After sharply restricting logging in its own forests, China turned to imports, overwhelming even a country with abundant resources: Russia.
From the Altai Mountains to the Pacific Coast, logging is ravaging Russia’s vast forests, leaving behind swathes of scarred earth studded with dying stumps.
The culprit, to many Russians, is clear: China.
Since China began restricting commercial logging in its own natural forests two decades ago, it has increasingly turned to Russia, importing huge amounts of wood in 2017 to satisfy the voracious appetite of its construction companies and furniture manufacturers.
“In Siberia, people understand they need the forests to survive,” said Eugene Simonov, an environmentalist who has studied the impact of commercial logging in Russia’s Far East. “And they know their forests are now being stolen.”
Russia has been a witting collaborator, too, selling Chinese companies logging rights at low cost and, critics say, turning a blind eye to logging beyond what is legally allowed.
Chinese demand is also stripping forests elsewhere — from Peru to Papua New Guinea, Mozambique to Myanmar. Continue reading “China’s Voracious Appetite for Timber Stokes Fury in Russia and Beyond”