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NY Consumers Receiving Illegal Goods

October 5, 2007

New York, NY - Many New Yorkers are receiving illegal goods –- and they don't even know it. That's the message brought to our state by representatives of Papua New Guinea, Peru and Indonesia. They spoke at New York University, to bring attention to the problem of illegally-harvested hardwoods in tropical nations. Their forests that are logged to become floors, shingles, and other upscale products.

Anne Kajir, who represents landowners in Papua New Guinea, says American consumers can avoid this problem by insisting that their wood products come from certified sources.

"It's better to buy certified timber rather than timber that is not certified, because certified timber helps communities and is sustainable. Illegal logging affects our communities and causes human rights abuses in countries like Papua New Guinea."

Kajir, a 2006 recipient of the "Goldman Environmental Prize," supports a bill in Congress that would protect forest products, much like wild and endangered animals are protected from poaching and other illegal activities. The bill has the support of a broad coalition, including flooring manufacturers, the Sierra Club, and even the steelworkers union.

John Robinson/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - NY