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News

New measures to help timber-producing countries prevent illegal logging

Defra : 07 May, 2006  (New Product)
New measures to help timber-producing countries prevent illegal logging and protect threatened forests have been agreed by European governments. EU agriculture ministers have agreed a new Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade deal which will see the EU sign agreements with poor countries where enforcement is weak to help them guarantee that timber exports to the EU are legal and licensed.
New measures to help timber-producing countries prevent illegal logging and protect threatened forests have been agreed by European governments.

EU agriculture ministers have agreed a new Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade deal which will see the EU sign agreements with poor countries where enforcement is weak to help them guarantee that timber exports to the EU are legal and licensed.

The EU will ban imports of illegally logged timber from those countries.

Illegal logging destroys fragile forests, rare plants and animals, disrupts traditional ways of life and distorts the legitimate timber trade by pushing down prices.

The World Bank estimates that illegal logging costs countries worldwide $10-15 billion a year in lost revenue needed for development.

Margaret Beckett, UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said:

'This is an important step forward and I am delighted that we have agreed these measures during the UK's Presidency.

'Illegal logging is a problem shared by timber producing and consuming countries. FLEGT helps developing countries manage their forests better and makes sure the EU only consumes legal timber from those countries.

'This is a win-win for the environment and some of the world's poorest people, sustainable development in practice.'

Hilary Benn, UK Secretary of State for International Development said:

'This is an excellent first step to tackling the problem of illegal logging and we have already seen world timber markets change in anticipation. FLEGT will help the poorest countries to manage their forests better, improve people's livelihoods and protect their natural resources. We know that several countries, including Ghana and Malaysia, have been waiting for this and we are pleased that we can now start to put these measures in place on the ground.'
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