Pressure to meet fast fashion deadlines is leading to women working in Asian factories supplying Gap and H&M being sexually and physically abused, according to two separate reports published by Global Labour Justice on gender-based violence in garment supply chains. More than 540 female workers at factories that supply the Gap and H&M have described incidents of threats and abuse. The reports claim that these allegations recorded between January and May this year in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, are a direct result of pressure for quick turnarounds and low overheads. Gap and H&M are going to investigate the allegations and they welcome initiatives to tackle violence, including an ILO convention.
Endangered Forests in the Balance : the impact of logging reaches new heights in the Montagnes Blanches endangered Forest
The Montagnes Blanches endangered forest has become a focus area for conservation organisations due to threats on its unique features by illegal logging. According to satellite data provided from 2000-2013, almost 50% of the intact forest landscape has been lost or degraded. Furthermore the species, woodland cari-bou within this forest is now being identified as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk 2.
32 indigenous villagers in Cambodia’s north-eastern area, Stung Treng province, called on local forestry officials to crackdown on illegal saw mills and to provide them with protection after they received death threats from unsanctioned loggers of luxury timber. The 32 villagers are community activists, and they vowed to keep fighting illegal logging in their local area despite the threats. The environmental watchdog Global Witness said in a report in February that China’s voracious demand for luxury furniture is the driver behind the multimillion-dollar illegal trade in rosewood in Cambodia.
A study published in Science modelling species extinction in the Brazilian Amazon has concluded that the extinction of many species in certain regions is inevitable. The study models several future scenarios ranging from “business as usual” to a “strong reduction” and found that even in the best case scenario deforestation will lead to the extinction of around 38 species locally. Future threats to the Amazon come from planned hydroelectric power plants and the risks of deforestation which might follow the changes to Brazil’s Forest Code.
The Surui Forest Carbon Project (SFCP) is the first UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) project to directly pay indigenous tribes to protect the rainforest. It provides carbon income to tribes protecting the Amazon against illegal loggers. However, Surui leaders claim that loggers have increased their threats and are trying to bribe dissenting members of the tribe with firearms. The tribe hopes that calling in the police will send a clear message to illegal loggers and also encourage other Amazonian tribes to adopt the SFCP model.
Feature on the state of illegal logging in Cambodia looking at how villagers are making efforts to protect their forests against deforestation in the face of corruption, inactivity from the government and threats from illegal loggers. It also draws attention to the concessions the government has begun giving to private investors on protected areas, legalising unsustainable cutting. The World Bank estimates that 94% of logging in Cambodia by volume is illegal.