Target: President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinxing
Goal: Stop the import of illegal wood in China.
China’s demand for teak floors and chairs is causing illegal loggers to take down more trees worldwide than ever before. Earlier this summer, 153 Chinese nationals were caught illegally logging in Myanmar’s northernmost Kachin state (a region that is known for its abundance of teak, beechwood, ebony, and padauk) and were sentenced to life in prison. Burmese authorities then granted their release because of trade relations between Myanmar and China. This only adds to the problem of illegal logging by going soft on those who have been plundering Myanmar for over a decade.
Despite being protected by Myanmar’s Forest Law, thousands of teak trees are transported to China to fuel the demand for teak floors in luxury buildings, in addition to teak chairs, tables, and chests. Some of these pieces go for an estimated million dollars.
Other countries such as Indonesia and Cambodia are suffering from high deforestation rates because of China’s demand for wood. While countries such as the United States and Australia have banned the import of illegal wood, China still refuses to implement such a ban. China believes that the cost would be too high and has only passed bans on commercial logging within its borders. This is unfair to other countries and China is taking advantage of them while preserving their own forests.
The problem is that most Chinese don’t care where their wood comes from as long as it is cheap. One Shanghai flooring company representative even said, “we don’t log or smuggle any teak out of Burma. As for how the suppliers get teak, I don’t really care.”
We need to make China see how critical an issue this is. We need to preserve our forests and their total disregard for the world’s natural resources is troubling. Please sign the petition below to urge China to crack down on illegal wood imports into their country.
Dear President Xi Jinxing,
I am deeply concerned about China’s decision to ignore the illegal import of precious wood such as teak into your country. By allowing loggers to take advantage of forests illegally, you are causing widespread deforestation around the world.
We need to preserve our natural resources and have a healthy respect for our planet. China’s ban on commercial logging inside their own country while still not doing anything about what is going on outside of it is hypocritical and needs to be addressed. Please take this issue seriously and toughen laws against loggers who are trying to wipe out our planet’s beautiful forests.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sonny Day