Recent history shows us that, for the sake of achieving a higher rate of economic development, humanity has consistently neglected the consequent environmental degradation.

As the dire state of our environment and the urgent need to protect it has gained greater attention the subject has grown increasingly controversial, both uniting nations in the shared experience of environmental damage and dividing them in how to deal with it.

In a five-part series that travels from the timber docks of China to the mountain ranges of America, Assignment Earth looks at just a handful of the many pressing issues confronting our fragile world.

Part Five

China's ravenous appetite for hardwood has led to the plundering of forests in Southeast Asia and Russia and the Chinese timber companies have now moved into Africa and South America. But some Chinese authorities and companies are now beginning to take steps to control the logging of timber overseas.

A saw mill not far from Shanghia
From the docks where the timber arrives in China to the lumber and plywood mills and the furniture factories, Assignment Earth witnesses first hand the demand driving China's wood products industries.

With the help of expert investigator Dr Chunquan Zhu, we interview industry and government sources as well as responsible leaders from the private sector who are trying to halt the most damaging logging practices by Chinese companies.

Part five of our five part series aired on 21 July 2007 at the following times:

Saturday 21 July 2007 (21.30 GMT)
Sunday 22 July 2007 (02.00, 07.00,18:00 GMT)
Monday 23 July 2007 (00:00, 04.00, 11:00 GMT)
Tuesday 24 July 2007 (20.30 GMT)
Wednesday 25 July (02.00, 07.30 GMT)
Thursday 26 July 2007 (05.30 GMT)
Friday 27 July 2007 (10.30 GMT)
Saturday 28 July 2007 (04.30, 08.30 GMT)

Watch Part One here:

Watch Part Two here:


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