Export demand a threat to PNG native animals

Export demand a threat to PNG native animals

Export demand a threat to PNG native animals

Updated 7 June 2012, 15:44 AEST

Almost 200 of Papua New Guinea's vulnerable animal species are being threatened by export industries, a study has shown.

The University of Sydney study, a result of five years tracking the world economy through 187 countries, shows that sixty of these species alone are under threat from logging to satisfy Japanese residential construction.

Among these, Papua New Guinea's black-spotted cuscus and eastern long-beaked echidna are at risk from Australia's demand for mining and timber.

Agricultural exports from Indonesia are affecting 294 species, including tigers.

"Until now these relationships have only been poorly understood," Manfred Lenzen, from the university's Integrated Sustainability Analysis group said.

"Our extraordinary number crunching, which took years of data collection and thousands of hours on a supercomputer to process, lets us see these global supply chains in amazing detail for the first time."

The study concludes that international trade chains can accelerate degradation in locations far removed from where the product is bought.

Authors of the report hope it will encourage retailers to view the sale of sustainable products as the norm rather than the exception.