Papua New Guinea’s timber exports to China illegal

timber exports

Millions of tonnes of illegally logged timber, felled from forests across Papua New Guinea (PNG), are being exported to China and from there to the world as finished wood products, a new report from Global Witness has revealed.

In 2016, PNG provided 29% of China’s tropical log imports, making it the country’s single largest supplier.

The report notes that, on paper, the legal system in PNG guarantees that indigenous Papua New Guineans have control over their forests.

“In reality, however, the government is responsible for a catastrophic failure to uphold these laws, and the forest sector has been plagued for decades by allegations of corruption and lawbreaking.”

The investigation reveals how a large number of logging operations in PNG violate the law despite their holding government-issued permits.

China is the world’s largest consumer and manufacturer of wood and wood products.

Yet it has no regulation to keep illegal timber from entering its borders.

The report says the timber trade has profound implications for PNG.

70% of the country is covered by forest ecosystems that are home to some of the world’s rarest plants and animals.

The forest is also central to the cultural traditions and livelihoods of PNG’s eight million people.

By continuing to import tropical timber from PNG on such a scale, China is driving the destruction of a vulnerable and ancient forest, the report says.

The report makes two recommendation for action by China and six for action by PNG.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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