Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Proposed prohibition on illegal timber

The European Parliament’s environment committee have taken a major step towards stopping illegally sourced timber and wood products from being sold within the EU. The committee voted through new draft legislation, proposals hailed by the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency as the toughest and most meaningful yet to combat the trade and help curb the prevalent deforestation.

If endorsed by the European Council in July, the legislation means EU companies would have to prove they are buying and selling only legally harvested timber and wood products, with member states having the right to investigate those suspected of breaking the law and to prosecute and impose strong penalties on the guilty.

The environment committee which is led by UK Green MEP Caroline Lucas said she, "recognises that this issue is also the responsibility of Europe as a major consuming region of illegally sourced timber and wood products. It’s up to the member states now to ensure illegal timber and wood products no longer continue to be sold as legal. They must support a prohibition and ensure strong measures come into force.”

Environment Investigation Agency

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