Wilderness Committee Earth Day Celebrations, March and Festival

WILDERNESSCOMMITTEE_LOGOVANCOUVER, BC, Canada, April 18, 2014 –/WORLD-WIRE/– On Monday, April 21st, the 4th Annual Earth Day Celebration will take place in East Vancouver – complete with entertainment, family-friendly activities, music, special guests and much more!

Bring your whole family and walk in the parade with your own homemade sign. Then stick around for the festival at Grandview Park, listen to the speakers, dance to the music, visit the information booths, sign all the petitions and action cards.

This year, don’t miss special guest speaker David Suzuki!

Hosted by Youth for Climate Justice Now, with support from the Wilderness Committee, ForestEthics, Vancouver School Board, BC Teachers’ Federation and the Council of Canadians.

Find more information, including the schedule of speakers at www.earthdayvancouver.ca

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/383697285105110/

The Wilderness Committee is proud to have been picked by one of Vancouver Island’s most exciting eco-tourism businesses as its Earth Day partner this year!

On Saturday, April 19th, we’ll be out at AdrenaLINE Zipline Adventure Tours near Sooke celebrating Earth Day with our newest publications and campaign updates. Zipline guides have been briefed on our projects and will talk about forest conservation and other issues as guests fly through the canopy!

Experience an exhilarating ride up to 60km/hr as you soar through the forest on eight scenic ziplines, ranging from 150 feet to an unforgettable 1000 feet off the ground.

At the end of the day, AdrenaLINE will generously donate a portion of all proceeds to the Wilderness Committee, so book your zipline tour at www.adrenalinezip.com, or by calling (250) 642-1933!

The Wilderness Committee, founded in 1980, is a registered non-profit society with charitable status. With over 60,000 members, donors and volunteers, we are Canada’s largest membership-based, citizen-funded wilderness protection group. Our head office is in Vancouver, with field offices in Victoria, Winnipeg and Toronto.

We are united in our mission to protect Canada’s life-giving biological diversity through strategic research and grassroots public education. We believe that the right, the duty and the ability to act for the public good are integral to citizenship. We value wilderness, with all its natural biodiversity, as absolutely vital to the health of people, communities and the planet. We act with integrity and courage to mobilize citizens to take lawful, democratic action to defend Canada’s wilderness and wildlife.

It is the combined voices of our thousands of supporters, in partnership with our dedicated board, staff, and volunteers that has allowed the Wilderness Committee to campaign successfully to protect millions of hectares of Canadian wilderness in over 55 key wilderness areas.


Wilderness Committee
46 East 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 1J4
phone: 604-683-8220
toll free: 1-800-661-9453

Canadian Government Comes Out Against Northern Shipping Due to Oil Spill Risks

Omnitrax’s Churchill crude oil plan dead on the tracks

WILDERNESSCOMMITTEE_LOGOWINNIPEG, Manitoba, April 2, 2014 –/WORLD-WIRE/– Canada’s federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt came out bluntly against shipping oil through the north any time soon, in statements that will stop plans to ship oil by rail through Churchill dead on the tracks.

“I can tell you: one oil spill or accident in the Arctic is one visual you do not want to have in this world at all,” Minister Raitt said, when asked about shipping in the north during a Canadian American Business Council event on Tuesday in Washington D.C.

The Minister’s remarks will have profound impacts on the proposal from Omnitrax Inc., which involves shipping crude oil by rail to the port of Churchill, then by tanker through the Arctic waters of Hudson Bay.

“Minister Raitt’s comments are unequivocal,” said Eric Reder, Campaign Director for the Wilderness Committee. “Shipping oil north of the 60th parallel is too risky. We cannot send crude through Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait.”

Omnitrax has stated it would begin shipping crude oil in the summer of 2014, against the wishes of Manitoba’s provincial government. The Manitoba government is currently investigating the establishment of new protected areas on the shores of Hudson Bay – as well as added marine protections for beluga whales – that would help put an end to oil shipping plans.

