Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Undercover Investigation Reveals Illegal Logging Crisis and Environmental Tragedy in Honduras; U.S. Businesses Implicated

Next Thursday, The Center for International Policy and The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) will jointly release a report titled "The Illegal Logging Crisis in Honduras." The result of a year-long undercover investigation by EIA, the report documents how U.S. imports of illegal Honduran wood increase poverty, fuel corruption and devastate forests and communities. It also names the U.S. firms that profit from it.

The report documents how:

-- Massive illegal logging is stripping Honduran forests of precious resources.

-- This wood is being exported to the US and sold to US distributors and popular retailers

-- Illegal mahogany from, "protected" parks such as the world- renowned Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, supplied Donald Trump and the U.S. Capitol Building.

-- These activities are occurring despite promises by the Bush administration to crack down on illegal logging exports to the US.

-- The U.S. and other G8 nations plan to write off $1.3 billion in debt to Honduras over the next year despite pervasive government corruption that fuels the illegal logging crisis.

Copies of the report and video material from the EIA investigations are available to the media.

WHO: Allan Thornton, president, Environmental Investigation Agency; Ambassador Robert White (ret), president, Center for International Policy; Father Andres Tamayo, 2005 Goldman Environmental Award winner and leader, Environmental Movement of Olancho (Honduras); and the Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Georgetown University, adjunct professor.

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 3, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: The Zenger Room, National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, Washington, DC 20045

The Center for International Policy -- http://www.ciponline.org -- founded in 1975, promotes a U.S. foreign policy based on international cooperation, demilitarization and respect for basic human rights. It is cooperating with "Democracy without Borders," CIP's Honduras- based international NGO, in a campaign to save the forests of Honduras and encourage political reform.

The Environmental Investigation Agency is a non profit group dedicated to fighting and exposing environmental crime. EIA, with offices in Washington DC and London, UK works to support and develop the capacity of local groups and enforcement authorities around the world to enact practical solutions to environmental crimes. Web: http://www.eia-international.org

For information about the event and the report:

Eric London, TSD, Inc. (event publicity): 202-986-0033 ext. 105, elondon@tsd.biz

Allan Thornton, president, EIA: 202-483-6621 or 202-361-6941 (cell)

Ingrid Vaicius, Center for International Policy: 202-232-3317

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