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West Papua petition to stop trade in rainforest kwila

National network West Papua Action Aotearoa, this week launched a petition calling on “Trade Me” to stop the trade of the rainforest timber kwila/merbau on their site. Source: Timberbiz

“In 2010 we negotiated an agreement that Trade Me would only allow kwila products that had two very rigorous certifications to be traded on their site. However, in recent years they have allowed a wider range of kwila decking, furniture and timber to be traded and have refused our requests to discuss this. They have a kwila policy but is clearly not being enforced, “ West Papua Action Aotearoa spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“Our petition calls for them to honour what was agreed in 2011 and to help protect an endangered tree, its forest and communities in West Papua, and elsewhere in the Pacific and South East Asia from the suffering caused by illegal logging. Illegal logging destroys biodiversity and the way of life of the forest peoples as well as adding to climate chaos. It is particularly problematic in West Papua where the Papuan people are under Indonesian occupation and have no human rights.

“Many people who buy outdoor furniture or decking made from kwila have no idea there are alternatives such as eucalyptus and wood plastic composite products. They have the right to choose something better.

“We are so disappointed “Trade Me” has walked away from their ethical stance on this product and we hope the petition will remind them to ban illegally logged kwila so they can play a positive role in blocking this destructive trade. All they have to do is implement their policy and ask traders to prove the product is produced with either FSC or PBFC” certification” Ms Delahunty said.