According to media reports, Minister Raitt said the complications with Arctic shipping for now will give policy-makers ample time to prepare all the safety protocols necessary to protect the pristine region from spills. Raitt also said she’s looking forward to the release of a report this fall with recommendations on shipping north of the 60th parallel.

“It’s not just always about the economy. I can’t believe I said that as a Conservative. But it’s not always about the economy. You’ve got to balance it out with what’s happening in terms of safety, and the environment too,” said Minister Raitt.

The Wilderness Committee has drawn attention to the lack of oil spill response equipment in Hudson Bay, and the difficulty of cleaning up an oil spill in icy, windy northern waters.

“The region is clearly not able to handle the shipment of any crude oil. Instead, the fragile and important northern ecology – including beluga and polar bear habitat – should be protected,” said Reder.

The Wilderness Committee continues to call on the federal government to permanently ban the shipment of crude oil through Churchill and Hudson Bay.

For more information, contact:

Eric Reder
Manitoba Campaign Director, Wilderness Committee
204-997-8584 (cell)

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Remembering Exxon Valdez, 25 Years Later

Wildlife Rescuers from the Disaster Reflect on One of the Worst Oil Spills in American History; Quarter-Century Anniversary of Valdez is on Monday, March 24, 2014
Nearly 25 years ago, the Exxon Valdez tragedy changed the way America looked at oil spills and their effects on seabirds and marine mammals. Two International Bird Rescue response experts, Jay Holcomb and Curt Clumpner, are available to speak about their experiences a quarter-century ago as well as explain how oiled wildlife response has changed in the year since.
International Bird Rescue’s response team was critical in efforts to save as many oiled birds as possible during the catastrophe. Exxon Valdez was the first major spill where field stabilization and transport were utilized extensively: Four regional centers were established to handle oiled wildlife — the same number of centers we set up by International Bird Rescue and partner organizations during the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010.  
Jay Holcomb, executive director of International Bird Rescue, worked on the front lines of oiled bird response during Exxon Valdez in 1989. His spill response experience spans four decades and dozens of spills, including the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill and the 2000 Treasure Spill in South Africa. Holcomb is a past recipient of the Oceana Ocean Heroes Award and the John Muir Association’s Conservationist of the Year Award.
Curt Clumpner, preparedness director of International Bird Rescue, served as a response team member during Exxon Valdez. Clumpner also assisted in wildlife response contingency plans during the Kulluk offshore rig incident in Alaska in 2013 and has responded to spills such as the 2011 Rena Spill in New Zealand and the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill.
To schedule an interview, please contact Karen Benzel at 831-622-7588 or karenbenzelpr@comcast.net

Archival photos from International Bird Rescue’s work during the spill are available in high-res format.

About International Bird Rescue:
International Bird Rescue (IBR) has been helping seabirds and other aquatic birds around the world since 1971. Our team of specialists operates two year- round aquatic bird rehabilitation centers in California, which care for more than 5,000 birds every year. IBR’s Oil Spill Response Team has led oiled wildlife rescue efforts in more than 200 oil spills in a dozen countries around the world.

Find out more at birdrescue.org.

65,000 demand that ABB withdraw from Sarawak

The Bruno Manser Fund has handed over a petition against ABB’s dealings in Sarawak, Malaysia – ABB refuses to provide any information on its business ties with the Taib regime

ZURICH, Switzerland, March 17, 2014 –/WORLD-WIRE/– 65,318 individuals demand that ABB withdraw from its business dealings in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. The Bruno Manser Fund handed over the petition at the ABB headquarters in Zürich Oerlikon last week. The petition was addressed to the CEO of the Swedish-Swiss company, Mr Ulrich Spiesshofer.

The Bruno Manser Fund delegation presented the petition on the occasion of a meeting with a number of ABB representatives. The signatories are demanding that ABB withdraw from its collaboration with Malaysian power supplier, Sarawak Energy.

ABB is furthermore asked to act to conserve the rainforest and to contribute to the improvement of the human rights situation of the indigenous peoples affected by the Murum Dam.

