‘Exotic wood products sold in American stores may be driving the theft of indigenous peoples’ land and deforestation in Papua New Guinea’.
In August 2017, Global Witness released the book ‘Stained Trade’, which documents the two year journey of timber that is being cut in PNG, shipped to China and made into commercial wooden products, and then sold to the U.S.
Between 2014 and 2016 researchers commissioned by Global Witness, traced the supply chain of PNG’s most commercially valuable species, taun, over 14,000 kilometers, from forests to retail shelves.
Their investigation brings to light the human right abuse of indigenous communities and deforestation of customarily owned land, under the guise of Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABL).
Despite a Supreme Court decision in August 2016, declaring all SABL to be illegal, PNG Government is yet to cancel all SABL licenses or halt operations. The investigation uncover six ships leaving for China in the months soon after the Supreme Court decision, carrying millions of dollars of illegal timber cut under SABL.
Having sent copies of ‘Stained Trade’ to CELCOR soon after it was published, Global Witness recently followed with a visit to CELCOR office.
Policy Advisor, Lela Stanely from Washington Office and International Forest Expert, Reiner Tegtmeyer, from London Office, met with staff, as they sought out local partners who are happy to meet and share information, ideas and collaborate on issues of national and global importance.
They shared in relation to the investigations resulting in ‘Stained Trade’ and were eager to listen to CELCOR staff share about CELCOR’s work with communities in PNG.