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Importing illegally-harvested wood into China

November 7, 2010

China’s high population density caused the nation to be largely deforested at a relatively early period, so China must import wood for use in manufacturing. Chinese authorities do not vigorously inspect timber imported into the country. This carelessness is reducing some the of the world’s last virgin (never logged) forests to furniture. Many western businesses, like Ikea and Home Depot, are guilty of purchasing processed wood products from China, made from illegally harvested wood from either the Russian Far East or Southeast Asia.  More info here.

A new report from the Environmental Investigation Agency states that much wood that is used to make luxury furniture in China, is illegally harvested from the ecologically unique and UNESCO-listed rain forests of Atsinanana.  It is for this reason that this UNESCO world heritage site, the rainforests of Atsinanana, have been placed on the list of “World Heritage in danger.”  Well, that and the hunting of lemurs. After having seen the remnants of logging the redwoods in California as well as all of the contemporary logging going on in the Pacific Northwest while on the bike tour this summer, I feel more passionate about the protection of forests worldwide.

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