A Major Liability: Illegal logging in Papua New Guinea threatens China's timber sector and global reputation

A new report reveals that many forest operations in Papua New Guinea (PNG) violate the law, despite holding Government permits. PNG is China’s single largest supplier. By buying timber from PNG and exporting to markets that ban illegal timber imports, such as the European Union or the United States, China therefore risks damaging its reputation and major trade relationships.

Companies create huge networks of logging roads to access valuable timber, Papua New Guinea by Global Witness

The report, titled ‘A Major Liability - Illegal logging in Papua New Guinea threatens China’s timber sector and global reputation,’ is based on an analysis of examples of four major types of PNG logging and clearance permits, representing operations responsible for 85% of PNG’s log exports in 2017. 

In our previous investigation into Chinese flooring manufacturing using wood from PNG, we found that almost no companies verified the wood they used was legal. In ‘A Major Liability’, we document ‘systemic instances’ of illegalities in the allocation and operation of different types of logging and forest clearance projects in PNG. 

China’s major wood export markets have banned the imports of illegal timber, including the European Union and the United States. The use of illegal wood in Chinese manufacturing can therefore deter importers from buying products made in China.


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