Gabonese timber linked to illegal logging seized in Antwerp

first_imgCorruption, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Law, Forest Loss, Forests, Governance, Government, Habitat Loss, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Logging, Rainforests, Timber, Timber Laws, timber trade, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests, Tropical hardwoods In 2016 and 2017, EIA investigators posed as timber merchants and met with WCTS’s deputy general manager, Chen Wixing. They secretly filmed a series of meetings with Chen and other WCTS employees.“His business model is essentially structural over-harvesting, tax evasion, money laundering and, covering all that, corruption,” Handy said.According to Handy, WCTS was extracting between two and three times its legal quota. When the EIA spoke to Chen in 2016, Handy says WCTS was already cutting down forest in areas it was not supposed to have reached until 2030.In the videos, published by the EIA in May this year, Chen also describes evading tax through transfer pricing and channeling his exports through smaller companies to avoid the attention of the authorities in Gabon.Following the EIA’s exposé, WCTS is now under investigation in Gabon.As part of its commitment to reduce illegal logging, the European Union introduced the EUTR in 2013, making it an offense to import illegally logged timber into the bloc. A key part of the regulation is a requirement that European companies importing timber must conduct thorough due diligence on their timber sources.Guidance documents produced by the European Commission in 2016 to assist timber traders in interpreting the EUTR state, “In cases where the risk of corruption is not negligible, even official documents issued by authorities cannot be considered reliable.” It is on this basis that Greenpeace believes Compagnie de Bois Anvers failed to conduct due diligence.In a statement responding to inquiries from Mongabay, Compagnie du Bois Anvers said, “We were of course shocked to see the set of movies that was released by EIA on 22/5/2019. We have immediately suspended our relationship with WCTS until the outcome of further investigations.”It declined to comment further until the Belgian investigation is complete.Allegations of illegal activities by WCTS have been aired publicly since 2017. WCTS was fined by the Gabonese authorities in 2017 following an investigation. It is also the subject of a civil complaint by Conservation and Justice, a Gabonese NGO. Verbelen said he believes the availability of this information means that Compaigne du Bois Anvers had clearly failed in its due diligence obligation.“There are more than enough indications if you are a timber trader in Belgium that there is a high risk of dealing with illegal timber when you’re buying from this company,” he said. “[Compagnie du Bois Anvers] needs to be investigated and, in our opinion, sanctioned.”Compagnie du Bois Anvers and Greenpeace are now awaiting the outcome of the Belgian government’s investigation.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Banner image: Timber exported by Wan Chuan Timber SARL currently blocked at the port of Antwerp, Belgium. Image courtesy of Philippe Verbelen/Greenpeace Belgian authorities have blocked a shipment of tropical timber from Gabon after a tip-off by Greenpeace.Under the EU Timber Regulation, European companies have an obligation to conduct proper due diligence on the source of the timber they import.Greenpeace says this due diligence requirement was not met in this case, as the wood was exported by a Chinese logging firm with previous allegations of illegal logging. On July 8, Greenpeace forest campaigner Philippe Verbelen was conducting routine monitoring at the Belgian port of Antwerp when he noticed a familiar name attached to a timber shipment: Wan Chuan Timber SARL (WCTS), a company that has been exposed and fined for a series of grave offenses in Gabon.Verbelen alerted customs officials at the port, who moved quickly moved to block the shipment of padoek, a tropical timber. The Belgian government is now investigating the company receiving the shipment, Antwerp-based Compagnie de Bois Anvers, for a possible breach of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR).The shipment in question came from Gabon, a country that currently still has 85 percent coverage of incredibly biodiverse rainforest. In May this year, Pierre Moussavou, Gabon’s then-vice president and minister of state for forests and the environment, was fired in connection with a timber scandal.“[Gabon] is a country with a high level of corruption linked to the forestry sector,” Verbelen said. “European timber companies clearly need to identify companies active in Gabon as a high risk for doing business.”WCTS, which exported the timber, is a Chinese logging company operating in Gabon. Verbelen recognized its name from an undercover probe by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), an NGO based in Washington, D.C. The EIA came across WCTS in 2016 while investigating illegal logging activity in Gabon.“We were asking who the really bad guys were, who were the people or the companies that were just breaking all the rules with no respect,” said Lisa Handy, the EIA’s director of forest campaigns, “and several times everybody was referring back to WCTS.” Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by terna gyuselast_img read more

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NBA: Damian Lillard would rather not win a title than move to star-studded team

first_imgRobredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors “Like I said, I’m not joining nobody. I would not win a Championship before I go and team up and do all that,” he said. “Unless it was like something that I couldn’t control. But I wouldn’tve did that.”With his prime years still ahead of him, Lillard was asked if he’d change his stance once he gets up in age.Still, the Weber State product held his ground and made it known he won’t join any “super team” anytime soon.“I’m saying this because this is how I feel, not how I feel at the moment. That’s just how I feel about it,” he explained.“I think if that’s what somebody wants to do, I’m not mad at them for doing it. I’m just telling you what I’m not going to do. That ain’t how we get down”  Khristian Ibarrola /raADVERTISEMENT NCAA: Arellano stays in Final 4 hunt, downs EAC Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard acknowledges the crowd during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Portland, Oregon, Saturday, April 8, 2017. Lillard scored a franchise-record 59 points as the Blazers won 101-86.  We in(AP Photo/Steve Dykes)The trend of creating “super teams” or NBA superstars forming an alliance remains to be the fastest way to a championship in today’s game.But as far as Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard is concerned, he won’t go to such lengths in pursuit of the Larry O’Brien trophy.ADVERTISEMENT Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges MOST READcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES View comments Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ In an appearance on Complex’s “Everyday Struggle” show, the two-time NBA All-Star revealed that he’d rather “not win a championship” than join the other superstar-caliber players from other teams.Lillard first pointed out his former teammate LaMarcus Aldridge, who decided to jump ship and join the perennial contenders San Antonio Spurs in 2015, in an attempt to win a ring.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“I mean, like I said about [LaMarcus Aldridge], I wouldn’t have done it. For me, I’m not joining nobody,” he said.When asked if he would entertain the idea of playing with LeBron James, the 2013 NBA Rookie of the year kept his stance. ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

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