Research conducted by the Bruno Manser Fund revealed last year that ABB is involved in Sarawak’s dam scheme: ABB Malaysia has delivered the turbine governor and additional technical equipment for the controversial Murum Dam and labelled Sarawak Energy as one of their major customers.

The state-owned company, Sarawak Energy, has repeatedly handed out contracts to companies linked to the family of the former Chief Minister and current Governor of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud.

The Taib family has amassed stakes in over 400 companies worldwide and accumulated wealth in excess of US$20 billion during Taib’s 33 years as Chief Minister and is currently under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

At the meeting between ABB and the Bruno Manser Fund, the company downplayed its business ties with dam developer, Sarawak Energy. ABB refused to provide any information on the company’s business dealings in Sarawak. Questions concerning the extent of their business in Sarawak and also relating to the human rights situation and corruption were left unanswered.

The Murum Dam is the first of a series of mega-dams in the rainforest of Sarawak. It is flooding 250km2 of rainforest and forcefully displacing 1500 indigenous people. The proposed 12 dams would affect over 2,300km2 and an estimated population of between 30,000 and 50,000 people.

The Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) is committed to protect the threatened tropical rainforests and the rights of the indigenous forest peoples. The association’s focus lies on Sarawak, the Malaysian state in Borneo. The Bruno Manser Fund was founded by Swiss rainforest advocate Bruno Manser, who has been missing since his last trip to Sarawak in May 2000.
Please contact us for more information:
Bruno Manser Fund
Socinstrasse 37
4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 261 94 74


The Bruno Manser Fund at the ABB headquarters before handing over the petition



The Bruno Manser Fund is sending a clear message: ABB get out of Sarawak!

Everyone Welcome to Attend Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Festival for World Peace and Environmental Protection

KTL_LogoHONOLULU, Hawaii, March 14, 2014 –/WORLD-WIRE/– Registration is now open for the North American Kagyu Monlam Hawaii, a Tibetan Buddhist prayer festival. Through the recitation of prayers and by gathering people with shared intentions, the Monlam aspires to create world peace, liberate sentient beings from suffering and maintain the health of the environment.

The North American Kagyu Monlam Hawaii 2014 is hosted by Kagyu Thegchen Ling, a Honolulu center of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, also known as the “practice lineage” for its emphasis on meditation.

The Kagyu Monlam was established by the 7th Karmapa, Chodrak Gyatso (1454-1506). In the Tibetan region, he was a mediator who prevented several armed conflicts.

Thereafter, Monlam prayer festivals were held annually in Tibet.

In 1983, the Kagyu Monlam Chenmo was brought to Bodhgaya, India, the place of Buddha’s enlightenment, by Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche, the founder of Kagyu Thegchen Ling.

The Kagyu Monlam Chenmo is now attended by thousands of students and ordained monks and nuns from across the planet.

In contemporary times, with people and nations bound closer together by technology, global economies, politics, and a deteriorating environment that has no borders, the Monlam prayer festival has become even more important.

In the last few years, regional Monlams have been held in Europe, North America and Southeast Asia. Monlam Hawaii is the fifth to be held in North America.

In recent years at the Kagyu Monlam Chenmo, the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, has emphasized caring for the environment.

“We hold the Kagyu Monlam for the benefit of the entire world. We will not give up on the earth! May there be peace on earth! May the earth be sustained for many thousands of years! These are the prayers we make at the Kagyu Monlam,” says the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

The North American Kagyu Monlam Hawaii will be held May 9 to 11, 2014 in the Pikake Room at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.

Daily Activities: Each day will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude around 5:30 p.m. Each morning, participants may take Mahayana Sojong Vows, refraining from actions such as stealing, lying, consuming intoxicants, etc, until the next morning. The day will then continue with recitation of prayers from the Monlam Prayer Book, Dharma teachings and meditation.

Registration: $100 for three days, which includes the Monlam Prayer book, or $35 per day. For those registering for one or two days, the Monlam Prayer book may be purchased for $30.

