“Wild West”

A report in The Guardian tells us that sustainable forestry strategies in Liberia are being undermined by logging companies exploiting “loopholes” in the law to strip the forest there. Evidence points to misconduct by both government and the logging companies, including forged documents and communities being defrauded out of their forest rights. Basically logging operators are now in total control of huge tracts of Liberian forest with no regulation of their activities. “Thousands of logs are still being exported to China and the EU; this year alone, France was the leading importer of Liberian timber behind China.” See full story here.

Reports from last week’s NAWLA Traders Market in Chicago indicate nary a single lumber market bear was in attendance. The looming fibre shortage has gone mainstream. It’s no secret. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at growing timber investment around the world: see links to recent examples in B.C. here, New Zealand here, Russia here.
Further to yesterday’s post, the notion that these deals “open doors” to markets in Asia, when China’s wood fibre shortage will soon be three times the annual B.C. timber harvest, seems a stretch. Is the horse already out of the barn?

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