Page - February 28, 2006
Is your wood illegal? Your bookshelves, your floor, photocopy paper and even the cheap plywood at your local construction site could have come from the Paradise Forests.

Containers of plywood destined for Antwerp, Belgium waiting to be loaded on to a Maltese bulk carrier, the Greveno, anchored near the mouth of Lamandau River, Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Much of the illegal timber from the island of New Guinea goes to China and Japan to be turned into plywood, furniture and flooring, which is sold on to European, US and Australian markets - where its true origins are rarely questioned.

The trade in illegal and destructive timber thrives because consumers rarely ask where their timber comes from. Meanwhile, governments worldwide are failing to regulate this illegal and destructive trade, or ensure that imported timber is both legal and credibly certified to be from a truly sustainable source.