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EU Rainforest Ban Goes Through

  • July 10th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

timber-papua.jpgAn overwhelming vote in The European Parliament is expected to ensure strong legislation will now go into place to ban imports of illegal timber, mostly from tropical forests. timber-protest-png-greenpeace.jpg

“Europe will finally close its doors to the destructive illegal timber trade, ” said Sébastien Risso, forest policy director with the Greenpeace Europe organisation, which has campaigned for the change over ten years.

timber-sarawak.jpgHe said the new law would ban illegal timber from one of the world’s biggest markets.

timber-plywood-greenpeace.jpg“Europe uses huge volumes of illegal timber, mainly from countries with weak governance where corporate criminals and mafia gangs cause great environmental damage, rob governments of revenue and have even fuelled civil war.

“This law hangs up a ‘closed for business’ sign to a destructive market”, he said.

timber-africa.jpg“It promises to level the playing field so legitimate companies and customers are better able to act sustainably.

“Apart from banning illegal timber from the EU market, other significant steps forward are a requirement on companies in Europe to verify wood products thought to be illegal and trace timber back to the country of harvest.

“Offenders could be fined in proportion to the environmental damage and economic losses they cause.

“Regrettably, member states opposed minimum penalties and sanctions at EU level, printed materials will be exempted for at least five years and it will take two years before the new law is applied.”

Reference

Greenpeace Europe,Strasbourg,  “EU bans illegal timber”, 7.7.10.

See also EUAustalia, “Tropical wood trade – new move by EU”, 23.6.10.

Pictures

Papua forests and logging protest in Papua New Guinea; protest over Amazon plywood in England, Sarawak, and Africa, Greenpeace 

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