Civil Society Meets to Discuss Pulp Mill Financing Concerns
    MEDIA RELEASE
    For immediate release Tuesday 28 January 2014

    Representatives of twenty-eight civil society organisations from Europe, North America, Asia, Latin America and Australia have gathered in the Netherlands to discuss concerns about financial investment in pulp and paper developments. The meeting is organised by the European Environmental Paper Network, in partnership with BankTrack, and it includes participants from non-governmental organisations as well as some banks. It is the first meeting to take a fully global perspective on the financing of pulp and paper mills.

    The meeting is discussing lessons learned from past campaigns to stop irresponsible investment in pulp mills, including the campaign to stop a pulp in Tasmania, Australia, which is being re-triggered by new Tasmanian government legislation today.

    The meeting participants have agreed to issue a statement to the Government of Tasmania regarding the former Gunns pulp mill proposal, noting their dismay at the revival of the project and advising potential investors to be aware of the potential of environmental and social risks connected to the Gunns pulp mill project.

    Mandy Haggith, EEPN co-ordinator, said: ‘Participants in the meeting have had the chance to learn from experts in pulp mill investment and experienced campaigners about the opportunities for influencing financing decisions. We have also had discussions about how to identify mills that may threaten forests and agree joint strategies for future campaigns.’

    The European Environmental Paper Network has many member organisations who are engaging with investors and others in the financial world to ask them to make a positive influence in reducing the relevant impacts of paper industry developments, including their fibre sources and their human rights implications. Working together in a more co-ordinated manner, these organisations aim to stop irresponsible investment into unsustainable pulp and paper mill developments and to encourage investors to support only environmentally sound, socially beneficial and sustainable projects.

    The participants also considered pulp and paper mill developments around the world including Indonesia, Russia, China, Latin America and Africa, and the need to ensure future investors give backing only to developments that are not linked to social conflicts, forest degradation and deforestation.

    Notes for editors
    1. The European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) is a coalition of 72 environmental and social NGOs in 25 countries that share a common vision for transforming the European paper industry to become ethical and sustainable. The Environmental Paper Network (EPN) is its sister network in North America, and the Chinese Environmental Paper Network its sister network in China.

    For more information, contact Mandy Haggith, EEPN co-ordinator, mobile: +44(0)7734 235704
    email: hag@environmentalpaper.euOne of the aims of the European Environmental Paper Network is to stop irresponsible investment into unsustainable pulp and paper mill developments. We are keen to co-ordinate the work of our member organisations who are engaging with investors and others in the financial world to ensure that their decisions are well-informed and take into account all the relevant likely impacts of paper industry developments, from their fibre sources to their human rights implications. Our priority areas will include scrutinising investment into Indonesian pulp developments, and engaging with the Chinese financial sector.

    We are holding a meeting in the Netherlands in late January 2014 to discuss pulp finance campaign strategies. Around thirty activists, from Europe, America, Russia, China, Indonesia, Australia and Latin America will gather to share information on their campaigns. We will also have the chance to learn from experts in pulp mill investment about the opportunities for influencing decisions, which will help us to identify targets and agree joint strategies for future work.