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

European Parliament Moves Against Rainforest Crime

  • February 18th, 2009
  • Posted by 7thmin

rainfoest-umfmaineedu1.jpgA vote at the European Parliament on control of timber imports – aimed at illegal logging in rainforests around the world – has cleared the way (17.2.09) for strengthened legislation to be debated in April.

The proposed new laws put forward by the European Commission were  approved by the parliament’s Environment committee; if adopted by the full Parliament they will then go for approval to a Council of Agriculture Ministers from national governments, to be put into law.

The amendments have been pushed hard by environmental groups which have given conditional approval of this week’s decision.

“The Parliament committee has supported an EU law that makes the timber industry accountable and sets up an effective system to control the legal origin of wood.

“MEPs have highlighted the urgent need for Europe to reduce its environmental and social footprint on the world’s forests,” said Sébastien Risso, Greenpeace EU forest policy director, at Brussels.

“Substantial improvements are required to transform this timber law into an effective and credible tool to fight illegal forest destruction.

“As the international community is discussing ways to reduce the impact of deforestation on climate change, the EU must show the way by adopting strict rules for timber markets.”

The environmental  lobby group says rainforest degradation is responsible for wide-scale species extinction, and breach of indigenous rights, and contributes one-fifth of greenhouse gases causing climate change.

In 2007 it produced evidence that tropical timber from unknown and uncertified sources was used in the refurbishment of several EU buildings, (See also, EUAustralia, 3.12.06, “Joke fine brings embarrassment over SE Asian forests”).


Greenpeace, Briefing paper on European Commission proposal, Brussels, 19.1.09., (18.2.09).