he has a very, very good staff that gives him those statistics. So he was right on the mark on that one.

Just a few points here. About one-fifth of the world's original forests, or frontier forests as they were appropriately named by the World Resources Institute, remain today. The other four-fifths have either been lost or significantly altered. Of that remaining frontier forest, there's only three countries in the world that harbor about 70% of the original forests that are left, and that's Russia, Canada, and Brazil. And why should we be concerned about that?

Well, above and beyond Jane's chimpanzees, as important as they are, scientists estimate that about 70% of the plants and animals that exist on the world's surface occur in the world's forests, and we are losing them at unprecedented rates. And that's a big concern for all of us.

But above and beyond the environmental impacts, forests also provide us with a lot of things that we need. If we look at the production of wood around the world--and, again, this is just a snapshot looking at wood that's largely used in industrialized societies. What this doesn't capture is the amount of wood that's used to fuel energy for rural people. That map would look a little bit different. But this just gives you a sense of where the centers of wood production are in the world. If we look at the flip side of production, on consumption, on where does that wood go, here's just kind of a snapshot on where that goes. But, basically, forests provide--[short audio break for tape flip]--dollars annually in raw materials for paper, for building products, as well as for pharmaceuticals. But beyond two-by-fours and photocopy sheets, forests also provide trillions of dollars worth of environmental services that we take for granted every day: water purification, nutrient recycling and climate regulation, particularly storehouses of carbon, which is critical as we look at issues trying to combat the combination of greenhouse gases that are driving global climate change.

So what are some of the threats to the world's forests? A couple of things that we are facing: One, spontaneous road building that leads to settlement. Jane spoke about that in her presentation. Conversion of forests actually into deserts due to overgrazing and unsustainable agriculture. And a topic that we are going to focus on for the rest of this panel: looking at the mismanagement of forests and, namely, illegal logging.

But first and foremost, what is illegal logging? How do we define that? How do we characterize that? And basically that's the harvesting of trees that happens outside of national laws. And some of the things that we see are the granting of forest concessions via corruption and nontransparent processes. We see the cutting of trees within designated areas that are supposed to be national parks and refuge for a lot of the wildlife that we are concerned about. And we also see it with the under declaration of exports and as well as imports, and I'll come back to that.

How big of a problem is it? If we just turn to government statistics from last year, according to the Brazilian Government, they classified more than 80% of the harvests in the Amazon Basin illegal. We look at such places as Gabon and Indonesia, looking at the government statistics as well as the statistics coming out of their own trade associations; up to 70% of the harvests in those countries was illegal. And if we look in the Russian Far East, which is one of those three countries that harbors 70% of the world's remaining frontier forests, upwards of 50% of last year's harvest was declared illegal by government statistics.

But illegal logging is not just a problem in places far away from us. It's an extremely complex multifaceted problem that transcends economic, social, and ecological boundaries. So let's take a look at some of the impacts of that, some of the economic impacts that we face. According to the World Bank, the loss of revenues to national governments in missed royalties and taxes is upwards of $5 billion a year annually--$5 billion. And as Jane rightfully pointed out, that is money that does not go into providing basic education and health services for the people in those countries. It is estimated that another $10 billion on top of that government revenue is lost to the national economies, and is exported abroad, again with no to little benefit for the countries where the stuff comes from.

The social costs. Illegal logging and mismanagement perhaps endangers human communities that are most vulnerable. And according again to World Bank statistics, about 90% of the 1.2 billion people in the world who live in and around forests and depend upon them, survive on less than $1 a day in terms of their annual incomes. They are the ones who feel the brunt of this.

The political costs. We often find, as Secretary Powell pointed out, that corruption, political instability, armed conflict, the drug trade is often fueled by revenues that are derived off of illegal logging. And we see this repeating itself time and time again in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Cambodia, and Indonesia. And you can trace those conflicts back, and financing for many of those conflicts coming from illegal logging activities.

The environmental costs. One that hits close to home for many of the panelists that you will be hearing from this afternoon, because as timber resources are depleted in forests, usually and in many places the last remaining place to go is in the protected areas that were often set beside because of their magnificent biodiversity, and are the last stronghold for the wildlife that we care about--chimpanzees, gorillas, rhinos, elephants, tigers. We are losing them off the face of the Earth.

But what can we do about this? My fellow panelists are going to be speaking about it. But fundamentally we at the World Wildlife Fund look to a three-pronged approach, which is to protect, manage, and restore the world's forests. We see protection of the world's forests as a key centerpiece. However, despite the efforts that have gone on, only about 12% of the world's forests currently enjoy some type of legal designation as being protected. But many of them face threats. But the big question is what happens to the other 88%? So we need to look at ways in which we can sustainably manage those areas outside of formerly protected areas, because if not we will have only little islands and a much larger sea of destruction. And restoration is key. As Assistant Secretary Turner mentioned, 76 countries in the world have already lost all of their original frontier forests. Restoration efforts are going to be key, and we will be hearing more about that from my colleagues at the World Resources Institute and the Nature Conservancy.

But, lo and behold, there has been a recognition of this problem. And if we look at some of the initiatives coming out of the private sector, we have begun to understand our interdependency and how despite the size and importance of the United States, we are not an island unto ourselves. And we have begun to understand the trade patterns and where stuff comes from and the impact that that has. And that led to a number of groups coming together last year, and an unprecedented event--it was a year ago this month that basically tried to look at this problem. And many companies that are producing, selling, or consuming forest products increasingly realized their responsibility for not only doing well at their business but also doing right by their businesses. And I'm really quite delighted to have Ron Jarvis with us here from the Home Depot who will tell you a little bit about their story.

