Joint statement of Ukrainian, Belarusian, EU, UK and US environmental and human rights NGOs and activists
Russia is engaging in an unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine which is already having a high toll on citizens. We stand in solidarity with all people living in Ukraine, including those stranded at the Ukraine’s border and denied safe passage, as well as all those in Russia who are paying a high price for calling for peace.
Europe is seeking ways to isolate Russia and bring a swift end to this war. One way is through stemming the export of timber and wood products which Russia relies heavily on. In 2021, the export of timber and wood products from the Russian Federation was $13.9 billion US. The EU is a major market for this wood. The proceeds from the sale of timber could be used to sustain the Russian war effort.
Fern stands with environmental and human rights NGOs and activists from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus and has signed an appeal calling on the EU and other governments to extend sanctions to all types of Russian timber and wood products.
We also call on the EU to ensure that their response to the war, in particular the shift to increased energy independence, is undertaken in line with an ambitious European Green Deal, Fit-for-55 package and Biodiversity Strategy. Europe’s nature and climate must not be a price to pay for this war, and we are concerned with the darkly opportunistic reaction by some forest industries to remove forest protection measures and facilitate increased logging.