World Rainforest Movement

Demonstration in Germany

At the inauguration of the international boat exhibition “Hanseboot” in Hamburg on October 25, activists from various ecologist NGOs inflated a 50 feet long, 17 feet high chainsaw, claiming “Mahogany is Murder!” and “No Teak on my deck!”.

In their statement “Hanseboot kills forests” over 30 organisations from Germany, England, Switzerland and Cameroon called on importers, builders and consumers to stop the plundering of the rainforests and to use only tropical timber which has been independently certified.

This action was a response to the German Boat and Shipbuilders Association (DBSV), which two days before had launched a press release in which the role of the timber trade in the destruction of forests was completely denied. In a meeting with environmentalists, the DBSV recently announced their decision to join the WWF Group 98 to promote the use of certified timber. “However, this includes no commitment to stop the use of Burma-Teak, Mahogany and other old growth timber”, says Susanne Breitkopf, Campaigns Director of the Hamburger group Rettet den Regenwald. On the same line Laszlo Maraz, from pro Regenwald, Munich, declared that “the world’s forests are declining at an alarming rate, and this will not be stopped by good-will declarations of the private sector”. The discussion about good forest management and certification has been going on in Germany for almost ten years -enough time for industry to change policies.

Source: Rettet den Regenwald e.V. 27/10/97