To register and for more information about sponsorship, travel and the daily schedule, please visit the North American Kagyu Monlam Hawaii website: http://www.kagyumonlamhawaii.org/

Karen Honma

Sarawak Geoportal discloses rainforest damage brought about by Petronas gas pipeline in Malaysian Borneo

The Bruno Manser Fund’s newly released Sarawak Geoportal shows a new 500 km Petronas pipeline’s trail of destruction between the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak
BASEL, Switzerland, March 3, 2014 –/WORLD-WIRE/– With their new Sarawak Geoportal, the Swiss NGO, Bruno Manser Fund, brings transparency to a controversial gas pipeline project by Petronas, Malaysia’s national oil and gas company. Satellite imagery and geographical maps are showing the exact location of the gas pipeline connecting the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal in Kimanis with Petronas’ Liquified Natural Gas Complex in Bintulu, Sarawak.
The Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas has been repeatedly criticized for secrecy surrounding the project and for its failure to disclose the exact line of the 500km long Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline (SSGP).

Over the last years, Sarawak’s energy policy gave rise for concern. Local communities erected several blockades against the construction of the 500km long gas pipeline. In particular the extraction of timber within the native customary land for the construction of the pipeline was criticised by a number of affected indigenous communities and was the reason why Penan communities asked Petronas to fulfil their demands for compensation.

Planned hydropower projects are online too

No less controversial than the gas pipeline are the plans of the Sarawak state Government to build 12 huge hydropower dams. The dams would flood more than 2,300km2 of tropical rainforest and would directly or indirectly effect an estimated population of 30,000 to 50,000 people.

Despite strong protests, the Sarawak state government refuses to give up its plans. In early February, former Chief Minister Taib Mahmud said that two major new dams are going to be simultaneously constructed on the Baleh and Baram dam river.  
The new Geoportal of the Bruno Manser Fund provides insight into Sarawak’s mega dam plans and the villages that would be affected by the implementation of the dams. The Geoportal is available not only in English but in Bahasa Malaysia too. This makes it easily accessible for everyone in Sarawak.
The Sarawak Geoportal in Malay/Bahasa Malaysia: http://www.bmfmaps.ch/MY/composer/#maps/1002
The Sarawak Geoportal in English: http://www.bmfmaps.ch/EN/composer/#maps/1001
To see the Petronas pipeline, click “Hydropower Dams and Energy” in the menu on the left and tick the box “Gas Pipeline Sabah-Sarawak”.


Construction work of Petronas’ gas pipeline



Petronas Pipeline’s Trail on Sarawak Geoportal

The Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) is committed to protect the threatened tropical rainforests and the rights of the indigenous forest peoples. The association’s focus lies on Sarawak, the Malaysian state in Borneo. The Bruno Manser Fund was founded by Swiss rainforest advocate Bruno Manser, who has been missing since his last trip to Sarawak in May 2000.
Please contact us for more information:
Bruno Manser Fund
Socinstrasse 37
4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 261 94 74

Rogue state Malaysia: kleptocrat Taib Mahmud appointed as Governor of Sarawak

Malaysian King appoints Ex-Sarawak Chief Minister as Governor amidst protests and an ongoing corruption investigation
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, February 28, 2014 –/WORLD-WIRE/– George Orwell could not have invented it better: After 33 years in power as Chief Minister of Sarawak, Malaysia’s most controversial and presumably richest politician, Abdul Taib Mahmud (“Taib”), has today been appointed by the Malaysian King as the new Governor of Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state in Borneo.

The new office will grant Taib (77) immunity from criminal prosecution and will allow him to continue pulling the strings from behind the scenes while his septuagenarian relative, Adenan Satem, will replace him as Chief Minister.
“It is an utter disgrace for Malaysia and the International Community that Taib Mahmud, a world-class criminal, has been allowed to become Governor”, the Swiss Bruno Manser Fund stated on Friday. “Taib’s rise to Governor is likely to encourage kleptocrats around the globe to continue plundering their countries’ natural resources. Taib’s appointment is also an alarming sign for the weakness of civil society and democratic institutions in Malaysia.”
On Thursday, a Malaysian court dismissed an ex-parte bid to stop Taib from becoming Governor for his involvement in unconstitutional commercial activities. The judge said that the court had no jurisdiction to interfere with the King’s prerogative to appoint the new Governor.

