A surging timber demand has made the Asia's rainforests are being rapidly destroyed. Illegal timber, oil palm plantation, biofuel, and rubber plantation worsen the condition and they contribute to global warming, species loss, and poverty.
It is estimated that over-logging in South East Asia caused nineteen percent of global rainforest loss in 2005. The rapid growth of palm oil and other plantations were responsible for twenty-two percent, while slash and burn farming and forest exploitation by poor people caused fifty-four percent of rainforest destruction.
The illegal timber trade, pushed by poverty and corruption, is plenty in Asia, where seventy-eight percent of forests are state-owned and normally managed by the armed forces, not people who live nearby.
Tropical timber is relatively cheap because we do not factor key functions of the forest, such as clean air, clean water, and biodiversity, in the market price. Solutions are under discussion which include timber certification system to stop illegal trade and carbon credit schemes to reward countries for preserving the forests and offsetting pollution somewhere else.
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