林產公司喊停 加國原住民保留區鏈鋸聲寂 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

林產公司喊停 加國原住民保留區鏈鋸聲寂

2008年06月13日
摘譯自2008年6月9日ENS加拿大,多倫多報導;丁秋仁編譯;蔡麗伶審校

Grassy Narrows族傳統生活圈內的伐木後的狀況。圖片來源:Amnesty International Canada知名紙品與林產製造公司AbitibiBowater已決定,暫時停息加拿大「格拉西納羅斯族」(Grassy Narrows)族傳統生活圈範圍內的一切伐木活動。經長年的訴訟過程與格拉西納羅斯族平和的抗爭,包括在北美為時最久的伐木封鎖運動,總算是讓這些努力探見曙光。部落以時間與精力換來的一個決定,足以保護面積2,500平方英哩內的森林、湖泊及河川,即該族的傳統生活圈。

AbitibiBowater公司為北美第三大和世界第八大的專門生產紙製與木製產品公司。執行長彼得森(David Paterson)曾致函安大略省自然資源部長坎斯菲爾德(Donna Cansfield),並於信中指出,Abitibi-Consolidated與Bowater兩公司合併之後,這項新的決定得以化為可能。「合併後的公司更具調整的彈性,搭配產業現況使用未開發之樹纖,暫時提供我們木材的替代來源來維持運作。」

美國舊金山保育暨遊說團體-「雨林行動網」(Rainforest Action Network, RAN),高度肯定該公司「暫伐」的決定。2003年以降,「雨林行動網」始終與格拉西納羅斯族並肩,向美國Weyerhaeuser及Boise兩大公司施壓,要求終止與AbitibiBowater公司所簽訂之伐木契約。2008年2月,Boise公司已同意擱置契約,除非徵得該族同意,將不會擅自該族的土地上擷取木材。「雨林行動網」相信,此次AbitibiBowater公司的退出將可連帶阻止老主顧Weyerhaeuser公司,再從這塊土地上帶走任何一塊木材。

行動網的成員頌(David Sone)表示,「我們相當替格拉西納羅斯族感到欣喜,他們的土地與森林貴為生活與文化的重心,而未來不需再擔憂被伐淨一空。」「我們籲求所有的公司行號能遵循審議結果,同時也尊重原住民的權力,不論他們是否同意授權開放傳統生活圈內的伐木活動。」行動網同樣呼籲AbitibiBowater公司,將此一先例施用於全球的營運據點,尊重人權並且衡量原始森林在提供氣候穩定與潔淨水源上的角色價值。

安大略省所制訂的採礦暨伐木法規,目前仍是允准資源開採公司不需經原住民族同意,便著手原料開發。2008年5月29日,原住民團體於多倫多舉行遊行,並駐紮於安大略省議會廳前的草坪,另也有勞工、學生與宗教性團體共襄盛舉,反對該項法案。然而事實證明安大略省省長麥堅迪(Dalton McGuinty )相當正視格拉西納羅斯原住民族的請願。5月12日,安大略省自然資源部發出聲明指出,原住民部落與省級政府兩造已簽訂一項合作備忘錄,旨在建立原住民與省府之間長期的友好關係。

原住民事務部長布萊恩(Michael Bryant)表示,「麥堅迪政府釋出善意,積極與格拉西納羅斯族建立新關係。」「除了安大略省原住民外,這項協議同時也指望政府加強與包括混血後裔(Metis)和因奴伊特族(Inuit)在內所有族群的關係。」

AbitibiBowater Chainsaws Stop at Grassy Narrows First Nation
TORONTO, Ontario, Canada, June 9, 2008 (ENS)

The giant paper and forest products company AbitibiBowater has decided to "temporarily" stop logging on the traditional territory of the Grassy Narrows First Nation. The decision comes after decades of lawsuits and peaceful protests by the people of Grassy Narrows, including the longest standing logging blockade in North America. The tribal actions were taken in an effort to protect the 2,500 square miles of forests, lakes and rivers that comprises Grassy Narrows traditional territory.

AbitibiBowater is the third largest publicly traded paper and forest products company in North America and the eighth largest in the world. It is in the fresh approach made possible by the merger that led to this decision, AbitibiBowater CEO David Paterson wrote in a letter to Ontario’s Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield. "The flexibility of a newly merged company, paired with the current context of an industry that gives access to unused fibre, allow us to temporarily find alternative wood supply for our operations," he wrote.

Rainforest Action Network, RAN, a San Francisco-based conservation advocacy group, praised the company's decision. Since 2003, RAN has worked with the Grassy Narrows community to pressure U.S. companies Weyerhaeuser Corp. and Boise Inc. to drop their logging contracts with AbitibiBowater for wood obtained from Grassy Narrows land. In February, Boise agreed to suspend its contract unless community consent could be established. AbitibiBowater’s withdrawal will also force primary customer Weyerhaeuser to stop sourcing wood from the area, RAN believes.

"We are thrilled for the Grassy Narrows community that their forests, which are key to their livelihood and culture, will no longer be clear-cut against their wishes," said David Sone of RAN. He said "we’re calling on all companies to follow suit and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples to give or withhold consent for industrial projects on their traditional territories." RAN is calling on Abitibi to extend this precedent across its global operations, to respect human rights, and to value the role of intact forests in providing climate stability and clean water.

Ontario’s mining and logging laws continue to permit resource extraction companies to operate without the consent of First Nations. On May 29, Indigenous groups in Toronto marched and camped on the front lawn of the Ontario legislature with a coalition of labor, student and faith-based groups to protest this law.

There is evidence that the Ontario government of Premier Dalton McGuinty is listening to the Grassy Narrows First Nation. On May 12, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources issued a statement saying that the two governments - the tribal and the provincial - signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Grassy Narrows First Nation to create "a positive, long-term relationship between the First Nation and the province."

"The McGuinty government is forging a new relationship with Grassy Narrows First Nation," said Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Michael Bryant. "This agreement builds upon our commitment to strengthen relationships with all of Ontario's First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities."

全文及圖片詳見:ENS