Fighting for ecological justice

Singapore’s Illegal Timber Trade

Singapore, the world’s busiest port and the first Asian country to sign a free trade agreement with the US, has long been known to act as a major center of illegal trade in endangered wildlife and wildlife products. This document reveals evidence demonstrating how the city-state also plays a key role in smuggling illegally cut timber into other Asian countries and in some cases into the United States.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which specializes in investigating environmental crime, fears the US-Singapore FTA, as it stands, will trigger a major increase in Singaporean controlled exports of illegally cut timber into the US. The Office of the US Trade Representative, which led the US negotiations, admits that “international trade can play a role in stimulating, enabling or rewarding illegal activities in a number of Asia-Pacific countries where illegal logging (is) a significant cause of deforestation.

To avoid this outcome, it is imperative that both Singapore and the US act quickly to prohibit the import, export, transshipment or possession of illegally cut timber within their borders.

For the past five years, EIA and Indonesian campaign partners Telapak have investigated the massive illegal logging in Indonesia’s national parks and areas of outstanding biodiversity. By tracking the major export trade routes of the millions of cubic meters of illegally cut timber, we have implicated Singapore and Malaysia as major recipients and traders of these product…see attached document



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