Global Politics

Timber Smuggling in Southeast Asia

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Vietnamese saw mill (EIA video)

For the Geo Quiz, we want you to name one of the poorest in Southeast Asia. It's Communist government has struggled economically since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Earlier this year, it opened a stock market as part of a tentative move toward capitalism.

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One resource this country does have is tropical forests. They used to cover 70 % of its land area back in the 1950"²s but that forest cover is dwindling. Illegal logging is a big part of the problem. And according to a London-based environmental group, some of that illegally-harvested wood is smuggled out through neighboring Vietnam.

So which country in southeast Asia are we talking about?

The answer is Laos. Some of the wood from these forests finds its way into the US. Julian Newman, the campaign director for the Environmental Investigation Agency, speaks with anchor Lisa Mullins from Bangkok about these findings.