Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pulp mills consuming Asia's forests

An Indonesia-based conservation group said Thursday that Asian pulp and paper mills are so busy these days that many are resorting to illegal sources and implementing unsustainable policies.

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) said that cheap wood demand is growing internationally but especially in the heated Chinese economy.

Lenders often depend on pulp industry sources to determine the availability of cheap wood, the CIFOR report said. However, the reality is that at current rates the forecasted supply cannot be sustained without resorting to clear-cutting of forests and illegal practices.

Such practices can increase the incidence of flooding and mudslides, and endanger threatened species. Excessive logging also contributes to the now commonplace problem of unhealthy haze from forest fires in Southeast Asia.

Asia's forests under threat

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