In this exclusive interview with the ETTF, European Commission Director General for the Environment Daniel Calleja Crespo describes the first year of FLEGT licensing by Indonesia as a great start. Now, he says, it’s the responsibility of all stakeholders to capitalise on the opportunities presented by this unique timber legality initiative and to take the wider EU FLEGT Action Plan forward.
Indonesia was not the only one to celebrate its FLEGT licensing launch last year. Other tropical timber exporters engaged in the FLEGT VPA process en route to licensing welcomed the news too. They see Indonesia’s success not just as inspirational, but providing lessons from which they can learn. Mike Jeffree reports
When civil society organisations in Indonesia began proposing ways to end illegal logging, they knew they had a mountain to climb. In 2002, some 80 percent of logging there was illegally. Corruption and conflict were widespread. Trust was lacking.
After playing a key role in implementing their country’s FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the EU, Indonesian civil society groups are sharing experiences with counterparts in other countries engaged in the initiative.
As of today, November 15, Indonesia becomes the first country to issue licences under the EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative. These will exempt timber and wood products from further due diligence under the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and European operator importers are expecting to receive their first licensed cargoes before the end of the year.
Indonesia and the EU launch are hailing “a major milestone” in the global fight to end illegal logging, with the launch today of Indonesia’s FLEGT licensing scheme for exports to the EU of verified legal timber products.