Front cover (main picture):
© Kirsten Tuson/Orangutan Foundation;
© A.Valentinus/Environmental Investigation Agency/ Telapak; © Environmental Investigation Agency/Telapak; © David Sims/Environmental Investigation Agency/Telapak
Front cover (main picture):
Raft of illegal logs in Tanjung Puting NationalPark
Front cover (Insets):
Illegal logger in Indonesian National Park; Containership at Johor Port, Malaysia; Ramin wood blinds on sale in the UK
Indonesia is suffering rampant illegallogging which threatens to destroy itsprecious forests within a few years, and thisdevastation is being fuelled by uncontrolleddemand for cheap tropical timber inconsuming countries.Hundreds of millions of dollars of illegalIndonesian timber are estimated to beentering neighbouring Malaysia each year,providing cheap raw materials to avoracious wood industry which can nolonger be sustained by the country’s owndwindling forest estate.One particularly vulnerable tree speciesbeing illegally logged in Indonesia’sprecious National Parks is ramin, a valuableblond hardwood. In an attempt to garnerthe support of the world community incombating illegal ramin trade, in 2001 theGovernment of Indonesia listed ramin on aninternational convention designed to controlthe trade in endangered species – theConvention on International Trade inEndangered Species (CITES).Since 2001 the Environmental InvestigationAgency (EIA) and Telapak have repeatedlyexposed how, despite being a signatory toCITES, Malaysia is wilfully failing touphold its international commitments, andthat illegal Indonesian ramin continues tobe traded through the country withimpunity.Yet our previous findings pale intoinsignificance in light of recent EIA/ Telapak undercover investigations exposingwholesale laundering of ramin throughMalaysia on an unprecedented scale. Thesehave revealed how thousands of tonnes of endangered wood is being smuggled acrossthe border every month by organisedcriminals and provided with documentsincluding CITES permits certifying it asMalaysian origin – all this despiteMalaysian promises to halt the trade.Malaysia lies at the hub of a multi-milliondollar web of illegal ramin trading whichspans the globe and is being activelyfacilitated by local officials. As a result,products including baby furniture and poolcues made from stolen wood are reachingthe homes of unsuspecting consumers in theEU, USA and around the world.
Introduction 1The Illegal Logging Scandal 4Ramin Wood & CITES 5An Appetite for Forest Destruction 6Malaysia’s Reliance on Illegal Ramin 8Recommendations 20References 21
NEW CASE STUDIES
A: Johor Port—A Lesson in Laundering 11B: Sarawak—State Sanctioned Smuggling 15C: Illegal Malaysian Ramin Baby Furniture 18
EIA and Telapak would like to thank The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, TheSigrid Rausing Trust, and other donors for their generous support of our work,though it should not be implied that these groups share the views expressed withinthis report.EIA and Telapak would also like to thank the many community groups, individualsand NGOs working together with EIA/Telapak on the illegal logging issue.Written, researched and designed by Sam Lawson.Additional research and editing by Arbi Valentinus, Dave Currey, Hapsoro, JulianNewman, Mardi Minangsari, Pallavi Shah, Sascha von Bismarck, Vanessa Freyand Yayat Afianto.Many thanks to all at Emmerson Press for the printing of this report (EmmersonPress Tel: +44 1926 854400). Printed on 100% recycled paper.