Olympic Organizers: Rainforest timber is not sustainable

It’s a real doozy: We’re just months away from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and the Olympic organizers are seriously claiming that clearing tropical rainforests including orangutan habitat was compliant with their sustainability policy!

But we know that the road to Tokyo 2020 has been paved through rainforest destruction! Let’s call on the organizers to do better, much better ― because rainforest destruction is NOT an Olympic sport!

To the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizers,

It is outrageous that you continue to deny responsibility for the harm you have caused to rainforests in constructing the Olympic venues.

Your own disclosures have revealed that the rainforests in Indonesia were clearcut to supply timber for the Olympics including orangutan habitats. Tropical forests are one of the greatest biodiversity hotspots on Earth, and Indonesia has the world’s third largest rainforest area, with 10% to 15% of all known plants, mammals and birds on the planet. Clearing these rainforests is patently harmful to the rainforest ecosystem.  

You made a promise to source sustainable, legal timber for the Olympics, including the promise to ensure that the timber you use comes from logging that is “considerate toward conservation of the ecosystem.” 

I believe there is sufficient evidence to show that you failed that promise. The reputation and legacy of the Olympics is at stake unless you lead by example and take responsibility for past mistakes. I call on you to accept the complaints that were filed by Rainforest Action Network, investigate your supply chain impacts, and engage in a constructive dialogue about how to do better going forward.

Healthy rainforests are critical for a healthy planet. Please do what you can to protect them both.