Topical Tropical Forests

Today we are launching an e-card to support my Member’s bill that will regulate the import of illegal and unsustainable tropical timber and wood products. Please send one now to the Prime Minister.

In additional to the e-card, next week we are working with visiting Papuan activists Paula Makabory who is speaking in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch about human rights, mining and forestry issues in her country (which is currently occupied by the Indonesian military and their corporate allies).

Paula and I are also going to visit retailers to congratulate ethical businesses who sell credibly-certificated timber products and to challenge the bad guys to do a whole lot better.

My Bill requires that all imported timber and wood products are certified as legal and sustainable.  Many of these products — from kwila decking and garden furniture to teak ornaments — have some kind of label, but not all labels are credible as research from groups such as Greenpeace has uncovered. I recommend Greenpeace’s Good Wood guide.

Sustainability can be the hardest and most nebulous test on the planet, and that is why we are requiring certification that meets the tests of cultural, ecological and social justice as well as financial sustainability.

Neither Labour or National have yet shown leadership on this issue of national shame, but my bill gives them the opportunity to do something about it. The global illegal timber trade  substantially harms the New Zealand forestry industry — to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in depressed prices, and costing us jobs and carbon credits at the same time — as well as harming the climate, indigenous people and the biodiversity of the planet.

In the next month we are going to push the Government hard to show some commitment to this issue. To find out more about the campaign go to the Rainforests campaign on our website!

7 thoughts on “Topical Tropical Forests

  1. The timber industry doesn’t face near the contempt that it should.

    Nor do link whores who pretend to have an interest in issues on this site, but in fact are touting for business, Concert Guide.

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  2. Hope the Government will show strong support and help more than
    some speech to close the issue.
    Climate Change , environment, jobs, all need to keep it green and
    alive ,and we will do

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  3. Catherine; I have acted. I sent a card to the PM I mentioned that I am an Ex-pat from up there and that I was shocked by the way the logging companies are acting as gangsters.

    I even remember in the eighties that ebony was rapidly becoming extinct in a lot of those islands. It is very difficult to cultivate, a bit like rimu in that it has a hart, but unlike rimu the hart is grainless and pitch black in King ebony and the outside wood is a soft white.

    Greenfly; You have my curiosity up. What about Concert Guide?

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  4. Drakula – it’s nothing especially profound. I’m trying to get my head around the inane postings that appear over night on Frogblog, from people (overseas I’m guessing) who troll for comments they can latch onto in a semi-sensible way and have live links to their places of work. Comments like,
    ” your comment makes me sensible” are a bit of a give-away.

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  5. I know that this post is about New Zealand but I have to make a comment about the wood industry in the world. I am from Brazil, my father worked 12 years for a German wood company operating in Amazon. They have legal permission to extract Brazilian wood in a good part of Amazon today. There are many procedures that they have to follow to not “disturb” the fauna and flora, like making sure all the nests of a tree is moved or there are enough seeds around that around or there are younger trees that will take the place of those being extracted. Well, I can’t tell you, there is no such thing as clean wood extraction, I was told by my father that many of those younger trees never grow, many animals lose their homes and have to migrate to other parts of the forest which limit their resources of food and water. Every day more and more forests are being destroyed to supply humans comfort, all we are able to do is talk and spread the word, the Brazilian government couldn’t care less. I think it is disgusting.

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  6. Paul : Your second name reminds me of the famous Columbian writer Garcia Marquez.
    The last book I read was “Love in the Time of Cholora” in that book he mentions how the steamers destroyed huge tracks of land along the Magdalina river to fuel their boilers.

    One would think that in the demise of the steam age there would be no excuse.

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