And then, lastly, the role of the U.S. Government. You have heard of some interesting initiatives that have been spurred by our government, together with the six host countries of the Congo Basin and the Congo Basin Forest Partnership. That is something that we strongly support, and we see a lot of hope and progress for that initiative. We are delighted to have the minister of forests with us today from Cameroon. And also some recent initiatives by the U.S. Agency for International Development, specifically their Global Development Alliance. We see great promise in that, and are really working forward to working with the U.S. Government to make that effective.

So, in sum, let me come to a close. We do feel that by working together through public-private partnerships and by looking at both things we can do on the consumption side as well as the production side we can, indeed, leave our children a living planet, and, indeed ,it's up to us to do it. Thank you. (Applause.)

MR. COX:  Thank you, Bruce, for that excellent overview and introduction. My name is Steve Cox, and I work for Global Forest Watch. Global Forest Watch if an initiative of the World Resources Institute and of dozens of other partner institutions in Africa, Russia, Indonesia, and North and South America. I am going to use my time on the podium to focus on some of the issues that Bruce has described in the context of Central Africa, with a specific focus on the Cameroon. And in that context it's a real serendipity to have Minister Tanyi Clarkson here today, because he has--he and his colleagues have--provided real leadership on public policy on sustainable forestry management in Central Africa.

I am going to begin with a look at how things have changed in our lifetime. What you see here is a map of Cameroon in 1959. The light green approximates--very light green, I guess, on this--the extent of the dense moist forest cover in that year. The purple are legally allocated logging concessions. Those are essentially permits granted by the government to logging concerns to undertake their operations. The dark green are officially established protected areas--national parks and similar mechanisms.

This is the same map now in 2003. The dark purple still shows the current forest concessions currently authorized. An estimated 37% of Cameroon's forest is now under current concessions. Though currently authorized, not all the logging in this area is legally managed. The light purple shows expired concessions--areas where logging has been permitted at one point or another since 1959. Together, at least 81% of Cameroon's forest has been allocated to logging concessions during that period. Cameroon has lost more than half of its historic closed forest cover, and nearly 2 million hectares of that has been lost between 1980 and 1995 alone.

The picture for the rest of the Congo Basin is equally daunting. Global Forest Watch's best estimate is that nearly half of the Central African forest, approximately 45%, are now in logging concessions, ranging from a low of 36 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to 79% in the Republic of Congo. Meanwhile, much, much less of that forest is in national parks or some other type of formally established protected areas. Bruce mentioned a global figure of 11%. The percentage of forests in protected areas in Central Africa are in single digits everywhere except in the Central African Republic.

There are two very different types of logging in Central Africa. The first is industrial logging by formally established logging enterprises, often foreign. In 1989, in Cameroon, 57% of the area under concession was held in concessions held by foreign firms, mostly European. Logging is an important economic mainstay for the region. In 1998, 10% of the gross national product of Cameroon came from this sector, and 9% of tax revenues. It's an extraordinarily important part of the national economy.

The other side of the coin is the smallscale logging that goes on throughout Central Africa. These are individuals, small companies, or communities that log at very small scales, often illegally, for subsistence and livelihood needs, mostly for fuel wood, charcoal, pole wood, and local building needs. In 1995, for instance, fuel wood and charcoal met 80% of the energy needs in Cameroon, all from forestry. Last month a group of scientists from--scientists, government officials, conservationists, and industrial foresters had a meeting in Duala, Cameroon, and came to the informal consensus--there's not a huge amount of data on this yet--that this smallscale logging probably already surpasses industrial logging as a source of stress on the forest. This is a huge problem that we are just now beginning to wrap our minds around.

These two phenomena, these two types of logging, are linked by the building of logging roads. Typically, larger, better capitalized industrial loggers are able to open roads like this one into untapped forests. As they do, as Dr. Goodall indicated, smallscale loggers and a lot of other economic actors enter with very severe consequences for the forest ecosystems. These consequences include the bush meat hunting that Dr. Goodall has referred to, and the opening of scores of new settlements as people look for ways to make a living out of the forest and to live in the forest. We are only beginning to understand the enormous impacts that these secondary effects of logging and opening up of the forests have on the viability of forest habitats in Central Africa.

So those are some of the problems. What would success look like? Success in this context would be the secure protection of large areas of primary forests, big areas big enough and safe enough to protect and support the region's natural biological biodiversity, and equally important areas big enough and secure enough to provide the environmental goods and services that the people of Central Africa need for their health and for their own future development.

How do we get there? We think there are four necessary conditions; there are probably more, but it's a short presentation. The first is sound public policy--public policy on what can be harvested, what can be set aside for strict protection, on the intelligent allocation and management of forestry concessions, on rules for reduced impact logging, and sustained investment to build the institutional capacity and make adequate resources available for the implementation and enforcement of these policies.

The second absolutely necessary condition is responsible private behavior, both on the supply and demand side, as Bruce indicated a few moments ago. On the supply side firms must agree to stay within authorized concessions and to abide by approved management plans and logging rules. On the demand side, we need to come to agreement globally on guidelines for certifying what are and are not responsibly harvested forest products. And we need to build some real practical operational links between the producers, the responsible producers, and the responsible consumers. And Ron Jarvis will be speaking to this point a little later on.

