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Campaign against rainforest destruction and the sale of Kwila - How you can help


This Saturday the Indonesian Human Rights Committee and the Rainforest Action Group are stepping up protests against the Four Seasons furniture chain, which continues to sell outdoor furniture made from Kwila, even after a month of protests.

As part of our effort to stop the destruction of Kwila, we need organisations and individuals to commit to supporting this campaign and ending the destruction of the Papuan rainforests.

1. Attend a demonstration against Kwila

Demonstrations will be held at the Four Seasons stores in Wairau Park, Henderson and Botany. Protests will be held every Saturday for the next month at each of the locations between 1pm and 3pm, their busiest times of the week, at all of the Four Seasons store locations in Auckland. We hope that by the end of the month Four Seasons will have recognised that rainforest plundered Kwila has no place in New Zealand.

Dates for protests are: January 31st, February 7th, February 14th, February 21st

Locations of stores:
Wairau Park- 1/14 Link Drive, Wairau Park, Auckland
Henderson- 52 Lincoln Road, Auckland Botany- 500 Ti Rakau Drive, Auckland

Join the protests! Every Saturday at all Four Seasons locations in Auckland. If you'd like a lift to any of these demonstrations email Ryan Bodman or Maire Leadbeater

2. Donate to the campaign

Support the campaign by making a donation to the fighting fund.

Kiwibank: 38-9004-0979528-02

3. Sign the support statement

Email to sign-on to the campaign support statement.


We, the undersigned organisations and individuals, call on the New Zealand Government to ban the import of Kwila wood in all its forms; and call on all companies to pledge not to sell Kwila. We do so for the following reasons.

· If present rates of logging continue this species of tree will be extinct in the wild in less than 35 years. A mere 17% of the original stands of Kwila still exist and these are under threat from logging. Kwila takes 75 years to grow to maturity and it cannot be grown in sustainable plantations.

· The World Bank has reported 70 to 80 percent of Kwila logging is illegal and the New Zealand Government has estimated up to 80 percent of illegally-sourced wood products sold in New Zealand is Kwila.

· Australia and New Zealand take 60 percent of Papua New Guinea's sawn Kwila. The UN has identified tropical deforestation as the single biggest man-made contributor to greenhouse emissions; responsible for 20 percent of emissions. In Indonesia, an area of forest at least the size of Wales (around 2 million hectares) disappears every year. In Papua New Guinea, because of illegal logging 58 of the 260 known mammal species and 33 of the 720 known bird species are threatened.

· In 2007 the NZ government estimated that illegal logging cost the New Zealand forest industry NZ$266 million a year in lost revenue. Recent redundancies in the forestry sector show how NZ wood producers are being undercut by those who import illegally logged timber including for use in decking and furniture.

· Most Kwila outdoor furniture in Auckland stores comes from the forests of Indonesian controlled province of West Papua, where human rights groups such as Amnesty International have documented the vicious and corrupt military forcing villagers off their lands and torturing and imprisoning those opposed to the logging.

Yours Sincerely,

Indonesian Human Rights Committee

Rainforest Action Group


4. Get educated about Kwila and West Papua

Scientists agree that the world's rainforests are the best natural defense against climate change because they store vast amounts of carbon. For example, Indonesian old-growth rainforests store almost 750 tons of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of 620 flights between New York and London – per acre. When cleared, rainforests release that carbon into the atmosphere, furthering global warming rather than curbing it.

"Western demand for kwila is not only killing the forests, it is also killing our people," he said. "The forest is seen as our mother, which provides us with food, water and shelter - and when that is taken away, our people lose everything."

Mr Manufandu said the illegal logging activities has caused much suffering and devastation among his people, and migrant workers of logging companies also spread diseases such as Aids to the forest people.

"Stop buying kwila. Support indigenous people. Destruction of the forest is like killing people because they lose everything. They cannot have food, they can't get water. Logging companies pollute the water too."

On June 16 Harvey Norman wrote to the IHRC to announce that they will no longer source 'any new Kwila products from any suppliers' and that they will 'cease all our sales of Kwila products 21 March 2009.'

Last summer the Indonesia Human Rights Committee conducted a retail survey and found that Auckland was awash with outdoor furniture and decking made from kwila sourced from Indonesian controlled West Papua. Kwila has already been stripped out of the rest of Indonesia and other South East Asian nations and there is a strong international drive for kwila to be listed as an endangered species. Greenpeace estimates that the wood is only 35 years away from extinction as a species.

The problem of logging of engdangered timber crosses the full gamut - the dislocation and intimidation of indigenous people, the destruction of ancient rainforests and biodiversity, the knock on effect on climate change as these old growth forests are stripped bare, governmental and private industry corruption, and the effect on foresters and manufacturers who do attempt to use sustainably and legally logged timber and find their products unable to compete.