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The Lie Behind the Ply

In an unprecedented investigation that connects threatened forests of Solomon Islands, China’s timber manufacturing hubs, and European importers, our new report The Lie Behind the Ply reveals how European consumers of tropical plywood have been the unwitting drivers of forest degradation. Our findings show that European companies appear to have imported thousands of tons of tropical-faced plywood, at high risk of containing illegal wood and in apparent violation of European law.

The findings expose the role of Jiangsu High Hope Arser (“Arser”), the largest Chinese plywood exporter, and what appears to be a fraud of over 100,000 tons of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified products. EIA found that systemic lack of transparency in the global supply chain for tropical-faced plywood lies at the heart of the problem.

Read the report

EIA-US contacted entities named in the report and incorporated responses received prior to publication into the report. Below are the more complete responses. Some information was removed either because it was personally identifying information or not directly relevant to the substance of the report.

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Recent Blog Posts

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As exports and imports worldwide are estimated to be at their lowest levels in four years due to the impact of COVID-19, Ghana, a key epicenter of the rosewood trade in West Africa, is no exception to this trend.
New global protection measures for threatened rosewood trees start this week
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Recent Reports

Cashing-In On Chaos
06/03/2020
Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)’s three-year investigation into the Senegal-Gambia-China rosewood traffic uncovered unprecedented evidence on a series of major forest crimes.
Mukula Cartel
12/05/2019
In Zambia the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found that a handful of very high profile figures have apparently orchestrated and facilitated massive trafficking operations for years that are driving mukula rosewood trees to the edge of commercial extinction, devastating vulnerable forests and threatening communities’ livelihoods.

Recent Press Releases

The Lie Behind the Ply
06/30/2021
European Consumers of Tropical Plywood have been the Unwitting Drivers of Threatened Forest Degradation
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Romania’s New Timber Traceability System Removes Public Transparency
02/03/2021
On January 31, Romania released a new electronic timber traceability system, an important step in its transition to a fully digital forest sector. Unfortunately, the new system has inexplicably removed all public transparency.

Recent Videos

Mukula Cartel
12/05/2019
In Zambia the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found that a handful of very high profile figures have apparently orchestrated and facilitated massive trafficking operations for years that are driving mukula rosewood trees to the edge of commercial extinction, devastating vulnerable forests and threatening communities’ livelihoods
Raw Intelligence: GOCA
10/18/2019
Mr. Lu is the Secretary of the Association of Overseas Chinese in Gabon and a leading figure in the Forest Union of the Asian Industry in Gabon (UFIAG). He doesn’t miss an opportunity to publicly defend Chinese logging companies in Gabon, and to assert that these entrepreneurs operate with the best of intentions.