Both of the above--sound public policy and responsible private behavior--absolutely require good, reliable, timely data. So a third basic condition for success is reliable, independent, credible information on what's there, what condition is it in, who is doing what in logging, and what is changing over time. This is a part of the puzzle that we focus on at Global Forest Watch, and I want to show you what that looks like. We work with public and private partners to paint an evolving picture and a practical, operationally useful picture, of what's happening in the forest, using satellite imagery and on-the-ground verification. The area outlined in orange here is a logging concession in Cameroon that has not yet been formally authorized. The yellow lines inside that concession are newly built logging roads, illegal logging roads. This sort of information provided on a timely basis to the proper consumers allows governments and companies and environmental organizations to monitor forestry practices, and allows responsible buyers of forest products to know whether the companies they are buying from are behaving themselves.

A fourth condition is adequate international assistance. Getting a handle on illegal logging in Central Africa will require a huge amount of focus and attention and resources. We applaud, as my fellow panelists have done, and encourage several recent actions by the U.S. Government to make this possible. The Congo Basin Forest Partnership initiative, which Secretary Powell signed last year in Johannesburg, puts new money and breathes new life into this effort. The President's initiative against illegal logging creates a useful and potentially powerful framework for tackling this problem and coordinating efforts. And, finally, USAID's Global Development Alliance, about which my colleague Tim Jessup will speak in a moment, creates an important framework for public and private partnerships which we think are absolutely essential here.

I've been in this job for about a month, and so I am still allowed to ask a few obvious, probably stupid, questions. The first one is: Are we asking the right question? Or are we addressing the most important part of the problem? Most of our focus has been on what may be the most easy--the easiest and most tractable part of the problem: illegal industrial logging. But smallscale logging may be the elephant in the corner of the room. The population of Cameroon, for example, has tripled since 1950. And annual population growth rates in Duala and Yaounde are about 5% and 6%. These people will move into the forests if they have to make a living. We can't really succeed until we figure out how to address the livelihood needs of the millions of people who live in the Congo Basin and how those needs affect the forest.

And, second, to echo something that Bruce just raised and also to applaud actually the leadership the World Wildlife Fund has had in this area, I fear that--in my short exposure to this community--the debates on sustainable forestry management are really dangerously polarized. Production and protection are two cultures that misunderstand each other all the time, sometimes deliberately. Corporations need to work a lot harder to understand the business case for sustainable forestry practices and to be guided by its logic in their everyday practices. And we in the environmental community need to get beyond the comfortable familiarity that we have in our own community and understand the basic costs, profitability, and corporate strategies that drive logging practices. It's been far too easy for us to stay in our own comfort zones and make virtues of our ignorance and marginality on some of these issues.

Finally, it's my turn to add to this growing list of concrete suggestions and responses that Bruce started. As we think about how to deploy the new resources to stop deforestation in Central Africa and elsewhere, let's not underinvest in the tools that give us the data, the hard reliable science-driven data that we all need to make decisions about what we are doing and to monitor logging behavior.

I have been talking about Central Africa, but these issues clearly resonate around the globe. And I am going to pass the podium now to Tim Jessup, my colleague from the Nature Conservancy, to talk about how these unfold in Indonesia. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

MR. JESSUP:  My name is Tim Jessup. I am from the Nature Conservancy, and I would like to talk today about a new alliance, a partnership between private industry, governments, and civil society, represented by non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, to combat illegal logging and promote sustainable logging and well-managed forestry in the country of Indonesia.

Indonesia is one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of its biological resources. It's second only to Brazil in terrestrial biodiversity. I wish we had more time to go into the details, but suffice it to say that it is an equatorial country once almost covered with tropical rain forests, but much of that has disappeared, and much of what is left is under threat.

Indonesia is facing a number of economic and political difficulties. It's a wealthy nation in terms of its human resources as well as natural resources, and it is making many efforts to conserve its biodiversity. In terms of the law, governing protection of forests and the management of forest, it is actually quite advanced--the laws are very good. But there are challenges in terms of enforcement of law and particularly in terms of the coordination of management between national and local levels.

I won't go into detail about the threats and the role of illegal logging. Bruce Cabarle has covered that, and what he said about the world applies very much to Indonesia. Illegal logging is not the only cause of deforestation and forest degradation, but it is a major contributing cause, and it undermines all efforts to implement the rule of law in the areas of forest management and biodiversity protection. Illegal logging is occurring in national parks and in nature reserves. Even in areas designated for legal logging, irresponsible logging practices are endangering the ecosystems, the livelihoods of local people, and the resources that the nation needs to develop.

I want to talk today about an alliance which is formed under the umbrella of USAID Global Development Alliance, or GDA. This is a partnership among many organizations--I can't name them all here. You see the logos of three of them here. We have come together in order to not only stop illegal logging, but to provide an alternative to promote legal, sustainable logging, well-managed forestry, and to do this in a way that involves very much the private sector as well as government, local communities, and NGOs. The driving force behind this alliance and behind the mechanism by which we will help to promote sustainable forestry is through market demand.

Next slide, please. Partners come from business, government, civil society in Indonesia, and from NGOs internationally. The demand for legally produced wood from well-managed forests is growing, particularly in Europe, North America, but even in Asian countries--East Asian countries which import a lot of wood from Indonesia. And it is to harness the market demand that this alliance has been formed in order to send market signals to producers in Indonesia, to forestry companies that they will be rewarded for legal production, and for moving from unsustainable toward sustainable forestry practices. We are doing this not only through international trade networks and on the policy level but also by demonstrating on the ground how well-managed forestry works, and what the rewards are for local companies and local communities. We are doing this under this reliance in Rio in Sumatra, East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, and in central Java. I will talk about just two of those examples today.

