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Rainbow Warrior exposes Papuan forest destruction

GREENPEACE MEDIA RELEASE

Rainbow Warrior exposes forest destruction in Papua

Sorong, Papua, Indonesia, Tuesday April 11, 2006: Greenpeace activists today discovered a consignment of plywood from some of the world's most endangered forests in Indonesia where at least 76% of logging is illegal[1].

Timber from the Henrison Iriana mill, a subsidiary of Kayu Lapis Indonesia (KLI), one of Indonesia's largest logging companies, is being loaded at the port of Sorong in the Indonesian Province of Papua.

Home to Asia Pacific's largest undamaged forests, Papua's forest is being destroyed at an unprecedented rate by logging companies, like Kayu Lapis Indonesia (KLI), who practice bad forest management.

"Over the next couple of days a massive 9000 cubic metres of plywood equivalent to at least 2,500 trees, will be loaded onto two ships bound for markets in Asia and the US," said Greenpeace Forests Campaigner, Hapsoro. "It's appalling to see unscrupulous companies, like KLI, exporting Papua's precious ancient forests, fuelled by a global market, hungry for plywood and other cheap timber products."

The ship, the MV Ardhianto is carrying 6000 cubic metres of plywood to Japan and Korea. The remaining 3000 cubic metres are heading to the US.

"Kayu Lapis Indonesia and a handful of other logging companies have already wiped out much of the Paradise Forests. If they carry on logging at these rates they will destroy all of Indonesia's large intact ancient forests within 20 years," said Hapsoro.

"To protect these and other ancient forests from companies like this, governments of countries that produce timber must work with countries that import wood products to ban the trade in illegal and destructively logged timber."
Irresponsible logging not only impacts on forests, but also millions of people who live in them and depend on them for survival.

In PNG, Greenpeace is working with customary landowners at the Global Forest Rescue Station in Lake Murray to develop community-based ecoforestry solutions.

Following on from a visit to PNG and Jayapura in Indonesia, the Rainbow Warrior is now on a `Forest Crime Patrol' as part of a campaign to highlight the crisis occurring in this and other ancient forests. Greenpeace is in Indonesia at the invitation of the Ministry of Forestry.

The Paradise Forests stretch from South East Asia through the islands of Indonesia and on to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the Pacific.

To view Kayu Lapis Indonesia 'crime file': http://intranet.int.gl3/document/download/12630?section_id=2905

[1] Forest Futures Scenario Analysis, NRM-Bappenas-MFP, Jakarta, October 2004. This is a conservative figure because it does not even cover logs that are smuggled illegally to China, Malaysia and elsewhere.

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