The European Union is one of the largest importers of commodities linked to deforestation, with more than 60% of the world’s cocoa and about 50% of coffee going to Europe alone in 2016. These are two of seven agricultural commodities that resulted in over a quarter of global tree cover loss from 2001 to 2015.
In April 2021, the World Resources Institute’s Open Timber Portal (OTP) launched its first transparency rankings of forestry producers in Gabon, aimed at incentivising companies to disclose evidence that they are operating in compliance with forest management legislation.
A recent study by Chinese and international experts argues that China’s leaders are recognizing the importance of greening the country’s commodity value chains. As China reassesses the vulnerability and risks of its global value chains due to the COVID-19 pandemic and considers how to build back its economy with greater resilience and sustainability, the political moment is right to make this shift.
By his own admission in a 2015 criminal plea agreement, Washington state sawmill owner Harold Clause Kupers suspected he had been buying logs illegally harvested from Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Besides his confession, DNA from the illegal timber—not from Kupers—implicated him in the crime.
In 2018, China wrote the concepts of "ecological civilization" and "a community of shared future for mankind" into its Constitution. The new concepts signal China's prioritization of the environment in its policy agenda and willingness to engage cooperatively in global affairs.
President Trump may have withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but the 11 remaining countries renamed and re-signed the trade agreement last week. The new pact comes with a few changes, one of which could fuel the illegal logging trade.
Wildlife trafficking is a growing epidemic. A market for exotic birds and rare seafood delicacies is exploding in Latin America. In Southeast Asia, the rising trade in pangolins – the most trafficked animal on Earth – has driven the small mammals to the brink of extinction, with hunters now pursuing African pangolins to satiate the Asian market.
In an era of rising anti-globalization and protectionism, countries in the Asia-Pacific region have turned their eyes to the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The international timber trade is big business, worth some $226 billion in 2015. Unfortunately, a considerable proportion of this trade is illegal.
More than 100,000 people recently met in southern California for the 2017 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show, an annual gathering for those who buy and sell musical instruments, equipment and just about everything else related to music performance and education.