Timber Stealing from Ancient Trees has become Poacher’s New Target: UNEP

These ecosystems have been vanishing across the territory. Forest investigators have reported cases of more than 100 trees stolen at once.

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A cedar tree, Pixabay
  • The 200 feet cedar tall tree disappeared, cut off at its colossal base and stolen
  • Forest investigators have reported cases of more than 100 trees stolen at once
  • One gigantic old cedar can bring close to $20,000

June 06, 2017: Trees are not immortal; they do live a definite life. The 800-year-old cedar in the Carmanah Valley in Canada was near the end of its life. Colin Hepburn, a local hiker noticed during a backwoods stroll in May 2012, the remains of the cedar tree. The 200 feet tall tree disappeared, cut off at its colossal base, an entire ecosystem of birds, small mammals, and insects stolen with it.

Elephant poaching and timber theft were the focal points at the conference held by Interpol and United Nations Environment Program for more than a couple of years now, as mentioned in a report by Newser.com.

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The park is firmly rooted, filled with centuries-old Sitka spruce and cedar that enforce a lofty eternalness. These trees are an essential part of the forest ecosystem: moss and lichen grow on them, mushrooms sprout from the damp bark at their base. Their branches are an abode to endangered birds like the tiny grey and white marbled murrelet. However, these ecosystems have been vanishing across the territory. Forest investigators have reported cases of more than 100 trees stolen at once.

According to a report published by UNEP and Interpol, Global timber theft has grown into a “rapidly escalating environmental crime wave”, estimating it 15 to 30 per cent of the global timber trade conducted through the black market.

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Two major factors have made timber so tempting in recent years. First, the payoff is huge. One gigantic old cedar can bring close to $20,000. Secondly, stealing trees is low-risk. In a globalized economy, timber is remarkably easy for thieves to get their hands on, says Cameron Kamiya, Canada’s only full-time forest crime investigator.

prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: Nainamishr94