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Organized Chaos: The illicit overland timber trade between Myanmar and China

In January 2015, the Myanmar army raided an illegal logging operation in a remote mountainous region in the country’s Kachin State. The conviction and subsequent pardon of 155 Chinese nationals in July for illegal logging in Myanmar threw a spotlight on how massive volumes of timber stolen from the county’s precious frontier forests have been flowing unhindered into China for decades.

EIA's UK office has just released a new report following extensive undercover investigations into the trade in China and Myanmar, exposing the key actors and systemic corruption which drive and facilitate it. The report documents how in Kachin State all parties profit from shady Chinese businesses paying in gold bars for the rights to log entire mountains to the official corruption which allows the timber to pass through various checkpoints.

To download the full report, click here.

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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.
Civil Society Statement on the Weakening of Institutions and Governance in the Forest Sector
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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
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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

EIA responds to allegations made by the Timber Trade Federation
10/08/2020
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) received with dismay the statement made by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) on October 2nd, regarding EIA's press release Dutch Authorities Stop Chinese Plywood Import. We would like to provide the following response to allegations made in the TTF’s statement.
Dutch Authorities Stop Chinese Plywood Import
09/23/2020
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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.
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