EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Boost to Regulation of Indonesian Forest Products Against Illegal Logging

  • January 22nd, 2007
  • Posted by 7thmin

forestry-resize.jpgIndonesia is to make an agreement with the European Union on verification of forest products, to allow them to be sold legitimately on European markets.

The county’s Forestry Minister, MS Kaban, this month (8.1.07) met senior officials in Brussels.

They agreed to start formal negotiations towards an EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEWGT) – to provide assurance that forests products imported from Indonesia were not sourced from illegal logging operations.

The agreement would also provide for economic development co-operation under the headings of capacity building, market and technical studies, and knowledge sharing.

It followed a year of informal talks and extensive dealings with stakeholders in forest industries.

Mr Kaban said his government appreciated the EU’s support to Indonesia’s commitment in implementing sustainable forestry management, and had already taken actions that would prepare the way for coming negotiations.

“Indonesia has undertaken numerous stakeholder consultations and it is hoped that the final Voluntary Partnership Agreement will provide both parties, Indonesia and Europe, with a sound basis for preventing export and import of illegally-harvested timber”, he said.

The European Environment Commissioner, Stavros Dimas said Indonesia had played a leading role in placing illegal logging on the international agenda.

“The EU and Indonesia recognise that as producers and consumers of tropical timber we have a joint responsibility to eradicate illegal logging and move towards our shared goal of sustainable forest management”, he said.

The Development Commissioner, Louis Michel said good governance was fundamental if benefits of trade in forest products were to be shared within Indonesian society; the negotiations with Europe would be a positive step for the country’s development through sustainable management of resources.

The European Union has acted in response to large-scale unauthorised forest clearance or removal of trees from wild forests in South-east Asia.

In collaborations with governments in the region it has introduced mercantile standards against the sale of timber products not stamped as having been through a verification process, agreed with those government authorities.

A summit meeting of leaders from the EU and the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) is scheduled for 12 March this year.

Picture: Stock.schng