A four-year investigation by the US Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) uncovered evidence of an illegal timber trade stretching from Chinese-owned Dejia Group in West Africa to major hardware stores located across the USA.
The timber was from the okoumé tree, classed vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, with a range limited to just four African countries. US Federal officials are investigating the importers, Evergreen Hardwoods and Cornerstone Forest Products. The Dejia Group also exports to European countries where the EU Timber Regulation is in force, including France, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Greece.
Collected news links from external sources related to topics concerning the Book Chain Project.
- Forest Sourcing
- United States
- Chinese-owned Dejia Group
- Cornerstone Forest Products
- Evergreen Hardwoods
- hardware stores
- illegal timber trade
- IUCN Red List
- okoumé tree
- The Dejia Group
- Timber Regulation
- US Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
- US Federal officials
The importance of tropical rain forest for addressing climate change was formally recognized in the Paris Conference of Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC. The Paris Agreement advocates countries to incorporate forests and ecosystems protection into country plans for reducing emissions. To combat climate change, except protecting and restoring forests, it is also essential to maintain the full faunal composition to ensure long term survival and maximize full capacity. Last but not least, recognizing the role of maintaining core areas of intact primary forest through parks, reserves, indigenous territories and other protected areas to ensure that restoration of forests takes place in a way that fully restores those forests to their many ecosystem service roles is also important.
WWF is urging the European Commission to use the results of the recent surveys on implementation of the EU Timber Regulations to put more pressure on national governments and take legal action against non-compliant countries. WWF’s EU Government barometer shows that only 11 EU countries have so far adopted national legislation and procedures considered robust enough to control the legality of timber and timber products, thus leaving 17 without robust legislation. The most recent EU survey on implementation highlights Hungary, Poland, Spain, Malta, France, Greece and Italy as being among the countries failing to fully implement the regulations.
New checks on Indonesian timber are being introduced by the EU to curb illegal logging. The EU is Indonesia’s biggest export market for timber, with Germany, the UK, France and Italy among the major importers.
From now on, only Indonesian timber compliant with the EU’s verification system, called Forest Law Enforcement Governance (FLEGT) will be imported into the EU. The European Commission says the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with Indonesia commits both sides to only trade in verified legal timber products.
UPM is in negotiations with the joint venture VPK Packaging Group NV and Klingele Papierwerke to sell most of its Stracel mill located in France. The intent to sell the Stracel mill was announced by UPM in August 2011 following a comprehensive review of the long term competitiveness of its publication paper mills. VPK and Klingele plan to convert the mill into a recycled fibre-based containerboard unit, producing fluting and test-liner; while UPM would retain part of the land for potential future production of advanced biofuels.