Officials in recent months have confiscated containers packed with illegally harvested timber from the eastern regions of Papua and Maluku. The latest seizure, in February, comprised 38 containers filled with highly prized merbau, also known as Borneo teak and Moluccan ironwood, from the Aru Islands of Maluku province. None of the shipments carried valid documentation, said Rasio Ridho Sani, the head of law enforcement at the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, which coordinated the seizures. Historically the illegal timber trade has targeted the precious hardwoods of Borneo, Sumatra and Java, in particular, teak. But as the forest cover on those islands fast diminishes, illegal loggers are increasingly turning to the less-developed eastern regions of Maluku and Papua. Rasio confirmed a similar trend out of Papua.
The Rosewood Trade: An Illicit Trail from Forest to Furniture
ITTO | The International Tropical Timber Organization
Giant Asian logging companies that make billions from destroying rainforests use a labyrinth of secret shell companies based in a UK overseas territory, the British Virgin Islands BVI , which operate as a tax haven, according to documents seen by the Observer. The 13 companies own millions of acres in Indonesia, provide much of the world's palm oil, timber and paper, and use complex legal and financial structures to keep their tax liabilities low. An unpublished two-year investigation by anti-corruption experts, and seen by the Observer , says Britain should launch a major investigation into the use of the BVI and other tax havens by "high-risk" sectors such as Indonesian forestry. The company has agreed to pay the fines. According to evidence contained in more than 8, papers, the company, which employs 25, people in 14 subsidiaries and owns , hectares of plantations, was engaged in "routine and systematic fraudulent accounting and book-keeping practices" using British jurisdictions. It is easy to set up shell companies in the BVI, and this makes them a favourite destination for Asian corporations and individuals.
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Forest land cover in China has grown for the last 25 years, with a gain of around 1. Around China has now the largest plantation area in the world, principally of fast-growing species. State-owned forests are principally located in the Northeast and Southwest and are primarily managed by either state-owned forestry enterprises or state forest farms, while collectively-owned forests, mainly plantations, are situated in the south TFT.