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Trade Me takes a step to protect kwila

Trade Me takes a step in the right direction to protect kwila

The Indonesia Human Rights Committee congratulates Trade Me on it decision to impose tight restrictions on all listings of new products made from the tropical hardwood kwila.

We believe the ultimate goal should be a total ban on kwila imports. However, Trade Me's initiative to exclude all kwila products bar those that have been independently certified by one of two certification authorities is an important step along the way. We believe that this step will do a lot to raise awareness of the need to protect vulnerable rainforests from further destruction.

Most of the kwila coming in to New Zealand is sourced from Indonesian controlled West Papua where illegal logging is endemic and supported by the security forces. Community groups in West Papua have done their best to organise to protect their forests but they are no match for the powerful logging magnates. In this context most documentation cannot be relied on.

At stake is the last major tropical forest in the Asia-Pacific region, a vital defence against climate change.

Indigenous Papuans tell us that kwila trees are essential to the health and survival of their ancient forests that have sustained their traditional way of life for centuries. Scientists tell us that the species is now threatened with extinction.

That is too high a price to pay for a kwila chair or deck!

IHRC will continue lobbying government to impose a ban on all kwila imports and will continue its programme of dialogue and demonstrations directed at retailers that continue to sell kwila furniture and decking.

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