Dear friends around Europe,
| Right now European institutions are deciding on legislation that would ban illegal timber, which devastates forests and enriches organized crime. But certain member states with large timber industries are blocking negotiations. Sign the petition to ban imports of illegal timber and save our forests: |
Within days, the European Union could ban illegal timber from entering the market -- but powerful companies are blocking discussions.
Forests are the habitat and life source of many peoples and are essential in preventing climate change, but while there is high demand for timber, illegal-logging thrives, killing species, and fuelling corruption and organized crime.
The European Parliament has just voted for harsh penalties and criminal sanctions for importers of timber that was harvested illegally in other countries, but now the EU Council and the Commission have their say, and some member states with large timber industries are threatening to water down the crucial controls.
Let’s build a massive citizens’ outcry to get the Council's approval. Sign the petition below, and forward this email to all your friends. Together, we can urge the EU to end illegal timber imports and save our forests. Take action now:
20-40% of the global timber market is estimated to be illegal. That’s roughly 10-15 Billion Euros a year which is stolen and funnelled to criminal syndicates. The US has already approved strong laws against illegal timber -- but the EU is one of the world’s leading timber importers and as long as it does not ban the trade, it is directly responsible for around a 3 billion Euros share in this black market.
The social and environmental impacts of this industry are truly devastating and it is inciting money laundering, corruption and violence. Mismanaged deforestation drives global climate change and robs both indigenous peoples and animals, who rely on the forests, of crucial natural resources.
Last year the timber companies beat the ban, working with timber import countries to delay European legislation. But this year the Parliament has proposed even stronger laws and some sectors of the timber industry as well as the UK, Denmark, Belgium and Spain have come out in favour of an outright ban.
Let’s not let the companies which fuel misery and destruction win again. Together, we can tackle illegal-logging and protect our forests and their peoples. Sign the petition -- then spread the word:
Forests are a vital resource and our first line of defense on climate change, but they are being destroyed across the planet. When the EU imports this timber we become accomplices to the devastation and environmental crime that criminal networks inflict. Let's tell our leaders it's time to stop.
Luis, Iain, Ricken, Alice, Graziela, Pascal, David, Veronique, Ben, Milena and the rest of the Avaaz team
See WWF’s report on Illegal logging and the EU -- click on the link to download the PDF version:
More on the Parliament vote and Council stand-off:
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