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Liquidating the Forests

A new EIA investigative report reveals the largest flooring retailer in the United States is fueling Russia’s illegal logging crisis and endangering Siberian Tigers.

Liquidating the Forests: Hardwood Flooring, Organized Crime, and the World’s Last Siberian Tigers reveals that demand for hardwood flooring and furniture in the United States, European Union, Japan, and China is fueling corruption and making the world’s last temperate hardwood forests into a major epicenter for illegal logging. As much as 80 percent of all timber exported annually from the region is illegal. This activity serves to enrich a handful of corrupt actors, while destroying the Russian Far East’s unique biodiverse ecosystem, depriving the Russian state of tens of millions of dollars in lost tax revenue and threatening the livelihoods of over 100,000 indigenous people.

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Recent Blog Posts

Room for Improvement: Using DNA Analysis to Address Rhino Horn Trafficking
09/22/2021
Law enforcement officials from around the world have seized illegal supplies of rhino horn at least once a week on average for the past 10 years. The type of seizure ranges widely. It could be a pair of fresh horns confiscated from poachers who just gunned down a rhino inside a national park. Or possibly dozens of horns were discovered cleverly hidden in an air cargo shipment. Sometime it’s just a few grams of powdered horn found in a traveler’s luggage. Maybe a mix of raw and carved horns was seized after a police raid on a trafficker’s home.
Mukulagate
09/16/2021
While the coronavirus pandemic rages on, ravaging Zambia’s economy and crippling its citizens' lives, new findings by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) show that illegal exploitation and trade in mukula (Pterocarpus tinctorius) persists unabated, benefitting a small number of well-connected and wealthy individuals. A probing undercover investigation into illegal mukula logging and trade sheds light on the apparent theft of more than 10,000 trees and unveils information connecting the Zambia Agency For Persons With Disabilities (ZAPD), the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, and the office of the vice president. Nearly two years after EIA’s exposé on the institutional looting of Zambian forests, it appears that the more things have changed with the pandemic, when it comes to mukula, the more they’ve stayed the same.

Recent Reports

The Lie Behind the Ply
06/30/2021
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.
Tainted Beef
05/27/2021
A new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) reveals how beef sold in Colombian supermarkets is fueling illegal deforestation in protected Amazon forests and contributing to financing armed groups.

Recent Press Releases

US Company Pleads Guilty to Importing Illegal Timber from Peru
09/23/2021
US Company pleads guilty to importing illegal timber from Peru
The Lie Behind the Ply
06/30/2021
European Consumers of Tropical Plywood have been the Unwitting Drivers of Threatened Forest Degradation
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