INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tackling Illegall Logging

Published: Sun 10 Dec 2006 12:42 AM
Tackling Illegall Logging
Minister of Forestry, Jim Anderton today announced the Labour-Progressive government's policy on illegal logging and associated trade. He said that illegal logging was a complex problem that was not going to be ended overnight but that the New Zealand government had set clear and reasonable goals and was now working to implement them.
"We have a moral and environmental obligation to help address this serious global problem. But there are significant economic reasons as well illegally produced wood, for example, depresses world log prices by 19 percent. It also helps fuel cheap and unsustainable processed wood products, like furniture. This hurts our own legal and sustainable producers," Jim Anderton said.
The government's policy is based on six objectives which include championing the issue of illegal logging as a key focus point for international discussion and action.
"We will be further engaging with our Pacific neighbours on the illegal logging issues. The government supports regional co-operation on monitoring and tracking of timber and wood products to address illegal logging. We are developing bilateral arrangements to address illegal logging.
"We are encouraging stronger public and private sector awareness and action through enhanced communication, development of identification mechanisms for legal products and increased understanding of environmental, economic and social effects of the problem.
The Labour-Progressive government is committed to lead by example. We are making it mandatory for Government departments and agencies to seek timber and wood products that are sourced from legally harvested forests. Departments and agencies are also directed to take all reasonable steps to ensure that these products are from sustainable, managed sources.
"New Zealand will support discussion on the potential for a multilateral agreement to address illegal logging. We will also be undertaking research on the effects of illegal logging on New Zealand producers in international and domestic markets;
"The development of a strategy for international engagement over the next 6 months based on the key policy objectives of regional cooperation, the development of bilateral arrangements, working in existing international forums and New Zealand being an advocate for the issue of illegal logging as a key focus point for international action.
"Consumers can show their opposition to illegal logging by buying New Zealand produced timber products, looking for certification on wood products that can confirm legality, or by asking retailers to prove that wood products are from legally harvested forests. If in doubt, buy New Zealand wood products," Jim Anderton said.
Ends

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