China: Top buyer of illegal timber drives deforestation
November 29, 2012
BEIJING: China, emergent superpower and the world’s second biggest economy, is effectively standing on the sidelines as its exponential growth devastates forests in a trade worth billions of dollars a year.
In the new report Appetite for Destruction: China’s Trade in Illegal Timber, launched today in Beijing, the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) reveals that China is now the single largest international consumer of illegal timber, importing wood stolen by organised criminal syndicates on a massive scale.
In the past 10 years, significant progress has been made to protect shrinking forests around the world from the devastating impacts of illegal logging. As major timber-consumers, the United States the European Union and Australia have now taken legislative steps to exclude stolen timber from their markets, while key producer countries such as Indonesia have dramatically improved enforcement against illegal logging.
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