SP: 'Illegal logging drives out populations'

4 May 2010

SP: 'Illegal logging drives out populations'

“The EU must no longer allow illegally logged wood and products made from such wood on to the European market," says SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard. "Only wood which meets international standards set by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) should, in the SP's opinion, be imported. This concerns more than the environment and the climate. It's also important to take into account the interests of indigenous peoples."

Kartika LiotardLiotard is fighting against a ‘compromise’ proposed by the centre-right Christian Democrats. “The compromise would erode protection of local populations. Declaring wood to be legal if it conforms to the law in the country of origin is in my view wholly insufficient. In many such countries there is absolutely no law which protects the interests of the local population. Large-scale logging chases people from their territory. That Christian Democrats place no value on this consideration I find immoral and contrary to the charity which they are supposed to preach.”

In relation to sustainability, and to environmental and climate targets, the SP will vote in the European Parliament for the proposed plans. “But there are also rules to do with moral considerations which we should be checking to see that firms which trade in wood meet," says Liotard. "Forest clearance earns big money, and in these countries illegality is often the norm. The Christian Democrats must know that government declarations over the protection of forest inhabitants and plans for re-afforestation mean little."

This morning the SP member succeeded in having mention of the interests of forest-dwelling peoples mentioned in the introductory remarks to a meeting document debated in the European Parliament Environment Committee, but, as she says "this is unfortunately no more than a token."

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