Boycott News from Issue 103 Nov/Dec 2006
Boycott Merbau wood
Flooring brands Junckers, Tarkett and Kahrs are the targets of a new boycott because they have yet to drop their ranges of merbau flooring.
The Environmental Investigation Agency’s (EIA) 2006 report “Behind the Veneer” detailed how flooring manufacturers and retailers were selling products made from merbau wood of dubious and “probably illegal” origin.
Although a lot of retailers have stopped selling merbau flooring since the report’s publication, Kahrs and Tarkett have refused to provide evidence to prove the legal source of their merbau while Junkers continues to use Indonesian merbau despite confirming that it is of unknown source.
Without guarantees of the woods origin, it’s likely that merbau wood flooring could have come from Indonesia’s last remaining rainforests.
“If sales of stolen timber in places like Europe are not halted, Papua’s forests will meet the same fate as those elsewhere in Indonesia,” said Arbi Valentinus, Vice President of the EIA’s Indonesian partner, Telapak. “Widespread deforestation will bring devastating floods and death and deprivation for poor forest dependent people.”
The EIA and Telapak call consumers to boycott merbau products from the brand name companies until they have cleaned up their act.
Call 0207 354 7960 or visit www.eia-international.org for more information.
Boycott Wildlife Souvenirs
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is hoping to persuade holiday-makers to stop buying wild animal trinkets when on holiday. According to IFAW, millions of tourists travel to destinations in the hope of wildlife encounters, only to come home with souvenirs made from the very animals they went on holiday to see.
Threatened species such as elephants, rhinos, leopards and turtles, are being slaughtered, often illegally, in order to feed a growing souvenir trade. IFAW has launched an international awareness campaign hoping to make travellers “Think Twice” and boycott wild animal trinkets.
UK’s Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has come out in support of the campaign, while celebrity supporters include Twiggy and Sir David Jason. IFAW’s UK Director, Robbie Marshland says, “tourists need to remember if they don’t buy, animals won’t die”.
Items to avoid include:
Handbags, shoes and belts made from reptile skins as it’s hard to tell just by the skin whether or not the species is endangered;
- “Tortoiseshell” products. Although international trade in marine turtles is illegal, tortoiseshell products are still widely available in tourist resorts worldwide;
- Seahorses - sold as traditional medicine, souvenirs and as curios;
- Coral jewellery;
- Sharks’ teeth fashioned into pendants or mounted jaws. More than 100 million sharks are killed each year. The trade in shark souvenirs is pushing threatened species closer to extinction.
- Big Cat skins. According to IFAW, the market for big cat coats, bags, rugs and other trophies continues and warns travellers to remember that the skins belong to the big cats - and not to us!
- Elephant ivory. Poaching remains rampant in order to supply the huge demand for ivory products. These products include jewellery, chopsticks, hair slides and ornaments. It’s illegal to bring ivory home.
Pledge your support at www.ifaw.org or call 0207 587 6700 for more information.
For the first time in history, the UN Security Council has voted in favour of putting Burma on its formal agenda. According to the Burma Campaign UK, this is a victory and means that the UN is “finally taking up its responsibility to address the situation in Burma”.
On 12th November the Burma Campaign UK presents “The Lady of Burma”, a powerful and moving play about Aung San Suu Kyi at the Old Vic theatre in London. Tickets cost between £20 and £150 and the play will be followed by contributions by a range of stars including Juliet Stevenson, Prunella Scales, Maureen Lipman and John Pilger. You can book tickets on 0870 060 6628 or visit the Burma Campaign UK website.
De Beers boycott
Survival International continues to target De Beers by urging consumers to boycott the company and all diamonds from Botswana until the Kalahari Bushmen of Botswana are allowed back on their land. The Bushmen have been evicted from their land in the Central Kalahari where De Beers is exploring for diamonds.
Survival’s director Stephen Corry said, ‘The Gana and Gwi now face total extinction as peoples, not from war, but from being robbed of their land. It’s horrific that this can happen in the 21st century. For this reason people increasingly view De Beers’s Botswanan gems as conflict diamonds.’
Famous faces lending their support to the campaign to date include actors Colin Firth and Julie Christie. The Bushmen are hoping that Leonardo DiCaprio, starring in a forthcoming film “the Blood Diamond,” will join the campaign and are urging
Mohamed Al Fayed not to allow De Beers to open a concession in Harrods. The Gana and Gwi Bushmen’s organization First People of the Kalahari have also launched their own website at www.iwant2gohome.org
For more information about the boycott itself visit www.boycottdebeers.com or contact Survival International on 0207 687 8700
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