Extracts from the press conference by Stavros Dimas on EC package to tackle illegal logging and deforestation
The EC unveiled two initiatives to protect forests globally. The package comprises a legislative proposal to reduce the risk of illegal timber and timber products entering the EU market and a Communication setting out EC's proposals for tackling tropical deforestation.
The EC proposed a regulation to minimise the risk of illegally harvested timber and timber products being placed on the European market. The proposed regulation makes it an obligation for traders to seek sufficient guarantees that the timber and timber products they sell have been harvested according to the relevant laws of the country of origin.
The EC also proposed to work in the international negotiations on climate change towards the development of a Global Forest Carbon Mechanism through which developing countries would be rewarded for emissions reductions achieved by taking action to reduce deforestation and forest degradation.
The Communication indicates that at EU level an appropriate level of funding is required from 2013 to 2020 to fight deforestation. The total amount of funding will depend on the level of mitigation actions undertaken by developing countries.
Illegal logging is the harvest, transportation, sale or purchase of timber in violation of applicable national laws. A significant proportion - around 19% - of timber imports into the EU is thought to come from illegal sources.
Illegal logging and deforestation have serious environmental implications, contributing to climate change and the loss of biodiversity, as well as threatening the livelihood of indigenous people. Illegal logging is also a symptom of wider problems, including a lack of forest governance, and weak law enforcement. In the context of the international negotiations on the post-2012 climate change agreement, the Commission proposes to pursue the objective of halting global forest cover loss by 2030 at the latest and reducing gross tropical deforestation by at least 50% by 2020. SHOTLISTLINKLINK