Is teak used illegally on the “Gorch Fock”? | Free press

The sailing training ship “Gorch Fock” is currently undergoing expensive renovation. The environmental organization WWF is now asking about the origin of the tropical wood used. Now it must be proven before the administrative court in Cologne that only legal wood is used.

Cologne / Berlin / Bremen (dpa) – The Administrative Court in Cologne is hearing allegations that illegal tropical wood is used in the renovation of the naval vessel “Gorch Fock”.

A corresponding filing against the Federal Bureau of Agriculture and Food (BLE) was received Tuesday, a court spokesman said on Thursday. The applicant is the German nature conservation ring.

The environmental organization WWF, for which the Naturschutzbund made the urgent application, accused the BLE of stubbornly refusing to thoroughly investigate the legality of the wood, despite information. According to its own information, the WWF plans to halt construction and investigate the rejections.

“The installation of the teak on deck is underway,” confirms a spokesman for the navy in Berlin. But for everything else, you need to contact the BLE. “We are not responsible for controlling timber imports.” The Navy also has to wait for the exam.

BLE spokesperson Tassilo Freiherr von Leoprechting emphasized on Thursday that the procedure is underway. The investigation has not yet been completed and the administrative court has set the BLE a two-day term, which ends at 3 p.m. on Friday, he told the German news agency.

The “Gorch Fock” made headlines due to the exorbitant increase in renovation costs from initially 10 to 135 million euros. The shipyard Lürssen in Bern on the Lower Weser is currently building the ship. It is scheduled to resume sailing at the end of May 2021. The Navy trains its officer candidates on the three-master.

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