KEMENTERIAN LINGKUNGAN HIDUP

REPUBLIK INDONESIA


Presented
by the Environmental Investigation Agency.
 

This panel-led discussion addressed illegal logging and the potential for new
legislation in the US
to curb the imports of resultant wood products.

Andrea Johnson, Environmental Investigation Agency, gave an overview of recent
amendments to the US Lacey Act, which make it the first law in the world to ban
the import of illegal logs. She highlighted the need to consider the drivers of
deforestation, adding that illegal logging is an indicator of overall
governance failure. She noted that logging is a trillion dollar industry, and that
up to 15% of logging is illegal. She highlighted the profitability of illegal
logging, noting that the costs are one-third of those of legal logging, and
presented a short film describing the potential of the Lacey Act to address
trade in illegally sourced timber products.

Patrick Alley, Global Witness, said that Africa
receives six times more in natural resource revenues than it receives in aid,
and said the way out of poverty for many developing countries lies in the legal
and sustainable management of its resources and equitable distribution of the
benefits derived from such activities. He noted that illegal logging activities
by many EU logging companies, such as the Danzer Group, are backed by financing
from major banks, and said that the timber trade must be kept out of activities
recognized by the reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation
(REDD) policy framework. He emphasized that intact primary forests lose most of
their stored carbon once they have been logged.

Peter Murtha, International Network of Environmental Compliance and
Enforcement, said that although very little pro-environment legislation has
been passed during the Bush administration, the recent amendment to the Lacey
Act is a very positive development. He said that the Act, amended in June 2008,
will serve as a deterrent to the importation of illegally sourced wood
products. He added that the Act is backed by credible threats of imprisonment,
large fines and forfeiture of cargo. He noted challenges that the Act will
face, including in regions where legality is ambiguous, and emphasized the need
for individual accountability. He underscored that in many countries forest
governance is just beginning to mature and said that law enforcement capacity
must be built prior to the introduction of REDD.

Participants discussed: the role of forest certification in the Lacey Act and
establishing due diligence; "conflict carbon markets"; trade
declaration requirements and chain of custody; and how REDD will fail without
credible monitoring and verification.