On Friday, a group of citizens protested in Sarawak’s state capital, Kuching, against Taib’s appointment as Governor.
“Honesty in serving the people has always been my leadership principle”, a cynical Taib said to Bernama, Malaysia’s national news agency. Taib failed to explain why resource-rich Sarawak, after 33 years under his leadership, has remained one of Malaysia’s poorest states.
Research by the Bruno Manser Fund has shown that Taib’s closest family members’ hold stakes in over 400 companies in 25 countries around the globe. The Bruno Manser Fund estimates the Taib family’s assets at USD 20 billion.
Taib Mahmud has been under investigation by Malaysia’s Anti Corruption Commission since 2011 over allegations of corruption and the suspected embezzlement of state funds. Taib’s appointment as Governor has only become possible owing to the endorsement of his succession plan by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Please contact us for more information:
Bruno Manser Fund
Socinstrasse 37
4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 261 94 74

Southern Oregon Community Employs Creativity in an Attempt to Halt Clearcut

Non-profit Produces Short Documentary to Bring Awareness to Important Environmental Issue

Speak_for_the_Trees_LogoLITTLE APPLEGATE VALLEY, Oregon, February 27, 2014 –/WORLD-WIRE/– Speak for the Trees is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization committed to stopping deforestation in Southern Oregon.  Founded in 2012, the group has focused its efforts to be “dedicated to rescuing timberlands…one watershed at a time.”  

Today, it has been reported the organization has released a self- titled short documentary aimed at bringing awareness to the issue of environmental violations in the logging industry in Oregon.
In June 2012, after a local logging operation was found guilty of multiple environmental violations as outlined in the Oregon Forest Practices Act, Speak for the Trees, along with the help of government agencies, brought a halt to the operation.

Born out of their desire to further protect the land under threat of irresponsible forestry practices, the non-profit set their sights on the purchase of an area of land which is to be set aside as a preserve.

The group was able to option the right to purchase the 110 acres under threat until this May. With over 300 new donations. Speak for the Trees has now raised a total of $59,043 toward the $156,000 goal.

Lydia Doleman, one of the founding members of the organization, has said, “We knew we weren’t reaching a large enough audience up to this point and time was becoming a factor. With our May deadline quickly approaching, we believed our decision to make a short documentary about the situation might better highlight the issue at hand in a creative way and so far, we’ve seen a huge response. With the film, and the help of the local community, our reach now has the potential of becoming global.”  

Matt Ramsey, another Speak for the Trees member, adds, “Through crowd funding, live music events, fundraising events, and now this short documentary, we are getting closer to being able to create the wildland preserve that we set out to protect. We still have a long way to go and hopefully this film will be the silver bullet that we need.”

The documentary may be viewed and donations can be made at http://www.speakforthetreesoregon.org.

For more information, please contact:
Dean Hawn                    
Media Relations
Speak For the Trees (501(c) (3)

EXCLUSIVE: Sarawak Geoportal creates transparency on land use in Malaysian Borneo

A new interactive web-database launched by the Bruno Manser Fund creates transparency on land use in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. The site releases hitherto confidential official maps and detailed information on land use changes and rainforest destruction in Sarawak.

BASEL, Switzerland, February 24, 2014 –/WORLD-WIRE/– A large database containing hitherto confidential 1:50,000 topographic maps of the Malaysian state of Sarawak has gone online today with the launching of the Sarawak Geoportal by the Swiss NGO, the Bruno Manser Fund.

The online tool includes an overview of concessions granted for logging and palm oil plantations as well as raw data on the rapid deforestation of Sarawak.

Important geographic data on Sarawak, such as the exact location of villages, roads, rivers, the use of land and vegetation types are freely available to public scrutiny.
The Sarawak Geoportal, which is based on data digitised over five years by the Bruno Manser Fund, helps understand the environmental, social and political developments in Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state in Borneo. The data can be overlayed with Google topographic and satellite maps.  
The Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) has launched this online tool to challenge the Sarawak state government’s secretive dealing with important land use information.

