VICTORY: Ramin Timber Given Greater Protections
Glimmer of Hope for Indonesia's Rainforests and Orangutans
Forests.org's recent alert on behalf of Indonesia's rainforests, in partnership with Greenpeace, has been successful. World governments have agreed to stricter control of the trade in ramin timber and its products – which provide critical habitat for the orangutan. As demanded in our alert, the U.S. delegation supported the CITES Appendix II listing for ramin, indicating that our campaign had been instrumental in making the decision. This is the third victory this month for Forests.org. It appears we have reached a critical mass whereby when we speak together, we are listened to. Heartfelt congratulations to all that participated in this action. We must follow up to ensure that illegal trade in ramin is cracked down upon -particularly trading by the Malaysian timber mafia. Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore must take immediate steps to combat ramin smuggling and work with importing nations to eliminate this forest crime. Note I am now sending notifications of victories to the Forest Conservation Action Alert members, lest you think our efforts are in vain. They are not. We will be successful in our efforts to protect the World's remaining ancient, old-growth forests and their inhabitants, and we will usher in an era of true, ecologically rigorous forest restoration – repairing past damage and allowing natural old forests to expand. Our movement is on the march, and prospects for global forest and ecological sustainability are increasing.
Title: Fate of Orangutan and Sumatran Tiger has glimmer of hope
Source: Greenpeace Press Release
Date: October 7, 2004
Bangkok, 7 October 2004-Greenpeace welcomes the decision of the world's governments to take stricter measures to control the widespread criminal trade in ramin timber from the endangered habitat of the Orang-utan and the Sumatran Tiger. Given the high volume of illegal trade in this species, a great challenge lies ahead for all governments to implement and enforce this decision.
The Parties to the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), being held in Bangkok, voted to list ramin on Appendix II and place restrictions that forbid the export and import of the timber coming from illegal and destructive activities.
“Today's decision provides governments with the necessary legal and enforcement measures to crack down on the smuggling of illegal ramin and those criminal networks who control this trade,” said Nathalie Rey of Greenpeace. “To date, neither Malaysia, Singapore nor Indonesia have stopped the regional illegal trade in ramin logs, squared off logs and sawntimber. This decision will inject the necessary legal support to achieve the
protection of the threatened areas where this tree is found.”
Despite all previous attempts to block international conservation efforts for ramin, the Malaysian government announced in the meeting that it would support the listing and would make all efforts to enforce regulations. This announcement follows new evidence release by Greenpeace this week of Malaysia's involvement in the illegal imports from Indonesia of this valuable timber species.
The lowland forests of Indonesia and Malaysia, where ramin trees grow, provide the last rainforest habitat for the Orang-utan and the Sumatran Tiger. Although both are protected by CITES, they are facing unprecedented loss of their forest homes throughout the region. These areas have long been targeted by illegal loggers and criminal networks who trade the high value timber onto the international market.
Ramin timber usually ends up in private homes as window blinds and baby cots; and in snooker and pool halls all over the world as cue sticks. The greatest demand comes from countries such as the US, Italy, Japan and the UK.
“The fate of the Orang-utan and the Sumatran Tiger still hangs in the balance. Governments involved in the international trade of ramin timber now need to convert words into urgent action, ” continued Rey. “Greenpeace urges the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to take immediate steps to combat ramin smuggling and work with importing nations to eliminate this forest crime.”
For further information, contact:
Gina Sanchez, Greenpeace International, +66 4089 4620