ALERT: China Olympics 2008: Destroying Papua's Ancient Rainforests to Raise the Olympic Torch
With two-and-a-half years to go until the start of the 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing China, the Chinese government has recently placed a $1 billion rush order for endangered rainforest timbers from Indonesia's Papua province to be used in construction for the games. A proposed timber processing factory would industrially harvest 800,000 cubic meters of the famous and threatened merbau (intsia spp) rainforest timbers, to be exported to China for the construction of sports facilities.
Indonesia's Papua province on the island of New Guinea has some of the world's last remaining large intact rainforests. These rainforests are millions of years old, contain untold biodiversity and evolutionary history, and provide critical regional and global ecosystem processes. An investment of this size will only serve to legitimize and further fuel illegal, highly unsustainable, and ecologically devastating logging, ensuring the destruction of this critically threatened ancient rainforest.
It is against the Olympic ideals of bringing "people together in peace to respect universal moral principles" when the events are housed in ancient rainforest timbers of questionable legality and morality. Please insist the Chinese government commit to hosting an "old-growth and ancient rainforest free" Olympics. Please take action now.