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Rainforests need Govt commitment to sustainability

Rainforests need Govt commitment to sustainability


Green media release    7-2-08


The Greens are calling on the Government to show its commitment to sustainability by blocking the import of outdoor furniture and lumber made from trees taken illegally and unsustainably from the last of the rainforests of Asia and the Pacific.

This follows the publication today of the Guide to Forest Friendly Outdoor Furniture Retailers by Greenpeace and the Indonesia Human Rights Committee.

“This Government has made a lot of its commitment to sustainability. So here’s one simple, practical step it can take – block the import into New Zealand of outdoor furniture and timber made from trees taken illegally and unsustainably from the rainforests of Asia and the Pacific,” says Dr. Russel Norman, Green Party Co-leader.

“The Guide released today shows that some retailers are doing the right thing but most of them are not. The Government needs to level the playing field by simply blocking the import of these illegally and unsustainably harvested wood products, especially kwila (also called ‘merbau’).

“Consumer action and retailer action is important, and we congratulate those retailers like the Warehouse that are doing the right thing. But it would be so much simpler if the Government simply moved to block the import of this wood.

“By buying this outdoor furniture we are contributing to the destruction of the last of the great rainforests. Indigenous people are losing their livelihoods and having their human rights abused, endangered species such as the orang-utan are losing their habitat, and rainforest destruction contributes 20% of all greenhouse emissions.

“I was especially disappointed to see that a large and well resourced retailer such as Harvey Norman did so poorly in the Guide.

“The Government and retailers like Harvey Norman need to do their bit so that we don’t participate in one of the greatest acts of ecological vandalism in human history – the destruction of the last of the rainforest.”


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