“All this information should have been made public by the Sarawak government long ago”, BMF director Lukas Straumann said. “The data have deliberately been shut away in order to facilitate the land grab by the political elite under outgoing Chief Minister Taib Mahmud. We expect that the next government will release all relevant land use data to the public. The importance of public access to environmental information has been recognized by the United Nations’ Aarhus Convention.”
Sarawak’s indigenous people are rarely informed in a transparent way about government projects that involve their native lands. Recently, indigenous communities affected by the construction of the controversial Murum dam only learnt about their resettlement shortly before they had to move.
The Sarawak Geoportal also provides evidence-based information on deforestation, a process that is typically misrepresented by the Sarawak government for political reasons.

According to 2009 satellite imagery analysed by Sarawak Geoportal, a maximum of 11% of the area of Sarawak remains covered by primeval forest.
You can access the Sarawak Geoportal under: http://www.bmfmaps.ch/EN/composer/#maps/1001

To learn how to use the Geoportal, you can watch an introductory video on: http://www.bmfmaps.ch/IGIS_UserVideo.mp4

The Sarawak Geoportal is an integral part of BMF’s new website, www.bmf.ch.

Please contact us for more information:
Bruno Manser Fund
Socinstrasse 37
4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 261 94 74

ADA Carbon Solutions Announces New Hires of a Senior R&D Director and a Regional Sales Director

ADA Carbon Solutions adds over 20 years of R&D expertise and leadership in nanotechnology and catalysis as well as over 16 years of sales experience in power generation and regulatory compliance.

ADA-CS_logoLITTLETON, Colorado, February 24, 2014 –WORLD-WIRE– ADA Carbon Solutions, LLC , an industry leading manufacturer of powdered activated carbon, is pleased to announce two new hires.   

Dr. Roger H. Cayton joins ADA Carbon Solutions as Senior Research and Development Director. Dr. Cayton, an experienced R&D technology leader, has expertise in nanotechnology and catalysis and has led research in the energy and specialty chemical industries for over 20 years.

According to Dr. Joe Wong, Chief Technology Officer of ADA Carbon Solutions, “Roger’s extensive R&D experience will help accelerate our pace of innovation and help bring novel compliance solution technologies to our customers in the coal-fired generation, waste-to-energy, and cement industries.”

Patrick E. Gallen joins ADA Carbon Solutions as a Regional Sales Director. Most recently, Mr. Gallen served as a Business Development Manager with the Clyde Bergemann Power Group where he secured the single largest Utility MATS compliance project in North America.  

According to Mr. Tom Coyne, Vice President of Sales of ADA Carbon Solutions, “Pat’s career includes over 16 years of experience in the power generation market space.  He brings a sound understanding of our customers and the market and is a demonstrated expert at helping customers implement cost-effective, durable solutions to their regulatory challenges. We look forward to Mr. Gallen’s experience and insights to augment our expanding business.”

“We are excited about the addition of both Pat and Roger to our team” said Brian Leen, President and Chief Executive Officer of ADA Carbon Solutions. “Our focus is on helping power plants and other coal-burning facilities achieve compliance reliably and cost affordably. To accomplish this objective we start by seeking to understand each plant’s specific challenge and then we go to work designing a solution tailored to address it. Both Pat and Roger have terrific experience in areas that will help us deliver our value proposition to our customers, and I look forward to the impact they will bring to our organization.”

About ADA Carbon Solutions
ADA Carbon Solutions, LLC is a leading manufacturer of powdered activated carbon products that are optimized for mercury removal and flue gas applications. Its flagship plant in Red River, Louisiana is the largest, most automated and environmentally friendly manufacturing facility in North America. ADA Carbon Solutions aims to leverage its industry leading expertise in emission control and the reliability afforded by its assets to deliver superior emission control solutions.  

For more information visit www.ada-cs.com.

For further information, please contact:
Sheila Glesmann
Senior Vice President, Environmental and External Affairs
E-mail: sheila.glesmann@ada-cs.com
Phone: (410) 544-5292