The Last Frontier

A report on how the rampant smuggling of illegal timber from Indonesia to China is a billion dollar trade threatening the last remaining intact tropical forests in the Asia-Pacific region.

Asia has already lost 95 per cent of its frontier forests and most of what remains is confined to the Indonesian archipelago – and the province of Papua in Indonesia is home to the largest tract.

One timber species – merbau, a luxurious dark hardwood – is the main target of the illegal loggers in Papua and every month enough stolen merbau is shipped out to produce flooring worth in excess of $600 million at western retail prices.