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Greenpeace commended the efforts of 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature winner, José Saramago, and several of his publishing houses today for joining the Greenpeace Book Campaign and printing the Spanish, Brazilian, Portuguese, Italian, French and Catalan editions of his new novel on paper not sourced from ancient forest destruction. [1]

Speaking from the launch of the Spanish and Portuguese editions of The Intermittencies of Death, in Lisbon this evening, the highly acclaimed author said: "I have asked all my publishing houses around the world to launch Forest Stewardship Certified editions of my new book in support of Greenpeace campaign to save ancient forests...I think that if all authors around the world also decide to support this campaign, it be will a revolution in the way books are made today."

The Greenpeace Book Campaign is calling on the publishing industry to use ’ancient forest friendly’ paper. This is paper that uses as much post consumer, recycled fibre as possible. If it does contain virgin fibre, it must come from Forest Stewardship Council certified sources [2]. Saramago’s publishers have not printed all his new novels on paper of this high standard, but they have taken a positive first step by using more ecologically sound paper.

Greenpeace International Programme Director, Bruno Rebelle, said: "Initiatives like this prove that our natural and cultural heritage can stand hand in hand. Only 20 per cent of the world’s original forests are left and unless we stop cutting them down to make products like books, they will be gone in decades. Greenpeace thanks Saramago and his publishers and hopes they will continue to help save the last ancient forests by printing all their books on ’ancient forest friendly’ paper in the future. "

Life on Earth depends on ancient forests. They regulate our weather, filter air, clean our water and stabilize our climate. They are also home to two thirds of the animals and plants that live on land as well as thousands of cultures and peoples who depend on the forest for their survival.

Over 70 other publishing houses in Canada and Europe have already joined the Greenpeace Book Campaign and pledged to stop using paper that contains fibre from ancient forests for all their books, including Random House U.K., Canada and Germany. With the support of authors like Saramago, J.K. Rowling (U.K.), Isabel Allende (Chile/US), Margaret Atwood (Canada) and Günter Grass (Germany), over six and half million books have been printed on ’ancient forest friendly’ paper to date.

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organization, which uses non-violent, creative communication tools to put the spotlight on global environmental problems, and to drive towards solutions essential for a green and peaceful future.

[1] The Italian (Einaudi), edition will be printed on recycled paper; the Brazilian (Cia. das Letras) and French (Le Seuil) editions on FSC certified paper; the Spanish (Alfaguara), Portuguese (Caminho) and Catalan (Ediciones 62) on paper not sourced from ancient forests. To become totally ’ancient forest friendly’ Saramago’s publishers need to use more recycled paper for all their book titles.

[2] FSC is the only certification scheme that guarantees the timber products and fibre you buy come from forests that have been managed in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Post-consumer fibre has gone through its intended use (been purchased by a consumer) and then recovered through a recycling program.