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Chinese Demand for Illegal Rosewood Drives Tropical Forest Destruction in Asia, Africa

Classical furniture boom presents urgent challenges for legal, sustainable sourcing

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17 December 2015 | WASHINGTON, D.C. | China’s demand for rosewood – used for classical Chinese style furniture and decor – is threatening some of the world’s most valuable and endangered old-growth forests. Chinese furniture manufacturers’ imports of several species of rosewood, collectively known as hongmu, have soared at an unprecedented rate since 2010 and hit an all-time high in 2014, according to China’s customs data and reported in a new study by Forest Trends, an international non-profit organization. This trade is fueling illegal harvesting of rosewood in the last remaining forests of Southeast Asia and, increasingly, Africa.

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