19 Oct 2009

New Zealand human rights group maintaining tough stance over kwila import

2:55 pm on 19 October 2009

A New Zealand based Indonesian human rights group says it's totally opposed to the importation of the tropical hardwood, Kwila, regardless of whether it is certified sustainable or not.

Ten-thousand metres of the wood, which is certified by New Zealand's Forest Stewardship Council, is due to be imported from Malaysia shortly and more is planned.

Marie Leadbeater from the Indonesia Human Rights Committee says uncertified-Kwila is still being sold in New Zealand, some of it from Papua, where the local people are powerless to stop in being felled.

She says Kwila is a threatened species.

"Given that it's such a precious tree, it's so important to the old growth forests and it's a tree that isn't easily replaced. It takes up to 80 years to grow to maturity. Given all those things, we believe the simplest and most important message is simply, Don't Buy Kwila."

Marie Leadbeater.