The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has published its latest briefing note on the implementation of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR), which covers the period May to June 2019.
Indonesia has been stepping up action against illegal logging and other forest crimes, with an increase in law enforcement operations and hundreds of court cases in the past three years. However, improving monitoring and law enforcement remains a challenging task.
Looking back into a past of chaos, corruption and crime, Indonesia has clearly come a long way in reforming its timber sector. During the 1990s and early 2000s, illegal logging was so widespread that more than 70-80 per cent of timber produced in Indonesia was sourced illegally.
Our new investigation conclusively shows that tropical timber across the Solomon Islands is being harvested on an unsustainable scale, and that much of the activity driving this environmental destruction is at high risk of being illegal. If the growing degradation of the Solomon Islands’ tropical forests carries on unchecked, it will have a disastrous and irreparable impact on the country’s environment. The loss of this carbon sink would also have a significant impact on climate change.
How can trade policies promote and support governance reforms in developing countries so that forest resources contribute to sustainable development? A panel discussion on the FLEGT initiative hoped to provide an answer to this question. The session, moderated by Jussi Viitanen, Head of the EU FLEGT and REDD Facilities at the European Forest Institute, took place at the recent WTO Public Forum in Geneva.
A new report reveals that many forest operations in Papua New Guinea (PNG) violate the law, despite holding Government permits. PNG is China’s single largest supplier. By buying timber from PNG and exporting to markets that ban illegal timber imports, such as the European Union or the United States, China therefore risks damaging its reputation and major trade relationships.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has released a report detailing unabated illegal logging, timber laundering and smuggling in Cambodia. The report follows earlier EIA reports on Vietnam’s trade in timber illegally harvested in, and illegally imported from, its neighbours. The new report, titled ‘Serial Offender: Vietnam’s continued imports of illegal Cambodian timber,’ finds corrupt officials on both sides complicit.
BVRio is organizing the first international timber trade fair dedicated to promoting the trade of 100% legal and certified timber. The Responsible Timber Trade Fair will connect buyers and sellers of legal and certified timber products, focusing on West African timber. The event will be held in Accra, Ghana, 28 February – 2 March 2018.
Six years have now passed since the end of civil conflict that destabilised Côte d’Ivoire for years. In this period, the country has made great strides towards improved governance and accountability. It held free and fair elections, adopted a new constitution making government structures more representative, and undertook institutional reforms. Rule of law, however, is still not completely institutionalised across the country.