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One More Step On Rainforest Laws

  • April 24th, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

rainfoest-umfmaineedu.jpgThe full European Parliament has approved the proposed new law for controlling the importation of rainforest timber products – a step hailed by the environmental lobby against illegal exploitation.

The Greenpeace organisation said the parliamentary vote — to be followed by the approval of national Ministers, at the Council stage of law-making – was a “step closer to a brighter future for forests”.

(See also, EUAustralia, “European Parliament moves against rainforest crime”, 18.2.09; “Guarding world timber and forests”, 16.2.09; New exchange on illegal timber”, 25.4.07.)

Communique from Greenpeace Europe:

“Agriculture ministers will now have to take this law forward before the summer and the EU should adopt the final legislation by the end of this year to ensure no illegal wood products can reach consumers.

“The Parliament has substantially improved the Commission’s draft timber law by requiring companies to ensure the legality of wood products sold in shops and by creating an EU-wide framework of sanctions and penalties to dissuade offenders.

“It has also recommended a move towards fully sustainable sourcing. At present, an estimated 19% of EU wood imports come from illegal logging, which worsens deforestation and forest degradation, contributes to climate change and biodiversity loss, and exacerbates poverty and social tensions in developing countries.”

Greenpeace also supported moves in the European Parliament, with evident majority backing, to put deforestation and forest degradation into the Copenhagen climate negotiations.

These would see the establishment of an international financing plan for schemes that would see a reduction of logging.

It says the bill would come to €30 billion a year (A$55.4 p.a.; dcerates.com, 24.4.09), to protect forest reserves particularly in the Amazon, the Congo basin and southeast Asia.

It adds that a public opinion poll commissioned by WWF and Friends of the Earth (FoE) Europe has found 92% of respondents support an ambitious EU timber law. See, assets.panda.org/downloads/wwf_foe_poll_factsheet_1.pdf, (24.4.09).

Reference:

Greenpeace Europe, Brussels, “European Parliament plenary vote on timber law …”, (Media Release), 22.4.09. www.greenpeace.eu, (24.2.09). See also www.greenpeace.org/forestsforclimate, (24.4.09).

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