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Illegal logging policy.



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Illegal logging policy

Practical measures to assist south east Asian and Pacific countries combat illegal logging,Australia’s domestic forest industry, are key planks of the Howard Government’s draft illegal logging policy, released today.

“This blueprint builds on the Government’s 2004 election commitment to protect another 180,000ha of rainforest in Tasmania,” the Minister said.

“At the time the Government committed to develop a plan to ensure this protection didn’t mean importation of more illegal timber products from places such as South East Asia and the Pacific (eg PNG, Solomons) which stands at an estimated nine percent of total timber and timber product imports.

“The Howard Government is concerned about sustainable forest management and has a record second to none.

“This plan provides practical and workable measures to help protect the world’s remaining forests, and ensure they are harvested in a legal and sustainable way.

“It is yet another example of the Howard Government’s balanced approach to managing the environment.”

Key planks of the blueprint include:

z Working WITH other countries to combat illegal logging - governance

z Grow, diversify and value add the domestic industry to reduce the need to harvest

tropical rainforests z Pursue illegal logging at bilateral and multilateral forums

z Raise market and consumer awareness

z A code of conduct for importers

z Examine government procurement guidelines in relation to the sourcing of timber

products

The plan does not impose a blanket ban on illegal timber products, which is not only impractical due to chain of custody issues, but which as a result would also prevent legal timber coming into Australia.

The draft policy can be downloaded at www.daff.gov.au/illegallogging. Submissions are welcome - information about making a submission is contained in the report.

DAFF06/131A 2 November 2006

Further inquiries:

Senator Abetz’s office: Brad Stansfield 0419 884 666

http://www.mffc.gov.au/06/06131A.htm