The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes the Turnbull Government’s announcement that while it is staying tough on illegal logging, it continues to streamline and reform Australia’s illegal logging regulations for more effective compliance and fair trade. This is important, as a football field of forest is still being illegally cleared in overseas countries every two seconds (1) and it is estimated that up to 30% of the global trade in timber products is from illegal sources (2).
Outcomes from the “Reforming Australia’s Illegal Logging Regulations” Regulation Impact Statement process were announced today by Federal Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston.
AFPA CEO Mr Ross Hampton said; ‘Illegal logging activities in overseas countries not only contribute to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, they directly undermine the competitiveness of legitimate and sustainably sourced timber and paper products in Australia. Australian major forestry operations are 100% independently certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) – nowhere is native forest or plantation management more sustainable. We look forward to continuing working with the Government to address this significant international problem.’
‘AFPA welcomes the Turnbull Government’s announcement to establish a new deemed-to-comply arrangement for independently certified products (such as PEFC or FSC) under the Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012. AFPA also noted that there was no change to the existing consignment value and inclusion of personal imports.’
‘The Illegal Logging regulations should be effective but not impose unnecessary red tape and compliance costs on Australian producers who are doing the right thing and already operate within a stringent legal and compliance framework for sustainable forest management in Australia.’
(1) World Bank 2012- Justice for Forests http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTFINANCIALSECTOR/Resources/Illegal_Logging.pdf