China: ensure rosewood trade not destroying Thai forests

LONDON: The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) today calls on China’s Redwood Committee and its parent timber trade federation to ensure their policies and members are not underwriting the destruction of a World Heritage Site in Thailand’s on-going and violent rosewood wars.

The call was made after the Thai Government claimed rapacious demand for Siam rosewood left it unable to stop numerous armed illegal logging gangs from stealing the precious timber from the Khao Yai-Dong Phayayen Forest Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Following a significant rise in incidents of rosewood theft from the forest, the World Heritage Committee has given Thailand until May 15 to explain the situation.

Songtham Suksawang, Director of Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), reported that high demand for the wood in the Chinese market has made it impossible to stamp out illegal logging in the forest complex, despite funds and manpower being allocated to address the problem.

Siam rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) was listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) at the 16th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP16) in Bangkok in March.

The major driver of rosewood theft is China’s multi-million dollar market in luxury ‘Hongmu’ antique-style furniture. Surging demand and the increasing scarcity of Siam rosewood have conspired to raise prices offered by international traders to as much as US$50,000 per cubic meter.

The Hongmu market is overseen by a so-called Redwood Committee housed within China’s Timber & Wood Products Distribution Association (CTWPDA) – the largest timber trade federation in China. The Redwood Committee has more than 100 member companies involved in trade and manufacturing. Despite no legal sources existing, Siam rosewood is one of 33 species of precious and mostly endangered timber itemised by the Redwood Committee in a list of “legitimate” Hongmu materials.

EIA Forests Campaign head Faith Doherty said: “As long as China’s Redwood Committee and trade federations such as the CTWPDA continue to allow their members to trade in Siam Rosewood of illegal origin, all enforcement efforts by trade partners such as Thailand and other range state are being undermined.

“With Siam Rosewood now listed on CITES Appendix II, China’s timber trade and Government have a clear responsibility to ensure they adequately implement this international convention. But this alone is not enough – China needs to address its wider consumption of illegally sourced timber by joining other major consumer markets such as the EU, the US, and Australia in banning it.”

EIA urges all Chinese timber associations to alert their members to the recent CITES rosewood listings and to take a strong lead in ensuring members are not sourcing rosewood illegally, while supporting legislative measures to prohibit trade in illegal timer in China’s market.

EIA supported the Thai Government’s efforts to secure CITES protection for Siam rosewood from the start. While appreciative of the pressures Chinese demand places on enforcement efforts in Thailand, Doherty stressed that Thailand itself must also be seen to be taking stronger, more decisive action to protect the species.

“The Thai Government needs to strengthen penalties, because fines for illegal rosewood logging are so low that it doesn’t matter if you’re caught. Arrests of agents and traders are also needed rather than the hundreds of arrests of villagers from both Thailand and Cambodia,” she added.

“In addition, the Government needs to support enforcement with realistic resources, and should convene a cross-border task force comprising Siam rosewood range states and China to zero-in on the agents and traders behind the illegal trade.”

 

Interviews are available on request: please contact Faith Doherty via faithdoherty@eia-international.org or telephone 020 7354 7960.

 

EDITORS’ NOTES

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. Siam rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) was listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) at the 16th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP16) in Bangkok, Thailand, in March 2013.

3. CITES Appendix II lists species not necessarily threatened with extinction at present but which may become so unless trade is closely controlled. International trade in specimens of species listed in Appendix II may be authorised by the granting of an export permit or re-export certificate. No import permit is necessary under CITES. Permits or certificates should only be granted if the relevant authorities are satisfied that certain conditions are met, above all that trade will not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild.

4. The term ‘rosewood’ refers to a wide variety of richly hued, extremely durable and increasingly rare timbers harvested from an array of tree species worldwide, largely from the Dalbergia genus. Displaying a range of brown to reddish-black colourings, rosewood timber is highly prized for decorative purposes and commonly used in luxury wood products such as furniture, musical instruments, ornaments and veneer. In Thailand and the Mekong region, important rosewood-producing tree species include Siam rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis Pierre) and Burmese rosewood (Dalbergia bariensis Pierre). Classified as ‘endangered’ and ‘vulnerable’ to extinction, these rosewood species are the most valuable wood in regional trade and the major target of illegal loggers.

5. Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex comprises Khao Yai, Thap Lan, Pang Sida and Ta Phraya national parks, and the Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

Environmental Investigation Agency
62-63 Upper Street
London N1 0NY
UK
www.eia-international.org
Tel: +44 207 354 7960

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中国对红木的需求必须以保证不破坏泰国世界遗产为前提

伦敦: 今日,英国伦敦的环境调查机构(下称EIA) 呼吁中国红木委员会以及其上属的木材及木制品流通协会努力确保其政策和会员没有助长泰国日甚的血腥红木争夺战,因为攫取当地红木资源的行为已经对泰国的世界遗产保护地造成了破坏。

此番呼吁是对泰国政府早先一份声明的回应。泰国政府的声明称,对大红酸枝(Siam rosewood)掠夺式的需求使得该国已经无力阻止无数有武装的非法砍伐团伙在东巴耶延山-考爱山林区(Khao Yai-Dong Phayayen Forest Complex)——联合国世界文化和自然遗产保护区——非法砍伐珍贵木材。

