Thursday, May 5, 2011

Indonesia-EU deal signed on illegal timber

Indonesia and the European Union have finalised an agreement aimed at ending the trade in illegally-sourced wood.

The agreement will mean that EU companies will only be able to import timber that is certified as complying with Indonesian environmental laws.

The East Asian nation possesses some of the world's most lavish forests, which in turn support spectacular wildlife.

The EU has concluded similar deals with four African countries, and Liberia is expected to follow suit next week.

The deal - signed in Jakarta - is known as a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).

"Not only is Indonesia the first Asian country to conclude VPA negotiations with the EU, it is also by far the largest timber exporter to enter into such an agreement," said EU trade commissioner Karel de Gucht.

Currently, European countries import about USD1.2bn (GBP720m) worth of timber and paper from Indonesia each year.

This accounts for about one-sixth of the nation's exports.


2. From EIA



AS Asia's first-ever Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) was today (09.00 GMT, May 4) formally agreed in Jakarta by senior representatives of the European Union and Government of Indonesia, it was warned the historic timber trade agreement would only succeed alongside rigorous efforts to stamp out corruption.

Once the VPA is operational, Indonesia will only allow the export of timber licensed from a national timber legality assurance system, and EU Customs authorities will prevent any unlicensed Indonesian products from entering the EU.


<whether this applies to wood imported as biomass fuel is not yet clear>

1. from BBC

EU and Indonesia sign deal on illegal timber


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