Next slide, please. The first example is in central Java. Java is a very densely populated island, one of the most densely populated in the world. There is little remaining natural forest, but there are very productive and potentially sustainable teak plantations which were established actually during the Dutch colonial period, and which are managed in cooperation with local communities, small holders, and government state enterprises. This is an understand primarily of WWF, working with a number of partners. Among them is CARFOR (ph), which is a major retailer of teak furniture in Europe; they are interested in providing demonstrably legally produced products preferably from well-managed sustainable forestry operations; in this case, plantation operations in Java.

Next slide, please. I wanted to have this slide that demonstrated that this teak operation, the plantation operation here is part of a producers network, and these producer networks, as Bruce indicated, are growing throughout the world, primarily to link up consumers, buyers, and producers in order to guarantee to the consumers and buyers that they can count on the sourcing of their wood products coming from legal and sustainably run operations. And this initiative in Java is part of what's called the Global Forest and Trade Network, which is an initiative primarily of the World Wildlife Fund and USAID, with many partners.

Next slide, please. The second case I'd like to talk about is in natural forests in East Kalimantan. East Kalimantan, in contrast to Java, has a very low population density. It is still predominantly covered by natural forest, although much of this forest has been logged and degraded.

Next slide, please. The Nature Conservancy is working on the ground in an area of East Kalimantan which has been identified as very important habitat for orangutans, and I'm sorry I can't reproduce the voice of the orangutan--(laughter)--but they're actually rather quiet creatures. One of our major partners in this initiative is the Home Depot, and you will be hearing more later from Ron Jarvis about that.

Next slide, please. In this area please. In this area there is a viable population of orangutans, which has recently been identified by Nature Conservancy surveys, but it is not protected. This population is primarily within areas designated for logging and forestry concessions. However, our work there is resting on the premise that we can develop sustainable forestry practices which will combine conservation easements to protect the most important areas of habitat, which are the major food sources of the orangutans with responsible logging. And this eventually we hope will be to certified wood products coming from this area.

Next slide, please. These are some of the incentives being provided to the local stakeholders. The three primary groups of stakeholders in this area are local government, the timber concessions, and forest-dependent communities. And I won't go through these one by one, but you can see that the incentives offered to these stakeholders are designed to promote sustainable forestry as well as the benefits, economic as well as other benefits of conservation, and to provide for the long-term production of wood and wood products from these natural forests.

Next slide, please. Adding to the list of responses, two of which you've heard about, I would like to urge that the U.S. Government--the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development--recognize the value of public and private partnerships, as I believe has been done already in Indonesia, and to replicate these and extend these, and to maintain the support that has been given, and to encourage more private sector involvement to involve NGOs locally within countries like Indonesia as well as internationally. And I think not only the financial support but the diplomatic and policy support from the government of the United States and countries like Indonesia is very important.

Thank you. (Applause.)

MR. JARVIS:  Thank you. Someone must have looked at the age group of the panelists, because they left reading glasses up here on the podium. Some of you may look at the panel and wonder, what a retailer is doing on this esteemed group of environmentalists. And I've been called a lot of things during my career, but an esteemed environmentalist is not one of them. But it is something that as a company we in the late 1990s started getting a lot of questions about on our shelves: Where do they come from? Are the sources sustainable that we are buying from? What about the different species that are being talked about in the newspapers and on the radio? And as a company we really didn't know the answer. We had goals like other retailers: sales, gross margin, inventory returns, GMRY (ph). Those are the things we live and die by. But there was another side of it. Then we said if we are going to be responsible the way we think the company should, we have to take a stance on this.

In 1999 we announced a new purchasing policy that had basically five features to it. Next slide, please. And if you can see on the board here, the five included certified products--we announced that we would give preferential treatment to those suppliers who brought to us certified wood products--certified, coming from sustainable, well-managed forests. The second is endangered regions. We stated that we would proactively pull out of endangered regions of the world when they were identified. Third, efficient and responsible wood use. This includes like reusable pallets--recycled wood inside our store--using pallet programs like chipped pallets that continually uses the same pallets over and over again. The fourth, alternative product development. This is across all product categories that we have--not only wood but other categories that we can find an alternative that has less impact on the environment. And the fifth one, legal and regulatory compliance. This is just asking all suppliers sign their VDA that they follow the local laws and regulatory compliance.

Implementing the policy that we announced in August 1999 became a Herculean task. We started going down two paths, and we said on the first side we have to track all the products we have in our store. This is from plywood to screwdriver handles. And in doing so we said, that is one path. The other path will be understanding by country what is happening inside each of the countries. So we started sitting down, having meetings with everyone that we could think of. We would sit down with industry groups, environmental groups, government groups. We've met with a lot of the major industry and environmental groups. We started compiling information. Could you back up to this slide? And as you can see on this slide, there's a couple of things that we found. This slide came from the FAO arm of the United Nations. And we said if we are buying wood throughout the world, we need to know what's happening in each country. So I hope you can see this in the back, but if you'll look you will have some countries that show deforestation over the past 10 years at a pretty alarming rate, and some that show afforestation over the past 10 years at a pretty decent rate. So one of the things that we were looking at on the two parallel paths: If you are buying wood from a certain area and it shows up on this chart as having deforestation--and if you look at China, 12% afforestation in the past 10 years, those 10 years being from 1990 to 2000; Malaysia, minus 11% deforestation from 1990 to 2000; Indonesia, minus 11%; Ecuador minus 12%. We had to know this information. We had to know as much or more than most people do in the world about the wood situation, because we understood that our social responsibility and our wood purchasing policy now tied us to what we did as a corporation.

