Credo Action

Tell the International Olympic Committee: No rainforest destruction for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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The petition to the International Olympic Committee reads:

"Ensure that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic authorities cease using tropical wood, respect Indigenous communities’ legal and customary rights, and adopt robust sourcing requirements for all other commodities that could put forests at risk."

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    Tell the International Olympic Committee: No rainforest destruction for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

    As the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics have drawn to a close, preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are already well underway. Olympic authorities promised it will be one of the greenest Olympic games in history.

    But Tokyo Olympic authorities recently admitted that they are using irreplaceable rainforest wood in the construction of Olympic venues. At least 87 percent of the plywood panels used for Tokyo's New National Stadium came from the rainforests of Malaysia and Indonesia.1

    Our allies at the Rainforest Action Network and others have pushed the Tokyo authorities to do better, but they need to feel more pressure. We need the International Olympic Committee to use its influence to ensure that no more rainforests are harmed for the Tokyo Olympics.

    Tell the International Olympic Committee: No more rainforest destruction for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

    Japan is the largest importer of plywood from tropical forests, and half of that plywood comes from the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo.2 Sarawak has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, and Indigenous communities in Sarawak have been fighting logging for decades.3

    Environmental activists have long suspected that the Tokyo Olympics was using wood from Sarawak rainforests, but only now have they gotten confirmation. Over a year after the information was originally requested by Rainforest Action Network and more than 40 other groups, Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers have finally acknowledged extensive use of tropical rainforest wood to construct the New National Stadium and other Tokyo 2020 venues.4

    Even worse, Tokyo authorities are getting that plywood from a timber supplier with a well-documented history of rainforest destruction, illegal logging and human rights abuses.5 Instead of sourcing sustainable wood locally in Japan, the Tokyo Olympics authorities are devastating priceless rainforests and trampling the rights of Indigenous people to cut costs.

    Rainforest advocates want Olympic organizers to cease using tropical wood, implement third party verification for the timber supply chain, respect Indigenous communities’ rights to natural resources and adopt robust sourcing requirements for all other commodities that could come from at-risk forests.6

    We can amplify their call to action by telling the International Olympic Committee that the world is watching what happens in Tokyo.

    Tell the International Olympic Committee: No more rainforest destruction for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

    Photo Credit: CIFOR/Flickr

    References:

    1. Rainforest Action Network, "Global NGOs 'appalled' by massive use of high risk rainforest wood for Tokyo 2020 Olympics construction," Feb. 15, 2018.
    2. Tracy Staedter, "Prized Forests Lost Big at This Year’s Olympics," Earther, Feb. 6, 2018.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Rainforest Action Network, "Global NGOs 'appalled' by massive use of high risk rainforest wood for Tokyo 2020 Olympics construction."
    5. Rainforest Action Network, "NGOs demand Olympic authorities end rainforest destruction and human rights abuses connected to Tokyo 2020 Olympics construction," Sept. 11, 2017.
    6. Rainforest Action Network, "No more rainforest destruction for Tokyo 2020 Olympics," accessed Feb. 22, 2018.