We knew they were dodgy, and now we have proof of just HOW dodgy ... today Greenpeace published an investigation into Swiss/German logging company The Danzer Group, which shows hard evidence of illegal logging, bribery and the defrauding of developing countries.
Don't try and buy me out of MY forest!
The evidence we obtained includes a memo written by one of the
executive directors of The Danzer Group who states that "If there
is any threat of a fine, so called conditioned cases, he is,
however prepared to take care of this by giving a gift". We guess
he's not talking about a nice pen and letter-opener set.
The Danzer Group has got itself into even more trouble by
teaming up with Cameroonian company Mba Mba Georges (MMG). Further
juicy documents from Danzer indicate that MMG has been logging
illegally inside their own logging area.
"Illegal logging is not only destroying Africa's rainforest and
wiping out precious wildlife habitat, but companies involved in
this activity also appear to be defrauding developing nations and
local communities out of millions of dollars through the systematic
bribery of public officials," said Gavin Edwards of Greenpeace
The sad thing is that you don't really have much choice about
whether or not The Danzer Group makes profits on all of this
corruption ... they currently sell African rainforest timber
throughout Europe, with some suspected illegal wood being found in
bridge construction projects by local governments, including in
France and the Netherlands.
Customs officers can't act to stop the import of illegal forest
products into Europe, because there is no EU legislation in place
as yet to stop this illicit trade.
"This problem needs more than discussion and study, it needs
swift action," said Sebastien Risso, of Greenpeace EU Unit.
"This means stronger monitoring and law enforcement in African
countries, EU legislation to prevent illegal wood imports, and the
prosecution of these crooks under existing bribery laws," he
80 percent of the world's ancient forests have already been
degraded or destroyed, and only 20 percent remain intact. The
rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo-Brazzaville,
Central African Republic, Cameroon and Gabon are quickly being
logged and turned into forest products for the European market.
Governments worldwide are simply failing to protect ancient
forests from illegal and destructive logging.