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Campaign against kwila imports continues

Campaign against kwila imports continues

Indonesia Human Rights Committee

16 December, 2010

Human rights and rainforest activists will take their campaign against the import of kwila to the Country Road furniture store, 533 Mt Eden Rd, Auckland on Saturday December 18 between 12 noon and 1 pm. The endangered cassowary will be joining the peaceful demonstration outside the store.

Several major Kiwi companies including The Warehouse, The BBQ Factory and Harvey Norman have accepted that selling rainforest kwila is unethical and unsustainable and have now stopped stocking it. But Country Rd continues to stock chairs and tables made from kwila, known in Indonesia as merbau.

Spokesperson Maire Leadbeater said “There are serious ethical issues with the sale of kwila :the species faces extinction in less than 35 years if logging continues. Each kwila tree takes 75 years to grow to maturity, and it has already been logged out of most of its former Asia-Pacific range. Almost all of the kwila outdoor furniture and decking on sale in New Zealand is made from wood sourced from the rainforests of Indonesian-occupied West Papua, where illegal logging is the norm.”

“When I was in West Papua in November I was able to talk to indigenous farmers and many representatives of NGOs working on justice and environmental issues. All were very pleased to know about our local campaigns against kwila imports and deforestation.”

“Human rights abuses that are intrinsic to major logging operations in West Papua where the security forces are involved at every stage of the industry. Forest destruction is a tragedy for indigenous people who rely on these ancient forests for food, water and medicine.”

“Additionally, the loss of tropical rainforests is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. “

ENDS

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