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Indonesia ships first containers of timber under EU legality scheme

November 17, 2016

Indonesia ships first containers of timber under EU legality scheme

JAKARTA — The first containers of plywood certified as legal under the EU’s anti-illegal-logging action plan were shipped out of the Indonesian capital on Tuesday, a milestone in the fight against blackmarket timber in one of the world’s most heavily forested countries.

Of the 15 nations that have agreed to take part in the scheme, Indonesia is first to succeed in establishing a national system for verifying the legality of its timber — a considerable achievement for a country where unscrupulous loggers pocketed a presumed $60.7-81.4 billion from illicit sales between 2003 and 2014, according to the nation’s antigraft agency. Indonesia lost nearly $9 billion in state revenue from unreported timber sales during the same period.

“This signifies Indonesia’s commitment to combat illegal logging and the illicit timber trade,” said Rufi’ie, a director at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

Rufi’ie, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, added that 36 certifications had already been issued under the scheme, known as Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). He said he hoped Indonesia’s compliance with the program would increase the value of its exports.

With the adoption of the scheme, EU timber importers will not have to perform their own due dilligence on certified shipments from the archipelago country, increasing the competitiveness of Indoensian timber vis-a-vis other producers.

Read more at MONGABAY.

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