“The aim of reducing the emissions from forest destruction and degradation caused by industrial agriculture, logging, mining for fossil resources, etc. is today decisive to the survival of humankind and our planet. However, when the tool to achieve this aim is the trading of emission credits (offsets), we arrive at the wrong solutions.”
In 2000, the Bangkok-based NGO TERRA published an anonymous article in its magazine Watershed. The article documented how Laos was losing its forests to large scale industrial logging, often carried out in breach of the country’s forestry laws.
A leaked WWF report exposes the scale of illegal logging in Laos. Almost all of timber exports from Laos go to Vietnam and China. In 2013, Laos exported 1.4 million cubic metres of timber to these two countries. That’s more than 10 times the official timber harvest in Laos.
“Hongmu” is a style of intricately carved Chinese wooden furniture and artworks. It’s found on sale in glitzy shopping malls across mainland China. But behind the timber used to create this art form is a violent crime wave.
This week, Global Witness released a new report investigating a land grabbing crisis in Laos and Cambodia. The report looks at two Vietnamese “rubber baron” companies, Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) and the Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG). Global Witness found that these companies “have leased vast tracts of land for plantations in Laos and Cambodia,…