Next slide, please. We took the different departments that we have--and this one, I don't know if you can read the top- it's the lumber department. This represents 82% of all of our wood purchases. The one thing we did find out is that after we started dissecting product after product--and we did this in two different ways--we went to the vendors and said, you tell us what you are shipping to us that's wood--that was one list. Then we started walking the stores and picking products out--like a ceiling fan blade. None of the ceiling fan vendor/suppliers showed up on our wood list. But when we started walking the stores and pulling everything that we could find out with wood, was wood, we found that a lot of the products had wood stuck inside of them. So once we compiled that whole list, that was about 8,500 items inside of our store, the obvious plywood, lumber, and then some of the not so obvious like kitchen cabinets, toilet lids, things like that. So if you look at this department, lumber department, it represented 82% of our total. And we broke it down by countries. And, as you can see, 82% of all the wood that comes into our lumber department comes from the United States; 14% comes from Canada. So a total of 96% of all the wood in our lumber department comes from North America.

If we were to think back to the slide before that showed in the United States--we have 2% afforestation over the past 10 years, and in Canada they have basically zero or flat deforestation or afforestation over the past 10 years--we say the issues that we would have here would not be as severe if it was 96% coming out of Ecuador or another country that had double-digit negative deforestation over the past 10 years.

But if you also break it down, you will see some other countries in there--Brazil, Uruguay, Finland, Gabon. There's a lot of countries that we touch as a corporation.

Next slide, please. We also broke down--this is the same department, this is the lumber department --we broke this down by species, because if we were going to know what to do and which paths to take, we had to know every intricate detail of each department. So if you look at this in the lumber department, 80% or 62% is pine, 19% is SPF, which is spruce, but it's a pine also, but we separated that because that's coming out of Canada, and we wanted to know the products that were coming out of Canada versus the pine products coming out of the United States, or Chile, or other parts of the world. And if you look there's a lot of species if you recognize oak, redwood, poplar, and then also some that you may not be so familiar with, like vorola (ph), cottonwood, and some of the others that are out there.

Next slide, please. This is another department we have. This is the hardware department. This is one of those departments when we first brought up the issues said, it's not our problem, we don't have any wood issues inside the hardware tool department. But once we started walking through--tool handles, levels, screwdrivers, hammer handles--there's a tremendous amount of wood located in these product categories. But we also wanted to know by species what we would expect to find in each single department. So as you look again, almost 57%is spruce, pine, and fir.

Next slide, please. Breaking that department down by country, as you can see, that spruce, pine, fir, which was a lot, the volume that is coming out of there represents 63% of all the categories of wood in that department that's coming from Canada, 35% coming from the United States, and then small amounts coming from other countries throughout the world.

What we wanted to do was develop buying standards. So if you are the merchant for lumber or the merchant for hardware, there are certain things that you know. You know when you sit down with a vendor and he or she comes in with a program that one program that is coming out of Gabon or the Congo Basin and another program that's coming out of certain parts of the United States, and both are equal, there may be decisions that you make to go with one instead of the other, because on the environmental and deforestation issues.

Next slide, please. We also broke down every country in the world that we buy wood from, and this is just an example because Brazil is the top of mind awareness as far as a country goes for environmental issues with wood. And if you can look at this, 80% is pine and 12% is eucalyptus. So that's 92% of the wood that we buy from Brazil comes from plantations. Now, in certain areas of the world we view plantations as a good thing. It helps eliminate some of the pressure that is put on the natural forests of the world. So when we look at the purchase that we have--and we have you'll see on a later slide about 2.3%of all of our purchases come from South America, and of that part that is coming from Brazil, 92% is coming from plantations.

Next slide, please. Some of the species that kept coming to mind and coming to light whenever we are talking about environmental issues back in the late 1990s were cedar, redwood, mahogany, meranti, and lauan. And for us we use meranti and lauan pretty much interchangeably because our suppliers do when they're shipping the product to us. And the change that we've made in cedar. At one time most of our cedar was coming from the huge old growth trees off the coast of British Columbia. Today we've moved it to 90% of our cedar purchases are coming from second- and third-generation growth trees in the U.S.A. And the remaining less than 10% that we have is coming out of British Columbia and has gone through many land management and stakeholder evaluations.

We also talk about redwood. Redwood represents 1.4% of our total purchases. We have moved our purchases over in redwood to two suppliers that are Mendicino Redwood Company and Capital Lumber, that are committed to supplying to us FSC-certified redwood. And that's a program that both of those are committed to, and we continue to grow that base every single month.

The third one is mahogany. As you can see, mahogany is now a very, very small percentage of any of the wood that we buy. We've moved that over to other species and to other regions of the world. It makes better sense as far as sustainability goes. A couple of examples: We were buying a mahogany level--it's a 48-inch level, one of our best-selling levels. We moved that away from solid mahogany into a domestic hardwood, LVL product that we haven't lost any on sales, and we are actually able to lower our costs just a little bit by doing that.

The other issue is that when we went down the parallel path of finding out all of our product categories, some of the vendors that we sat down with really did not know where their products were coming from that they were selling to us, because they were manufacturers; they weren't growing their wood. In one instance we had a vendor that was getting products out of the Congo Basin. And the more we pushed the more resistance that we got. So knowing the issues that were over there, we said that this isn't going to work; let's stop this program. We pulled millions of dollars out of that program and put it into a more sustainable area. And this was actually mahogany that is now coming out of a mahogany plantation in Costa Rica. Even though it's a very small amount, it's accounted for all the way.

And the last two, meranti and lauan--we have heard a lot about Indonesia. We know there are some issues over there that as an industry have to be cleaned up. We pulled 70% of our purchases of lauan and meranti out of Indonesia over the past 4 years. That's millions of dollars that we pulled out of there, the reason being because we are waiting for the right forestry implementations to be put in place so whenever we do put together a program we know that it's coming from certified, well-managed forests.

