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Illegal tropical timber may be circulating in Ireland

Call for Irish wood consumers to be vigilant -Illegally logged timber in Brazil is being laundered on a massive and growing scale and then sold on to unwitting buyers in the UK, US, Europe and China...

21st May 2014

For immediate release:
Date: 21 May 2014
From: Just Forests-Tullamore
Contact: Tom Roche- 086 8049389


Call for Irish wood consumers to be vigilant
 - On the eve of International Day of Biodiversity (22 May) Illegal timber may be in circulation in Ireland


Illegally logged timber in Brazil is being laundered on a massive and growing scale and then sold on to unwitting buyers in the UK, US, Europe and China, according to a report from GREENPEACE. After a two-year investigation, the environmental campaign group says it has uncovered evidence of systematic abuse and a flawed monitoring system that contradicts the Brazilian government's claims to be coping with the problem of deforestation in the Amazon.

Criminal loggers and sawmills launder illegal timber using official government logging permits. This paperwork is supposed to prove the timber was felled legally, but the permits are readily available to buy on the black market. More than half of all timber logged in the Amazon is illegal (78% in the main export state of Pará), so companies exporting timber from the Amazon are taking a tremendous risk if they take official documents from Brazil at face value.

“Companies buying timber from the Amazon need to know that illegal logging is the norm, and the paperwork you get cannot be trusted. If you buy timber on the basis of official-looking paperwork, you’re taking a massive risk. Anyone who wants Amazon timber needs to do their homework, and only buy from suppliers whose timber has been certified as legal by an independent organisation like the Forest Stewardship Council.” according to Richard George, Forest Campaigner with GREENPEACE-UK.

UK DIY giant Jewson and their partners International Timber Ltd are supplying tropical timber/timber products from the Brazilian Amazon, including decking made from the rare tree species ipe. They are relying on the paperwork used by criminals to cover up illegal logging to prove that the timber is legal.

International Timber Ltd do supply tropical timber to Irish timber traders.


"We are calling on all Irish wood consumers to be vigilant and insist on FSC certified timber and wood-based products. Before you purchase insist on seeing a copy of a valid timber certificate-if the supplier can’t produce one DONT purchase", according to Tom Roche of Just Forests.

We have also written to the Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Simon Coveney, requesting that the Irish ‘competent authority’ responsible for implementing/monitoring the EU Timber Regulation investigates our concerns regarding this development immediately.

Roche goes on to say that, "IPE hardwood decking and garden furniture is readily available from a number of Irish-based timber distributors for purchase in Ireland."

It is essential that all Irish timber/timber product consumers insist on seeing some sort of independent verification that all the timber/timber products they purchase is both legal and sustainable.

ENDS 

 

You can learn more about this problem and support the GREENPEACE petition here...https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/illegaltimber?source=em&subsource=20140516foem03&utm_source=gpeace&utm_medium=em&utm_campaign=20140516foem03

This letter appeared in The Examiner some years ago and is still very relevant.
application/pdfFair Play.pdf (65.86 KB)
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Irish Woodworkers for Africa Ltd. T/A Just Forests
Rathcobican, Rhode, Offaly, Ireland
Phone: +353 (0)86 8049389  |  E-mail: info@justforests.org
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