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Congo Forest Witnesses Visit Westminster

WWK UK are pleased to see people affected by illegal logging coming to the UK to visit Westminster to tell politicians that the type of wood we buy is having an effect on Central Africa. The three forest ‘witnesses’ from the Democratic Republic of Congo have traveled over to share their experiences of the devastating impacts illegal logging can have on forests with MPs.

The trio hope that by meeting politicians at Westminster they can try to ensure that timber imported to the UK is responsibly sourced. As of March 2013, a new EU regulation means that those supplying timber will have to prove that it was legally sourced, as currently the UK is the third highest importer of products made from illegal timber.

Head of Forest Policy and Trade at WWF UK, Beatrix Richards, said –

The forest witnesses are here to remind politicians that they need not only to ensure key legislation is in place to exclude illegal timber from the UK, but also that this timber comes from responsibly managed forests. People in the UK can help by ensuring the timber products they buy are FSC certified.

A WWF survey found that many EU countries are using far too much illegal and unsustainable timber, with nine countries still not prepared to implement measures for the upcoming timber regulation. Choosing FSC certified wood products is the best way for the public to ensure that timber has been harvested in the correct manner.

Let’s hope British government officials and the rest Europe fall into line before March 2013, and help developing countries in their struggle to halt the illegal timber production that is not just destroying their land, but also the habitats of thousands of animals.

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