Some of the categories that we've moved--we've moved 80%of our lauan door purchases out of Indonesia into other parts of the world. Now, if we are at a point now where we could just walk away from Indonesia, and say, this doesn't make sense--there's a lot of issues over there that we as a company don't want to be associated with. But once we sat down and started looking at it, we said there's a lot of social and economic impacts in doing something like this, and is it possible for us as a public company to actually improve the forestry practices in Indonesia by staying there? And we talked to a lot of the stakeholders, and they came back and said, there is, as long as everything that you are doing you do it on a very regulated basis. So we have actually now--we have entered a program within the USAID, TNC, WWF, TFF, and other groups to help manage the products that are coming out of Indonesia and make a home for the ones for the people who are doing and supporting the sustainable forestry issues over there.

Next slide, please. In January of this year, there are a couple of things that we added to our wood-purchasing policy. We know that our wood-purchasing policy is going to be an evolutionary process for us, and every year there's going to be certain things that we added to it. But in looking at it, there were just some very simple low-hanging fruit things that we did not have on there that we said we need to have in this policy, one of those being in 2001--February 2001--the WWF announced an area of the 10 most vulnerable forest ecoregions in the world. So we looked at that and said, well, is it possible for us to get wood out of these ecoregions? And the answer came back, well, yes it is. There's probably ways for this to get onto your shelves. So this is now part of our policy. We do not accept wood from these unless they are FSC certified.

The second being the buying standards--the next slide. There's also on the CITES endangered list 40 species that were not built into our program anywhere, that we added to the program as well. And, again, all of our merchants when they sit down to negotiate have these biostandards in front of them they work with.

Next slide, please. After all of the parallel paths that we went down, the fact that what we have, 94% of the wood that we buy into the Home Depot comes from North America, less than 1% comes from Europe, 2.3%comes from South America, less than 1/2% comes from Africa, and 1.5% comes from Indonesia where it's basically Indonesia and Malaysia. So we now know where our wood comes from, and this is something that I would venture saying that most public companies do not know. But we knew that if we were going to be part of this and that we were going to be a stakeholder in this that we had to know what we were doing.

Next slide, please. This is some information that we have gathered from a lot of different areas, and this was very surprising to me and is surprising to most people I've talked to about it. If you took all the trees that are cut in the world, 60% are burnt for fuel and energy, 20% are used for construction and furniture, and 20% are used for pulp and paper. So although there's a lot of issues inside the industry and inside different factors of the industry, we still burn 60% of all the trees that are cut down.

In closing, we wish that we could say that we have all the answers, but this is a very complex issue and we are just understanding now that we are just learning the questions. I'd like to reaffirm that we are committed to engage all stakeholders to reduce deforestation and illegal logging. When necessary we will surgically implant or remove purchase orders to reward or reject those that do or do not practice sustainable forestry practices, sustainable forestry that does not allow illegal logging, sustainable forestry that rewards collaboration among all parties. And we must keep the focus on global forestry until maintaining the world's forest is woven into the culture of all the stakeholders.

Last slide, please. And in the responses that we have, the response for us and for hopefully all retailers is the certification to track wood products. We know there are certain areas of the world that if you are buying products from there in clear conscience, it must be third-party verified that it is coming from sustainable forestry. And this is what we are after. Thank you for your time and your attention. (Applause.)

MR. TURNER:  Ron, thank you very much. Thanks to Steve, Tim, Bruce, and Jane--wonderful comprehensive overview of deforestation and many of the things that are going on, not only great remarks of what you all are doing in your organizations to make a difference, and your leadership.

We still have some time, an opportunity for any of you to ask our panelists any questions, the observations. We have mikes that are down here in each row. If you come down to the mikes--come down to the mikes and state your name. And let's hear your questions. This mike over here.

Q:  Good afternoon. Thank you, Assistant Secretary Turner and Secretary Powell for this wonderful presentation today, Dr. Goodall and distinguished panelists. My name is Alan Thornton (ph). I am with the Environmental Investigative Agency, a nonprofit group here in Washington. And I just wanted to thank the panelists for addressing the issue of illegal logging. And also Secretary Powell--I wanted to thank Secretary Powell, Assistant Secretary Turner, and all your staff for your vigorous support of measures against illegal logging over the past couple of years, especially the forest law enforcement and governance initiative that your department has been a leading force for. The FLAG initiative, as it is known, is trying to crack down on illegal logging. And I was privileged to take part in the ministerial level meeting in Asia.

I just wanted to ask the panelists how we can leverage the closure of the consuming markets of the world to illegally cut timber. I noticed Bruce's graphic there that showed the big green circles of consumption in the United States and China and Japan. My organization works with TELEPAC (ph) in Indonesia, and we have just 2 weeks ago been in Malaysia and Singapore documenting the largescale import of illegally cut timber from Indonesia coming through those countries. We advocate new laws to ban the import of illegally cut timber, and we also wanted to ask the panelists what measures they could envisage that we could use to leverage the closure of the consuming markets, because, ultimately, we are providing the demand for those products. So if I could just put that over to the panelists. Thank you very much.

MR. TURNER:  Thank you, Al. Any of the panelist members like to respond to that?

MR. JARVIS:  One of the things that we look for is demand for either certified wood or third-party-verified wood showing where the products come from. Unfortunately, the public demand that we have for this is extremely small, so we are going down this road with other partners--NGO partners, government, and industry partners trying to bring this to the public without a demand. I'm not sure, unfortunately, because most of the consumers are pocketbook environmentalists, what we would have to do to have the public demand third-party-verified and certified wood.

