Malaysian Loggers Target Niue

The Government of Niue has signed an agreement with a Malaysian company to cut down the island's hardwood forests. In the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, Greenpeace's Paradise Forests Campaign is attempting to control the depredations of Asian logging companies there, and around 120 Malaysians are now rushing toward Niue to do their dirty work before any similar reaction sets in.

The Huvalu Conservation Area, a community project supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, covers 5,400 hectares of southeastern Niue around Liku. The old growth banyan, Tahitian chestnut, and kafika trees in the Huvalu rainforest are home to endangered coconut crabs, fruit bats, and most of Niue's 29 species of birds. It's not yet clear if the Huvalu Conservation Area will be logged, but Malaysian logging companies have a history of bribing local politicians to get their way. Niue, watch out.

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