The pristine forests of Myanmar are under real and urgent threat because corrupt officials and European companies are still failing in their responsibilities to protect the environment. Throughout the supply chain, from the logging operations felling trees to the manufacturers building luxury yachts for the super rich, a culture of impunity towards forest crime is threatening the last remaining forests of Myanmar.

But this is not just about regulations or red tape.  Laws are in place to protect unspoilt forests, as well as the homes and livelihoods of indigenous people and countless wildlife species.


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The global demand for Burmese teak

Burmese teak is known globally as being one of the most exclusive timbers on earth. It is therefore highly sought after, particularly in the premium and luxury goods market.

We believe there are European operators who have failed to ensure that illegally sourced teak has not entered their supply chain and that they are in direct breach of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) law.

It is the responsibility of operators sourcing teak from Myanmar to ensure that the timber has been felled and exported legally. However, due to poor forest governance, Burmese government departments have made it all but impossible to access information that can prove teak has been legally harvested. This means that Burmese teak currently being placed on the EU market is unable to comply with the requirements of the law.

In order to fight this rampant overharvesting and disregard for the communities and biodiversity that rely on these forests, we have already submitted legal complaints to the relevant authorities about fifteen operators in seven European countries, including some of Europe’s biggest teak dealers.

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 Wildlife and Forests at risk

Protecting Myanmar's forests - what we've achieved

As a result of evidence we’ve provided so far, there have been significant successes in the EU, including:

  • Early in 2017, Danish authorities placed injunctions on all Danish operators placing Burmese teak on the country’s market. The decision follows EIA’s submission of evidence that Danish timber company Keflico violated the EUTR.
  • In November 2017, Boogaerdt Wood was found to be in breach of the EUTR after placing Burmese teak on the market in the Netherlands. The company was given a two-month grace period to put its house in order, after which it will be fined €20,000 per cubic metre for any further non-compliant Burmese teak it places on EU markets.
  • Our most recent research reveals that Burmese teak entering the supply chains of the UK’s two largest yacht builders, Sunseeker International and Princess Yachts International, was traded in breach of the EUTR.

With your support, we can force the authorities to take the necessary actions for the major reforms desperately needed.

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Further investigations

Fighting forest crime in Myanmar is just one of many ways we are protecting the environment from illegal activity. We work all over the world, exposing and reporting forest and wildlife crime to the relevant authorities.

But we rely on the support of generous people who want to stop the destruction of the environment and hold governments, corporations and criminal networks to account.

Your gift will be used wherever it is needed most to expose, report and stop activity that threatens the environment.

Please support our work and help fight forest and wildlife crime with a gift today.

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