URGENT ACTION IS REQUIRED TO PROTECT MYANMAR’S FORESTS
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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