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Editorial: Spring is here

Certain signs that spring has come over us, are the annual advertisements for tropical wood garden furniture. The furniture chains follow each other in trying to explain how friendly their chairs are to the environment. While some of them withhold information on the origin of their products, others deliberately lie and present false or self-produced environmental certificates.
Artikkelen er mer enn to år gammel. Ting kan ha endret seg.
Certain signs that spring has come over us, are the annual advertisements for tropical wood garden furniture. The furniture chains follow each other in trying to explain how friendly their chairs are to the environment. While some of them withhold information on the origin of their products, others deliberately lie and present false or self-produced environmental certificates.

One outstanding example this season are the pieces of paper which were attached to the "Jutlandia" garden furniture from Vietnam, which is sold by Norsk Sengetøyslager. One is given the impression that the furniture industry is actually saving the forest from another and bigger threat, the indigenous peoples who have used it forever. Sengetøyslageret writes:

"An export duty on forest products from Vietnam (10% by 10.07.95) contributes to the regeneration of the large forest areas which were ruined during the long-lasting war in the country. Poor mountain tribes have also, since time immemorial, burned down big areas of forest in order to cultivate the land."

Sengetøyslageret does not mention that today Vietnam has prohibited the export of this kind of timber.

Even though some of the companies which market furniture are taking environmental demands seriously, there is no reason to trust the promises of this spring's advertisements. But the lie dies hard, and it is repeated every season.

Norwatch Newsletter 7/99

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