Cambodian Groups Urge EU Pressure on Vietnam Over Illegal Timber Trade

A joint petition sent by Cambodian civil society groups to the European Union has urged the EU not to sign an agreement with Vietnam governing the international trade in timber until Vietnam ends its support of illegal logging in Cambodia.

Now banned under Cambodian law, the continuing export of timber into Vietnam is “facilitated by corrupt officials on both sides of the border,” the Oct. 10 petition says, adding that timber illegally harvested and smuggled from Cambodia is now openly advertised on the internet.

“Even more alarming is the policy by Vietnam to provide necessary paperwork and the veneer of legality to basically all Cambodian timber that crosses the border, in disregard of legality criteria, thereby legitimizing and ‘laundering’ massive amounts of illegal timber,” the petition says.

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