该林区红木偷窃事件剧增,世界遗产委员会限定泰国在5月15日之前解释具体情况。

泰国国家公园、野生动植物保护局局长Songtham Suksawang汇报称,尽管有关部门已经拨款和调动人员来解决该林区的非法砍伐问题,但来自中国市场对木材的旺盛需求使得根除非法砍伐变得不可能。

今年三月,在泰国曼谷召开的濒危野生动植物国际贸易公约第十六届缔约国大会(COP16)上,大红酸枝 (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) 被列入了濒危野生动植物国际贸易公约附录二(CITES Appendix II)。

红木偷窃活动的主要驱动力来自于中国价值数百万美元的仿古红木家具市场。需求的旺盛与大红酸枝骤减的事实驱使大红酸枝的价格一路走高,国际市场价格甚至高至五万美元一立方。

中国最大的木材行业协会之一的中国的木材和木制品行业流通协会(CTWPDA),其下属的红木专业流通委员会是中国红木行业的权威机构。红木专业流通委员会有一百多家会员企业从事木材和木制品的交易和制造。尽管大红酸枝已经没有合法来源,大红酸枝仍出现在该红木专业流通委员会“合法”红木树种列表中,被认为是33种珍稀和濒危树种之一。

EIA 森林项目负责人 Faith Doherty 称:“只要中国红木委和像木材和木制品行业流通协会这样的行业协会继续允许其会员买卖非法来源的大红酸枝,商业伙伴如泰国以及其他木产国的执法有效性将被削弱。”

“大红酸枝现在已经被列入 CITES Appendix II, 中国木材产业和中国政府都背负明确的责任来确保落实和履行国际公约职责。不光如此,中国还需要解决更广义的消费非法来源木材的问题,尽快加入欧盟、美国和澳洲等国家,禁止非法木材进口。”

EIA 强烈呼吁中国所有的木材行业协会能向会员通告最近 CITES 对红木树种的限制,并且采取有力措施避免会员企业采购非法红木木材,同时支持采用立法措施来禁止非法木材进入中国市场。

EIA自始支持泰国政府根据 CITES 保护大红酸枝所作出的努力。虽然对来自中国的需求对泰国的执法行为带来了困难表示理解, Doherty强调泰国本身也应该采取更为强硬、果断的措施来保护有关树种。

“泰国政府需要加大惩罚力度,因为目前对非法砍伐行为的罚款太低以致于偷伐者即使被抓到也无所谓。同时执法部门还需要抓捕策划偷伐的关键人员,而非仅仅抓捕上百名来自泰国和柬埔寨的村民。” 她补充道。

“另外,泰国政府还需要给予执法行动充分的资源支持,并且应该组织一支能在大红酸枝生长国以及中国跨境行动的执法队伍,将从事非法砍伐的团伙绳之以法。”

采访等有关请求,请联系 Faith Doherty:邮箱:faithdoherty@eia-international.org 电话: 44 020 7354 7960.

 

补充资料:

1. 环境调查机构( EIA )是一家位于英国的非政府组织和慈善信托机构( 慈善机构注册号 1145359,致力于调查环境犯罪,包括非法野生动物交易,非法砍伐,有毒物质和臭氧破坏物质排放等

2. 大红酸枝 (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) 在2013年3月在泰国曼谷召开的的濒危野生动植物国际贸易公约第十六届缔约国大会(COP16)上, 被列入了濒危野生动植物国际贸易公约附录二(CITES Appendix II)。

3. 濒危野生动植物国际贸易公约附录二(CITES Appendix II )上的物种目前并未面临面绝的危险,但是如果对该物种的买卖没有严格监控,其将面临灭绝。 对于在附录二上的物种,跨国交易必须被有关部门授予出口和再出口的许可证明,进口的许可是不必要的。只有在有关部门对检验情况表示满意的情况下,许可证明才能被颁布,但买卖的前提是该物种的生存不会受到威胁。

4. 红木(rosewood)一词是泛指,指一批在全球各地均存在的类似物种,主要是Dalbergia genus,该物种大都色彩浓烈,极其耐用并且日益濒危。红木多有各种棕红色色泽,大都被用于制作装饰物,常见于奢华家具制作,也用于制作乐器和装饰物品等。在泰国和湄公河流域,主要的红木树种包括大红酸枝 (Dalbergia cochinchinensis Pierre)和缅甸花梨木 (Dalbergia bariensis Pierre)。这类被列为“濒危”和“面临灭绝危险”的树种是该地区最有价值的木,因而也称为非法砍伐者的目标。

5. 东巴耶延山-考爱山林区(Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex )包括Khao Yai, Thap Lan, Pang Sida 和 Ta Phraya 国家公园和 Dong Yai 野生动物保护区。

地址:

Environmental Investigation Agency
62-63 Upper Street
London N1 0NY
UK
www.eia-international.org
电话: +44 207 354 7960

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