How Indonesia’s Last Rainforests are being Felled for Flooring
Demand-driven illegal logging in Indonesia is destroying one of the world’s most important remaining tracts of undisturbed tropical forest. Despite unprecedented enforcement operations by the Indonesian government, every day thousands of hectares of Indonesia’s forests are cut illegally to supply the thousands of factories across Asia. Much of this timber is destined for the shelves of high street retailers and builder’s merchants in the EU and US.
Merbau, a highly valuable hardwood, is being ruthlessly targeted by illegal logging syndicates in Indonesian Papua to supply the booming demand for tropical hardwood flooring. Outlining the results of recent EIA/Telapak investigations, this briefing tracks the trade in merbau from Papua, via the factories processing merbau for the world’s biggest flooring brands, to the shelves of the leading DIY and home improvement retailers of Europe and North America.
Providing case studies on some of the biggest players, the briefing contrasts the environmental claims touted by specific European and American companies with the reality investigators found behind the veneer. It reveals that – though they are not themselves breaking any law – these global flooring companies do not know the precise origin of all the merbau they are selling, that much of the wood originates in Papua, and there is no way of being certain it was not illegally sourced. It also outlines specific examples of illegal activities by Asian companies supplying some of these major brands.
Author: Telapak and EIA
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