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Protest at the sale of furniture made from Kwila


Indonesia Human Rights Committee

PO Box 68-419,




28 March, 2008


Media Information: Embargoed until 12 noon Saturday 29 March, 2008


Protest at the sale of furniture made from rainforest “kwila” from West Papua

Indonesia Human Rights Committee and supporters will carry out a demonstration close to the Harvey Norman furniture store in the Supa Centre, Manukau, Ronwood Ave: 12 Noon Saturday 29 March.  At the conclusion of the demonstration the letter below will be delivered to the Manager to convey our strong message.

The aim of the action - which will include street theatre featuring trees and native birds – is to highlight the devastating impact of the rainforest destruction and illegal logging on communities in West Papua. Most of the kwila in Auckland shops originated in West Papua. While some retailers are now turning away from kwila to other woods with independent certification of legality, Harvey Normans is yet to announce a change in direction away from the sale of kwila products.

Meanwhile impoverished forest communities in West Papua pay the price.

 Please refer to the Forest Friendly Furniture Guide: http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/news/the-forest-friendly-furniture

The Manager,

Harvey Normans,

Supa Centre,

Manukau City

Dear Sir,


We are outraged that your store is continuing to sell products made from the tropical hardwood kwila despite representations from environmental experts.

As you know kwila comes from the last remaining tracts of undisturbed and unique rainforest in the Asia Pacific region.  Research carried out by Greenpeace and the Indonesia Human Rights Committee confirms that most of the kwila coming to Auckland is sourced from West Papua.  Almost all of this wood is illegally logged and none of it comes with reliable third party documentation as to its status.

Recently a new species of mammals was discovered in the pristine wilderness of the Foja mountains, deep in the tropical forests of West Papua one of most biodiverse areas in the world. The Governor of Indonesian-controlled West Papua, Barnabas Suebu, is trying to stem deforestation.  He has declared a ban on the export of unprocessed logs and is also hoping to preserve areas of forest under a carbon trading or ‘pay and preserve’ scheme.

But he is up against a powerful illegal logging ‘mafia’ with its powerful military backers. Some local people are trying to stop the destruction of their traditional land and their all important food basket, but they are isolated, lack resources and are subject to military intimidation.    They need our help to stem this diabolical trade.

The cost to earth of the destruction of kwila is incalculable – the species is already endangered and deforestation is a major contributor to global warming.

We urge you to cease importing all products made from kwila.





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