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.
Collected news links from external sources related to topics concerning the Book Chain Project.
Central African Republic and Liberia become the fifth and sixth countries to sign Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU. Under the EU Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), VPAs commit partner countries to establish systems and a licencing scheme to ensure only verified legal timber products (including pulp and paper) are exported from that country from 3rd March 2013 (globally; not just to EU member states). VPAs with Ghana and Cameroon are close to being signed and VPAs with four more countries are currently being negotiated.
Pacific West Commercial Corp are looking to reopen a NewPage paper mill which closed in September last year as it struggled with soaring electricity and shipping costs, a strong Canadian dollar and declining demand. Workers have voted through their union to accept a deal to work on a contract basis.
Press release for a report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists called ‘Logging and the Law: How the U.S. Lacey Act Helps Reduce Illegal Logging in the Tropics’. The report draws attention to how illegally harvested wood distorts prices of legal wood and has a negative impact on the US wood industry.
Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) has come up with a user-friendly website for Malaysians to monitor rainforests and alert the authorities over suspicious activities.
In advance of the entering into force of the EUTR, the UK Contractors Group has stated that all timber products purchased for either temporary or permanent use on UKCG member sites will be certified as legally and sustainably sourced through FSC or PEFC.
Japanese pulp company solidifies its position as the world’s biggest pulp trader by buying a 24.9% stake from M-Real in Finnish pulp producer, Metsa Fibre. Increasingly volatile pulp prices are thought to have been a key driver in the deal for M-Real which wanted to reduce its pulp surplus.
Mohawk Fine Papers undertaking a new strategic direction by focussing on high quality digital printing and reducing its range from 22 to six brands.
A remote sensing company has signed a deal with the Brazilian space agency to deliver near real-time satellite imagery to monitor forest clearing in the Amazon rainforest and target illegal logging as it happens. Illegal loggers have grown smart to the current monitoring system by clearing smaller areas to evade detection but the new system will provide a much higher level of granularity in its imaging. Such technology is seen as important in the development of an effective REDD+ programme.
Investigation underway into illegal logging of natural forest in central Viet Nam. It is thought that illegal logging in the region is on the rise, in part due to access being opened up by reservoirs for hydro-power projects. These projects have also displaced local farmers who have then deforested land to set up new farms.
Summary of the latest developments in the Greenpeace APP campaign. It notes the change in tone in APP’s response: they have responded to the latest allegations regarding their use of ramin (a CITES-listed species) only by saying they are cooperating with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry’s investigation, and didn’t follow their usual line of defence which is to question the substance of Greenpeace’s allegations.
Allegations made against Tasmania’s state-owned forestry company of unsustainable harvesting of its native forests. PEFC is now investigating whether the company has breached its standards on managing its forests sustainably.