Proposed measure on imports of illegal wood 'full of holes'

18 February 2009

Proposed measure on imports of illegal wood 'full of holes'

In this week's meeting of the European Parliament Environment Committee, SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard gave voice to strong criticism of the EU's passive role in relation to the protection of tropical forests and the interests of the indigenous peoples who depend on the forest for their survival. She described the European Commission's proposed measure, purportedly intended to combat the import of illegally-sourced wood, as 'full of holes so wide you could drive a truckload of timber through them.' Liotard noted that the Commission had failed to formulate any policy goal for the measure.

‘Legal wood’

"This won't do anything to keep illegal wood out of Europe," says Kartika Liotard. "The EU's definition of legal wood means you can do just about anything you like. There are parts of the world where indigenous peoples and other forest-dwellers suffer as a result of legalised destructive logging and where forests are subject to legalised plunder." Liotard has proposed a series of amendments in the Environment Committee which would make the import of illegal wood impossible and counter the misleading use of the term 'legal'. "The Commission text doesn't even outlaw such imports," she says.

Following the debate, the SP's proposed amendments attracted the support of environmentalist groups.

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