Make illegal timber illegal
16 October 2008

Illegal logging is still a massive problem facing the world's forests.

According to a recent report by WWF, 20% of the total timber imports to the EU are illegal or of suspected illegal origin.

Much of this timber is then sold on to manufacturers and businesses legally under current EU laws.

Illegal timber causes deforestation, leading to:

  • Social conflict, violence, crime and human rights abuses
  • Biodiversity loss and climate change
  • Lost taxes for developing country governments

In 2003 the European Commission unveiled its action plan on illegal logging.

The action plan, Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT), has the potential to combat illegal logging and address the trade in illegally sourced timber.

A waiting game

For years the Commission has delayed proposing legislation based on FLEGT.

Some of the industry has lobbied against FLEGT legislation. Other more progressive companies and NGOs have pushed for it.

This October MEPs must move the legislation on.

New laws for the timber trade

New legistation must ensure:

  • Only legal and responsibly produced timber is traded on the European market.
  • The responsibility to prove the legality of timber products must lie with the companies
  • It covers all timber products.

As well as encouraging sustainable forestry both within and outside of the EU.

Press for change

Ask your MEPs to really make illegal timber illegal in the EU.


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Deforestation in Malaysia

© Friends of the Earth

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