MR. TURNER:  Any other comments? Tim?

MR. JESSUP:  Yes, I'd like to commend the efforts of the EIA and TELEPAC (ph) and other Indonesian NGOs which are not only bringing awareness of illegal logging and its problems to our attention in the United States and other developed countries but also to the attention of the Indonesian public. And I would say that the Indonesian public is the key audience for political action and economic pressure to stop illegal logging in Indonesia. We can help here, but it's really Indonesia that has to take the key steps, both from the government and from the general public's point of view in supporting political action. Thank you.

MR. TURNER:  A question over here. I'm going to ask you to keep your questions succinct. We're not going to let you give speeches, because we are running out of time. So a short question, please.

Q:  My name is Elizabeth Canard (ph), and I am 14 years old. It's a pleasure and an honor to be here on Earth Day and to hear all that you have worked on with respect to deforestation. I have a question for Dr. Goodall and the panel: What can the youth of this country do today to raise the awareness of these issues?

DR. GOODALL:  Well, as far as I am concerned, our institute is dedicated to trying to spread awareness about these issues, and we can do it through publications, through television appearances, through lectures, through books, and hope that as more and more of the NGOs get together and work toward such raising of awareness--but also our Roots and Shoots program. You are 14--you are the perfect age. Come and ask me, and I'll tell you how to join, and you can join this great group of young people spreading across the world who care passionately about these kinds of issues. And you are the ones who are going to change it. It's going to be your world.

MR. TURNER:  Thank you for being here with us. Thank you for your interest. Yes?

Q:  Hi, I'm Carol Clunk (ph), and I'm here in Washington, D.C. with the U.S. Forest Service, but I'm in fish and wildlife research within that group. And I have a couple of questions that are interwoven around the demand side by companies for forest products. Is there any evidence that when you diminish your demand, or as you stated are concerned, pulling out of Indonesia, that that production then is going to China or someplace else? On the other side, certification still is not a smooth thing at all, and there are several certification programs. From a different perspective those programs don't necessarily include standards for biota, for fish and wildlife, or other kinds of standards. It's mostly about the forestry practices itself. I'm wondering what the companies can do about those two kinds of interwoven issues. Certainly at Davis at the World Economic Summit some of these things have been discussed in the Sustainable Business Council. But I don't know, you know, when you look at that demand are you just pushing the demand to a different direction if you don't buy from Indonesia, for instance?

MR. TURNER:  Ron, the question on pulling back the flow from Indonesia, does that demand go elsewhere?

MR. JARVIS:  It's--we have to look at that on a very broad basis, and I think there's been a couple of instances throughout history over the past 20 years where certain people have pulled back from regions. And I think that wood has gone to other places. We really and truly believe that staying selectively involved, and this is the right thing to do. We do not want to turn our backs and walk away. If we do, then we do not have a clear conscience the next morning, because we do not have a say in what's happening over there. We've learned that if we stay--and we are probably the largest purchaser of retail wood in the world--and we think we can influence a lot by staying at the table. And whenever we are dealing out our purchase orders make sure that we give those to people that are doing the right things and taking the right social and environmental issues.

MR. TURNER:  Comments on the adequacy of the different certification processes which are sometimes in competition with one another?

MR. JARVIS:  Yeah, I think there would probably be another form that we would have to have for that.

MR. TURNER:  A question over here.

Q:  Yes, I'll skip with my name so that I can go straight to the question. This forum really helped me a lot, because I am in the process of changing my carpet to wood flooring, and I realize that being aware of--you know, now I'm aware that I have a responsibility to do it or not to do it, because Home Depot is more expensive than another place that I went to, in terms of $1.50 per square foot. And I always learned about the difference between a strip and a plank, and all these things. So how do I know? Do I go back to the place and say, are you certified? How do I know it is not taken from illegal logging? And if I as a consummate consumer can save $1.50 per square foot, and thousands of others, you know millions of people, of course, we are going where it's cheaper. But how do I know as one of the consumers? Because I've never seen anything on TV that says, you know, make sure you are buying from a certified logger or something like that?

MR. JARVIS:  And that's a great question, and I think that also ties into the first question and saying that the consumers are not demanding it. Unfortunately, most humans are pocketbook environmentalist, except for a chosen few. And we do know that this is the beginning of this process. Certified wood in the stores, whether it's FSC or Pan European or SFI, or any other third-party certification and verification, is extremely limited. And we sell more than probably anybody in the world--definitely anybody in North America, and it is as very, very small amount that we sell. But we have got to get more and more of that. And the fact that you would pay more for it would make all the difference in the world.

Q:  No, sir, it's a lot cheaper.

MR. JARVIS:  The certified wood is a lot cheaper?

Q:  No, I don't know if they are certified, but it's definitely a lot cheaper.

MR. JARVIS:  At the other store?

Q:  Yes. (Laughter.)

MR. JARVIS:  That, too, is another forum, but--(laughter)--

Q:  No, I'm not sure I am going to go back, because I feel guilty, and I'd rather have a carpet.

MR. JARVIS:  No, I understand where you are going. And some of the issues that we have run into are that there have been cases where we have had to pay as much as 20% more to get certified wood. And it's hard for us to sit down and say, does this make sense for us to do? And we know that if we going to be a catalyst in this, there's going to be times where we have to pay more for it. And that we're just asking and trying to educate the public as much as we can to say, is there another retailer that can tell you the kind of numbers that we show you? And going to our website and looking at the information we have in there--if there is, then buy from them. But if there's not, you know, put your purchase order where your heart is.

