Illegal rosewood logging situation is critical in Thailand


BANGKOK, July 1 — The demand for illegally-logged rosewood internationally has led to the soaring growth of criminal activity in Thailand with prices as much as Bt1 million per cubic meter.

Nipon Chotibal, acting director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, told a press conference this morning that the problem was critical in Thailand’s northeast and eastern regions which contain the last rosewood stands worldwide.

illegal rosewood logging in Thailand received substantial financial support complete with heavily armed loggers and dealers offering increasingly higher prices for the rare wood.

“Local prices are Bt500,000-600,000 per cubic meter and its export price is as much as Bt1 million per cubic meter, so illegal rosewood logging is highly attractive,” Mr Nipon said.

So far this year, 1,930 illegal rosewood loggers have been arrested and 92,957 rosewood logs have been seized. There were 244 arrests in June, increasing by some 80 cases from May, Mr Nipon said.

The National Council for Peace and Order’s policy to protect national forests encouraged all parties to cooperate on illegal rosewood logging suppression. Arrests could be made swiftly and the culprits could not be tipped off to flee in advance, he said.