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Dutch Princess accused of using banned teak on ship deck

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Beatrix of the Netherlands has used teak from Burma in renovating the deck of her luxury ship, the Groene Draeck, Dutch television news service RTL Nieuws reported. The import of teak wood from Burma to the Netherlands has been banned since 2007 when the government cited human rights violations, deforestation, and profits from teak sales going directly to the military as reasons for the ban. Three expert deck builders were shown high-resolution photos of the Groene Draeck ship.

“This is teak from Myanmar, without a doubt,” said Jacob Lok, a deck builder who worked with Burmese teak for 35 years at a shipyard in Zwartsluis, Netherlands. “The risks surrounding teak from Myanmar have been known for decades. There is a discouragement policy, there have been sanctions and it has been forbidden to market this wood since 2007,” said Daniëlle van Oijen, a wood researcher at Dutch environmental organization Milieudefensie. “If you didn’t [understand] that, you really lived under a rock as a royal family.”

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