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Ramin, a tropical hardwood, grows in peat swamps and lowland freshwater areas of Borneo, Sumatra and on the Malaysian peninsula. Ramin forests provide food and shelter for the endangered orangutan, whose population is estimated by environmentalists to have fallen by 50 percent in the last 20 years.

In 2001, the Indonesian government banned ramin exports, but many ramin products were shipped illegally through Malaysia or Singapore to the United States, Europe and Japan. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species then required governments to seize ramin imports if they did not come with a CITES export permit.


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Last Updated: 30/07/2012