Victory for rainforest campaigners as German chancellor calls off Stihl visit
Chainsaw market leader Stihl under pressure over ties to Borneo rainforest illegal logging – Bruno Manser Fund demands €100 million indemnity
(Stuttgart, GERMANY) German chancellor Angela Merkel has today cancelled a long-planned visit with German chainsaw manufacturer Stihl. The decision was taken hours after German tabloid Bild reported on a planned rally by rainforest campaigners against Stihl’s role in the destruction of the Borneo rainforest. The German environmental NGO, Rainforest Rescue, planned to hand over a petition with 94’000 signatures to Stihl on the occasion of the Merkel visit at the company headquarters in Stuttart-Waiblingen.
Stihl was mainly criticized for its close ties with KTS, a Malaysian timber conglomerat based in Sarawak. According to Rainforest Rescue, KTS is connected to illegal logging operations in Malaysian Borneo. KTS has been Stihl’s distribution partner in Sarawak, a Malaysian state in Borneo, since 1968.
During the last four decades, more than 90 per cent of Sarawak’s rainforest have been logged, mainly with Stihl chainsaws. The worth of the trees felled during the period is estimated at over $50 billion. As market leader in Malaysian Borneo, Stihl has a market share of 70 percent in Sarawak and Sabah.
The Bruno Manser Fund welcomes the German chancellor’s decision and demands from Stihl a 100 million Euro indemnity for its role in the destruction of the Borneo rainforest.