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Protest in Wellington against sale of endangered species

No Kwila for Christmas - protest in Wellington against sale of endangered species

At 2pm on Thursday 16th of December, a protest organised by Rainforest Action will take place outside Fifth Avenue Furniture and Design at 230 Thorndon Quay, Wellington.

Protestors – including Green MP Catherine Delahunty and an orang-utan – will be noisily calling attention to the store’s sales of products made from kwila, an endangered species of timber that grows in the tropical rainforests of south-east Asia.

Kwila continues to be on the World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Species because it faces a "high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future". There is no current government regulation on the sale of unsustainably logged timber in New Zealand. Rainforest advocates have focused on Kwila because according to Government research it makes up 80% of illegally-sourced imported wood products into New Zealand.

This is the second event to occur this Summer as part of Rainforest Action’s ‘Don’t Buy Kwila’.

“As summer heats up, so does the sale of outdoor furniture and decking materials. Concerned consumers need to let retailers know that kwila products are not the way to go,” said Rainforest Action spokesperson Liz Willoughby-Martin.

“Tropical deforestation is one of the leading contributors to greehouse gas emissions and species extinction. But logging kwila is not only environmentally unsustainable; it also threatens the health, culture and livelihoods of people in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and West Papua.

“Relaxing in the sun doesn’t have to mean the destruction of rainforests. We will be demonstrating today to encourage furniture retailers and consumers to think about sustainability before buying and selling outdoor furniture this summer. We want retailers to leave the Kwila in the rainforests this Christmas.”

ENDS

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