Trade in precious minerals and timber continues to fuel violence and conflict across the globe
1st June, 2008
Revenues obtained from the often illegal extraction and supply of commodities such as timber and diamonds are directly bankrolling corrupt regimes and armed insurgency groups, and fund the purchase of weapons and other contraband goods that perpetuate cycles of conflict.
Increasing pressure on resources from rising populations and consumer demand fuel the situation, say campaigners, who point to endemic corruption in many developing world governments and the complicity of international companies as further drivers of the unsustainable trades. They claim that, until recently, the international community has failed adequately to recognise the links between natural resources and conflict, and to put in place appropriate mechanisms to curtail the problem.
The illegal trade in timber has been particularly responsible for serious environmental devastation and human rights abuses across large swathes of South East Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Logging concessions have increasingly opened up previously intact forest areas, leading to ongoing social strife and rampant rights violations against local communities. The trade in timber has funded illegal arms deals and fuelled civil wars and regional instability.
UK campaign group Global Witness alerted the world to the role of timber in driving conflicts after undercover investigations in Cambodia revealed the Khmer Rouge harvesting the country’s tropical forests for logs for export to Thailand and beyond....
To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.