Government responds to report on illegal logging
The Rudd Government has taken another step towards implementing its election promise to combat illegal logging.
The Centre for International Economics (the CIE) today released its final report to inform the government's Regulation Impact Statement for the proposed new policy on illegally-logged timber.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said the Rudd Government is determined to restrict the importation of illegally logged wood products.
“Illegal logging hurts communities in developing nations, and unfairly takes away local jobs,” Mr Burke said.
“It is a significant environmental, economic and social issue which undermines sustainable forestry.
“The CIE report estimates the global cost of illegal logging to be more than $106.5 billion dollars per year.
“We believe more than 90% of timber imported into Australia is legally logged.
“The key task for government is to determine the most efficient and effective means of identifying the illegally logged timber products.
“We will take into account the CIE report together with the issues raised by industry stake holders and the work of other governments - particularly the United States and the European Union to identify and restrict trade in illegally logged timber products.
The government will now move to finalise its illegal logging Regulation Impact Statement and identify its preferred approach.
The report analysed regulatory issues raised during consultation with industry stakeholders, government and non-government organisations.
“The report highlights the need for cooperation with other countries to combat illegal logging,” Mr Burke said.
“The government accepts the critical importance of working with countries to tackle these problems and we have established formal agreements with China, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.”