18 Oct 2006

Appeal to NZers to take stand on illegally sourced timber from Papua

2:44 pm on 18 October 2006

Environmental groups are appealing to New Zealanders to stop buying illegally sourced hardwood from Indonesia's Papua province.

New Zealand's demand for a wood popular for flooring, decking and outdoor furniture is driving people from their homes in Papua, according to Greenpeace.

NGOs in the region also say indigenous people face arrest and in some cases have been shot over the timber.

"Canterbury University Forestry lecturer Kurt Niquidet (nick-i-day) says most of New Zealand's hardwood timber is locked up for its ecological values."

He says there's an attitude that hardwood logging is okay as long as it's not in your own backyard.

It's definitely out of sight, out of mind to some extent. There's a lot to suggest that people aren't really willing to pay a premium for higher environmentally certified forest products. So people aren't neccessarily putting their money where their mouth is.

New Zealand timber consumers are being asked to check where the wood they buy is sourced from, with Forest Stewardship Council certification being proof of legality.