At 7.30am, on September 6th, almost 100 activists from Greenpeace's Forest Crime Unit halted construction at the National Lottery funded refurbishment of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, the most visited museum in the UK outside London.
The volunteers removed packs of timber, which is being used for new flooring, and replaced it with timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), guaranteed to be come from environmentally and socially responsible sources. At the same time, four Greenpeace climbers scaled the front of the museum before dropping a banner reading 'The National Lottery: Funding Rainforest Destruction'.
The timber being used at the gallery, merbau, is sourced from the last rainforests of South East Asia and is at risk of extinction due to massive commercial over-exploitation. It is regularly logged in the last rainforests of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and has been virtually wiped out in Malaysia.
Greenpeace will be delivering some of the rainforest timber used in the building to Glasgow City Council, who have also financially contributed to the refurbishment, as well as to the Department of Culture Media and Sport in London, who oversee the National Lottery.
Belinda Fletcher from Greenpeace, said: 'The National Lottery should be using people's money to support good causes, not supporting the destruction of the world's last rainforests.
'Its outrageous that National lottery projects like Kelvingrove continue to use rainforest timber during construction. If we don't want to confine the worlds rainforests to history it's essential that all lottery funded projects in the UK insist on the use of FSC timber, like the timber that Greenpeace has brought here today.'
Greenpeace is calling on the National Lottery to immediately implement timber procurement guidelines for all Lottery funded projects. Greenpeace has also announced it intention to monitor other National Lottery funded projects being built in the UK to ensure that the timber comes from legal and sustainable sources.