From: Greenpeace.org
Published September 7, 2007 06:58 AM

New legislation could stop illegal wood imports to the U.S.

Have you ever wondered where the wood you’re buying comes from? Was it sustainably harvested, or was it illegally logged? Were animals displaced, did people lose their livelihoods so that you could buy a piece of furniture or lumber here in the U.S.? The truth is, we often don’t know where the wood we buy comes from, or the devastation it may have caused to reach our stores, and enter our homes.


Throughout the world, illegal logging is taking a terrible toll on our ancient forests. Every year, millions of acres of forests are demolished by illegal logging operations, leaving environmental destruction, forest fires, crime and devastated communities in their wake. Many of the people and cultures that depend on these forests for their way of life are also under threat. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo alone, 40 million people depend on the forest. And many of the plants and animals that live in these forests face extinction. But don’t worry, it isn’t all bad news.


Combat Illegal Logging


Congress is looking to cut down illegal logging imports into the country, and new legislation in the House and Senatewould close the markets that drive the trade.


The new bills put trees and plants under the protective umbrella of the popular, time-tested Lacey Act, which currently shields America from imports of illegal fish and wildlife. When passed, this landmark legislation will be the first serious safeguard against illegal wood imports in the US.


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Come together, right now


Calls to protect US markets from illegal wood have come from the timber industry, labor unions, social justice organizations and environmental advocates. This coalition is coming together to protect American jobs, endangered forests, wildlife, and human rights around the world. It’s time to put an end to all of the destruction from illegal logging.


Greenpeace has worked for decades to highlight the loopholes in current laws, and document the flow of illegal wood around the world. We are currently working to expose the impacts of illegal logging in tropical rainforests: from the Paradise forests of southeast Asia to the Amazon region of South America and the Congo Basin of Africa.


It’s time to fight back against illegal logging.


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