Australia must tighten laws to stop illegal timber imports and insist on stricter labelling of timber products to track the country of origin, an international tropical forests expert says.
James Cook University rainforest ecologist Professor William Laurance has warned ''vague labels such as 'Made in China' are not helpful'' to consumers - and are likely to be misleading - given China's dominant role in the global illegal timber trade.
Although manufactured in China, the products could be made from timber harvested illegally in Africa, South America, Asia or Papua New Guinea.
Speaking at the Australian National University yesterday, he said eco-certification programs such as the Forests Stewardship Council did ''not go far enough'' to protect tropical forests from illegal logging, and mostly applied to timber harvesting in temperate regions. Less than 5per cent of tropical timber is currently eco-certified as being obtained from a sustainably harvested source, he said.
Logging is a crime against nature
The madness of logging our forests. It is anyone's guess why the State Government wants logging in native forests to continue. Against all the evidence, it claims that logging is sustainable.
So let's turn the question round and ask: why should we stop logging native forests?
In Western Australia loggers are now poisoning thousands of marri trees that are essential habitat for many endangered forest birds and animals near Bunbury and Bridgetown.
Look at the damage done in Warrup