Indonesia urges rich countries to ban illegally logged wood products
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
April 25, 2007
The Indonesian Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar, said that furniture made from illegal cut wood from New Guinea is widely available in American and European discount stores, apparently referencing undercover investigations by Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), an environmental group, which have linked illicit cutting in the Indonesian province of Papua to furniture exports from China.
Witoelar said that consuming governments should use existing systems to ensure that wood is coming from legitimate sources.
Indonesia is plagued by widespread illegal logging, though in recent months, the government has aggressively cracked down on unlicensed operations. Still it is estimated that more than half of Indonesia's logging is illicit.
Last month the government announced plans to significantly increase logging of natural forests in 2007.
Home Depot, Lowe's selling illegal wood from Papua New Guinea-Report. Consumers in the United States are being mislead as to the origin of merbau hardwood flooring being sold by Home Depot and Lowe's. According to a new report published by the Environmental Investigation Agency and their Indonesian NGO partner Telepak, such timber is coming from the forests of Indonesia's remote Papua Province, where 80 percent of logging is estimated to be illegal.
Greens team with timber industry on new anti-illegal logging bill. A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill to ban the use of illegally-harvested timber and wood products. Led by Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Robert Wexler (D-FL), and Jerry Weller (R-IL) the legislation would make it a crime to import, export, possess, purchase or sell illicit timber.
Illegal Logging Link between Indonesia and China. A new report released by EIA/Telapak, entitled "The Last Frontier", exposes the international criminal syndicates behind the massive looting of merbau trees from Indonesia's Papua Province. Merbau, a valuable hardwood used mainly for flooring, is being smuggled out of Papua at a rate of around 300 000 cubic metres of logs every month to feed China's timber processing industry. China's economic boom has led to it becoming the largest buyer of illegal timber in the world.
Hardwood flooring linked to illegal timber smuggling ring, says group. EIA has documented how 300,000 cubic meters of stolen merbau logs are exported from Papua each month. Most of these logs are going to feed China's massive timber processing industry. Chinese factories export merbau flooring to North American distributors including Goodfellow, a leading timber importer and hardwood floor sales company with offices in New York, New Hampshire and Washington state and over 7,000 U.S. and Canadian customers.