Q:  I assure you I will ask them if they are certified.

MR. TURNER:  Thank you very much. (Applause.) We've only got 3 or 4 minutes. Let's stay with that mike, because you all have been waiting for awhile.

Q:  Dr. Goodall, my name is Brenda Greenberg, and I was just wondering if you could use any more volunteers at your institute. (Laughter.)

DR. GOODALL:  Yeah, we're in Silver Spring, and we've got a website, janegoodall.org. Our president is sitting right here. And, yeah, you bet we can use volunteers. Thanks.

Q:  You've always been an inspiration to me. Thank you.

MR. TURNER:  Thank you very much. Yes, sir.

Q:  My name is Frank Sheridan. I have a question, and that is: Why is the word "partnership" in this forum when the partnership that you really need to have is maybe not with the Home Depot but with the producers on the ground, the real players in the tropics? And we don't see them here. They should be here. These are the people who make the difference. These are the people whose money is on the ground, and they are very smart, intelligent people. We should have them here more often.

The second part is as far as alternate markets. I will quote someone from USAID who at the State Department meeting back in May of last year said that you better pay attention to China, and China better be involved in any regulations, because if not the next big sucking sound you hear will be China swallowing the rain forest. And, gentlemen, this is the truth.

MR. TURNER:  Thank you. I'm just going to take a quick--I am pleased that at least in the Congo Basin we have both the International Tropical Timber Organization is our partner, and the American Forest and Paper Association, who at least bring the producer--and are wonderful partners of ours in the Congo Basin. And we are in a dialogue with China on the issue of forestry. And, as you point out, it will be a large market. And we look forward to making progress in those dialogues. Good point. Yes, ma'am?

MR. JESSUP:  Sorry, could I add--

MR. TURNER:  Yes, excuse me, Tim.

MR. JESSUP:  Sorry I didn't have time to list all of our partners, but in the two cases I talked about Java teak plantations and natural forests managed in East Kalimantan we work very closely. And I know in Java WWF works very closely with local producers. There are smallholder plantation owners and members of local communities in Java. In East Kalimantan there is a group of logging companies which have formed together with other stakeholders what's called klombokkarcha (ph) ecolabel, or an ecolabeling certification working group. And these are companies--these are privately owned companies that are interested in producing labeled products. They would like to get certified, and they are very much partners in the alliance that I talked about.

MR. TURNER:  Tim, thank you. Yes, ma'am?

Q:  I'm Linda Raban (ph) from the Human Rights and Environmental Program of Sierra Club, and I wanted to draw people's attention to the problem with human rights abuses that are associated with illegal logging. It's not just the trees that are being destroyed. And in a place like Indonesia, for example, some of the people doing illegal logging are professional criminals. They are dangerous people, and they will stop at nothing to prevent anyone from getting in their way. So I hope that all the people that are working on programs in these countries are very aware of the risks that people run in those countries who try to stop illegal logging.

MR. TURNER:  Would any of the members like to comment? Bruce?

MR. CABARLE:  Very much so. I come from an organization that has offices in more than 50 countries around the world that are staffed and managed and run by nationals from those countries, and so we know of many of those threats first hand, and on more than one occasion we have had to pull our people out of the field, and actually out of some cities and shut down operations because of security concerns for our staff. So this is very real and is very much a part of what many of our people face day to day out on the front lines.

MR. TURNER:  And here at the State Department also, as we observe illegal activities dealing with natural resources--whether it's fisheries or forestry or wildlife--it is, indeed, some of the same criminal elements around the world that are dealing in narcotics, prostitution, and the flow of illegal minerals.

Q:  Some of them are government officials too. (Laughter.)

MR. TURNER:  Indeed, and there's certainly corruption in many governments. Yes?

Q:  Yes, my name is Kenny Newbreen (ph), and I'm an employee of the Department of State. My question is you've spoken about tree farming and about reforestation. My question is as this becomes a commercial venture and as areas are reforested--I know typically the forests are denser than what they might typically otherwise be, other natural species tend to be discouraged based on maximization of profits. And I'm curious: Do these become viable habitats for native wildlife, and what is the impact with recycled forests on local habitats?


MR. JESSUP:  Yes, I think I'll speak about the Indonesian case, which I know best, but this also is happening in many other tropical countries. Natural forest is being cleared and converted for plantations, and that's a big concern. Ron touched on that, I think. And it's both mainly right now in Indonesia the plantations are established for pulp and paper production and also oil palm plantations which aren't really timber--we didn't talk about those.

In the case of the teak plantations in Java, these are plantations that were established in the 1920s and 1930s and have been managed as plantations since then. So I think it's important to look at the history of land use in an area and to not give certification to an operation that may have come in recently and replaced natural forests. But we do want to certify well-managed, long-established plantations.

As for whether a plantation can replace a natural forest in terms of biodiversity, the answer is definitely no. These plantations are often single species or a very small number of species compared to the thousands of species in natural tropical forests. In terms of maintaining ecosystem functions, protecting watersheds and so on, plantations can help do that, but again natural forests are very complex, and we certainly don't want to encourage loss, further loss, of natural forests to be replaced with plantation forestry. We'd like to see both well-managed plantations and well-managed natural forests.

MR. TURNER:  Let me again thank you all for your interest, your attention. I want to thank the panel members; it's certainly one of the most informative, comprehensive presentations I've ever seen on this global challenge we all face.

Thank you again on behalf of the State Department. Have a wonderful day. We are adjourned. (Applause.)

Released on May 29, 2003

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