The European Union is actively working to reduce illegal logging and related trade.
The conclusion of international agreements is to bring a positive impact on a global scale. So far, the Voluntary Partnership Agreements have been signed by the European Union and the following African countries: Republic of Congo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Ghana. Indonesia joined this group on 30 September 2013. The agreement was signed in Brussels by Valentinas Mazuronis, the Minister of the Environment of the Republic of Lithuania and Janez Potočnik, the European Commissioner for the Environment on behalf of the Member States of the European Union, and Zulkifli Hasan, the Minister of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia. The agreement is the result of a strong commitment of both sides to fight against illegal logging, which is to contribute to the transparency in timber trade. It is the first such agreement between the European Union and one of Asian countries. It focuses primarily on forest economy and law enforcement and a system of permits to harvest and trade in timber, which will ensure that the wood processed and sold by Indonesia will be only legally harvested. This is a serious commitment made by this country that has been having a problem with illegal harvesting for a long time. Until the entry into force of the new agreement, the timber products originating from Indonesia will be released for sale in the EU only based on a licence certifying the legal origin of the products.
– I am very pleased that the EU and Indonesia have joined forces to achieve a common goal – to eliminate illegal logging and related trade – commented Janez Potočnik on the agreement signed.
– This agreement is good for the environment and for responsible business. It will increase consumer confidence in the timber from Indonesia.
In order to prepare for the implementation of the requirements of the agreement, the Government of Indonesia has developed a comprehensive legal system for monitoring the validity of all aspects of timber production. The agreement will enter into force after its ratification by the Parliament of Indonesia and the approval of the European Parliament.
Source: GAZETA PRZEMYSŁU DRZEWNEGO.