Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Britain 'imports more illegal timber than any other EU country'


Almost one-fifth of wood imported into the EU in 2006 came from illegal sources, according to WWF. And the UK imported 3.5m cubic metres of illegal wood making it the second biggest importer behind Finland.

This included the biggest quantities of furniture, finished wood products, sawn wood and plywood of all EU states. WWF claims that in total the EU imported between 26.5m and 31m cubic metres of illegal wood and related products in 2006, equal to the total amount of wood harvested in Poland in the same year. Most came from Russia, Indonesia and China. The conservation organisation claims its findings demonstrated the need for stronger European laws to prevent illegal wood entering EU markets.

Julia Young, manager of the Forest and Trade Network at WWF-UK, said: "Illegal logging reduces the protective function of forests which frequently increases the risk of natural disasters such as floods and landslides and leads to deforestation, one of the main causes for climate change.


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