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Power of the consumer to save the forests

Page - January 9, 2007
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.

Many hundreds of logs are transported on the Lamandau River near Borneo's Tanjung Puting National. Indonesia has already lost about 65 percent of its ancient forests.

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, Australian, and NZ 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.

Greenpeace believes that individual and corporate consumers have the right and responsibility to buy wood and wood-based products that do not contribute to environmental and social degradation. Replacements already exist for virtually every form of wood product from ancient forests, from building construction to product packaging.

Greenpeace is actively working in market countries to uncover the hidden flows of forest products coming from ancient forest destruction. The Forest Stewardship Council gives concerned buyers the opportunity to make an informed choice, and use the power of the market to support those who are promoting and practising ecologically responsible forest stewardship around the world.

Go to the What you can do section to learn about being a forest friendly consumer.