On the west side of the hemisphere “woodpecking” or deforestation spread like the plague amputating drastically “the lungs of the planet”, the Amazon.
In the eastern Siberia, in the Zabakailsky region, the same ecologic scourge is devastating and is threatening the famous Taiga, the coniferous forest, to disappear.
Hectares of pines, larches, aspens and birches are conveyed with a cadenced rhythm to the new specie of woodpecker, the flamboyant Manzhouli—A town that reflects the exponential economic growth of China. Its main source of prosperity is timber.
What caught my attention is the total volume of wood ILLEGALLY traded (2 million cubic meters a year). The most incomprehensible is that this ILLEGAL trafficking occurred, is occurring without the awareness and the consent of the highest authority, the government. Even if Russia’s 17.1 million square kilometers surface could justify the ignorance of the government, I’m skeptical.
Nonetheless, the environmental catastrophe ensued is such that if no action is taken within 5 years, the Taiga will simply vanish from the geography of the Russian Siberia.
Sources say that both parties at each extremity of this illegal trade are linked to mafias who exploit “bandit villages” misery to deliver the product required.
China, like most of industrialized countries, is experiencing its industrial revolution at the expenses of the poorest populations. As each economic development, it will slow down, overheat or explode. Meanwhile it greedily consumes any natural resources.
In this juicy deal both unscrupulous Siberian and Chinese are to be pointed the fingers at. What about the final consumer responsibility? The one at the end of the chain of consumption could be you, me! What is the percentage of wood imported from China to the US and consequently ends up in our living rooms or bedrooms?
As I passed by a Chinese style “Antique” store, I was wondering how it was still possible to the market to provide Chinese furniture? Could it be the answer? Because we are the demand.