Russian hardwood is illegally harvested, laundered through China and sold in U.S.
As much as 80% of the wood from an Eastern regionIllegal logging is a big problem in certain countries, and even in countries where it's relatively under control, it's possible for people to buy illegally harvested wood unwittingly because it often gets 'laundered' with fake paperwork from a legit-looking source. This is what a 3-year investigation by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has uncovered in Russia.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a U.S.-based advocacy group, said its three-year investigation has revealed a network of corruption that allows illegal loggers linked to organised crime groups and operating in the temperate forest of Russia’s far east region to sell stolen old-growth lumber to Chinese manufacturers for export around the world.
As much as 80 percent of the lumber exported from the region is illegal. The destruction of the hardwood forests is harming the livelihoods of local people who rely on the forest, worsening climate change and endangering the habitat for the 450 remaining Siberian tigers
“This illegal logging is of an extraordinary scale,” Alexander von Bismarck, executive director of the non-profit group that works to expose environmental crimes, said at a news conference.
“Importing cheap illegal wood from the Russian far east is a tragic crime of convenience that directly undercuts any business trying to play by the rules. The same types of wood are available around the world from legal and sustainable sources.”
Here's a video report by EIA detailing the findings of their investigation:
The forests of the world must be protected. We know how to sustainably harvest wood, there's no excuse.