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New Protests At Auckland Shops Selling Kwila

New Decade – New Protests At Auckland Furniture Shops Selling Kwila

The Indonesia Human Rights Committee and activists from Rainforest Action will demonstrate outside the premises of ‘Devon Lifestyle’ at 308 Ti Rakau Drive, East Tamaki, at 12 noon on Saturday 30 January. Devon Lifestyle is a major retailer and distributor of outdoor furniture made from kwila. As usual our demonstration will include street theatre and an endangered cassowary.

Almost all of the kwila outdoor furniture on sale in Auckland is made from wood sourced from the rainforests of Indonesian-occupied West Papua, where illegal logging is the norm. The New Zealand Government has estimated that 80% of illegally logged wood coming into this country is kwila. Kwila faces extinction in less than 35 years if logging continues.

“ We cannot rely on our Government to save the kwila. The Policy recently released by Cabinet is a hopeless leave it to someone-else policy. There will be no attempt to control the import of illegal or unsustainable timber products, and just ‘encouragement’ for retailers to provide documentation so that customers have some idea what they buying – no mandatory product labelling. ”

“Our Government will support the proposal for kwila to be listed with Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Appendix 11 – but only if others take the lead!”

“This is too little and too late –each kwila tree takes 75 years to grow to maturity and western demand for palm oil is driving rampant deforestation. Another 6.2 million hectares of pristine forest has recently been permitted for clearance in West Papua.” .

“It is great that several 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. We hope Devon Lifestyle will soon make the move.”

“The loss of tropical rainforests is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Furniture retailers and consumers should also consider the 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.”

ENDS

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