China’s trade in illegal timber, worst on Earth

Click above image to play video:  ‘Appetite for Destruction: China’s trade in illegal timber’


China is the World’s Top Buyer of Illegal Timber driving deforestation.

<<BEIJING: China, emergent superpower and the world’s second biggest economy, is effectively standing on the sidelines as its exponential growth devastates forests in a trade worth billions of dollars a year.

In the new report Appetite for Destruction: China’s Trade in Illegal Timber, launched today in Beijing, the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) reveals that China is now the single largest international consumer of illegal timber, importing wood stolen by organised criminal syndicates on a massive scale.

In the past 10 years, significant progress has been made to protect shrinking forests around the world from the devastating impacts of illegal logging. As major timber-consumers, the United States the European Union and Australia have now taken legislative steps to exclude stolen timber from their markets, while key producer countries such as Indonesia have dramatically improved enforcement against illegal logging.

Yet although China has taken vigorous and laudable steps to protect and re-grow its own forests, it has simultaneously nurtured a vast and ravenous wood processing industry reliant on importing most of its raw materials.

“China is now effectively exporting deforestation around the world,” said Faith Doherty, head of EIA’s Forests Campaign.

“Any further meaningful progress to safeguard the forests of the world is being undermined unless the Chinese Government acts swiftly and decisively to significantly strengthen its enforcement and ensure that illegal timber is barred from its markets.”

EIA investigators has been conducting field investigations into flows of illicit timber, including working undercover and posing as timber buyers, since 2004 in China, Indonesia, Laos, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, the Russian Far East and Vietnam.

Appetite for Destruction examines the extent and impacts on these countries of China’s voracious consumption, and features several case studies from countries whose forests are being severely depleted.

“This report makes a clear and concise case for action by China,” added Doherty. “The burden of making any further progress in the international fight against deforestation, illegal logging and the criminal networks behind it now rests squarely on its shoulders.”>>


Chinese have become the worst deforesters on Earth


Read Report:    >Appetite for Destruction – China’s Illegal Trade in Timber.pdf   (1.6MB)


1. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a UK-based Non Governmental Organisation and charitable trust (registered charity number 1145359) that investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes, including illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, hazardous waste, and trade in climate and ozone-altering chemicals.

2. Read and download Appetite for Destruction at

[Source:  Environmental Investigation Agency, 62-63 Upper Street, London N1 0NY, UK, ^, ^   ]


The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is an independent campaigning organisation committed to bringing about change that protects the natural world from environmental crime and abuse.



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One Response to “China’s trade in illegal timber, worst on Earth”

  1. Barbara Pelczynska says:

    I agree with Faith Doherty form EIA that “China is now effectively exporting deforestation around the world”. This trade is tolerated by other countries because they depend on and gain from the economic boom of China, a boom that is at the expense of the destruction of natural environment which is ecocide at an enormous scale and it is criminal that it is being allowed to continue.
    Illegal logging is an extremely lucrative business, so there is really no will on the part of governments to stop it because if there was a will, it would have been stopped long time ago. It is obvious that deforestation is going on as can be seen from satellite images. It is part of the perpetual economic growth syndrome which in a finite world, like population growth, is an oxymoron.
    This deforestation will continue till people stop deluding themselves and accept the fundamental truth that we are part of the natural environment and depend on its life supporting ecosystem services and that economy is part of our society and so is dependent on both us and the natural environment. Only then we will seriously begin to protect the natural environment.

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