Last month, government authorities in Thailand raided two saw mill operations and seized more than 3,000 teak logs and 78,000 teak planks alleged to have been illegally logged.
The Thai authorities claim the logs and woods it confiscated at Suskawat Plywood was illegally harvested in Burma. What's more, the authorities allege the import declaration papers were forged.
This came just over a year after the high-profile raid of Gibson Guitar in Nashville, TN, by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services. Some $76,000 worth of Madagascar ebony wood was confiscated and criminal indictments are reportedly pending.
Last July, the European Union Parliament followed the lead of the U.S. in passing legislation barring the import and sale of illegally harvested timber. The EU's legislation, creating monetary and prison sanctions against companies and individuals found guilty of selling wood products from illegally logged sources, is patterned after our own Lacey Act Amendment adopted in 2008.
The lesson to be gained here is that the battle against illegal logging is slowly but surely spreading. The world community is banding together to punish those who profit from illegal timber harvesting.
I hope and trust that your company is taking an active interest and doing what it can to be part of the solution by paying full attention to the sources of your wood supply.
Incidentally, the Lacey Act will be a topic of the 3rd Dollars & Sense of Going Green Conference, coming March 17-18 in Indianapolis, IN.
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