As China Builds, Cambodia’s Forests Fall

Michael Sullivan at National Radio describes how Cambodia’s forests are falling prey to China’s enormous demand for lumber:

“It’s just like in the United States in the 1960s, when every single redwood tree was a target for illegal logger[s],” says Suwanna Gauntlett, head of the Phnom Penh office of Wildlife Alliance. “It’s the same thing in . It’s a natural resource worth a lot of money.”

And many with money — particularly China’s growing — are eager to spend it on hardwood furniture, says Tracy Farrell of Conservation International.

“You also have the fact that other countries have been culling or reducing the extraction of their own luxury wood,” Farrell says. “Thailand has been becoming much more strict about illegal wood leaking out of their country, so that puts the pressure on the countries that are less strict. … and Cambodia are really, really struggling.”

The Globe and Mail’s Mark MacKinnon (via CDT) told a similar story in , in which forestry regulations in Yunnan had driven loggers across the border to Myanmar. “Soon the trees will be all cut,” a manager at one firm told him. “Without the trees, there will be only mountains. So we will look into mining them.”

Open popup
X

Welcome back!

CDT is a non-profit media site, and we need your support. Your contribution will help us provide more translations, breaking news, and other content you love.