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Indonesia, EU set date for start of timber licensing

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Indonesia, EU set date for start of timber licensing

EU FLEGT and REDD facilities

(YOGYAKARTA) - Indonesia and the EU have agreed a November start date for issuing licences to legal timber products for export to the EU in a major milestone in the global effort to combat illegal trade in timber.

Indonesia thus becomes the first country in the world to achieve this major milestone in the fight against illegal logging and associated illegal timber trade.

The EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan of 2003 is the EU's initiative against illegal logging. The Action Plan aims to reduce illegal logging by strengthening the sustainability and legality of forest management, improving forest governance and promoting trade in legally produced timber.

"The decision to begin FLEGT licensing is a landmark achievement in a partnership that links EU businesses and consumers with legal traders in Indonesia," said Vincent Guérend, the EU Ambassador to Indonesia and co-chair of the JIC. "By guaranteeing legality, FLEGT licences should not only make business more efficient for traders in both Indonesia and the EU but also strengthen governance and ensure fairness to all forest stakeholders. They are the result of increasing transparency and better accountability and stakeholder participation in decisions about forests. Today, all of Indonesia's timber exports are from independently audited factories and forests."

Indonesia and the EU signed the Agreement in Brussels in September 2013. The country has since developed a system for assuring that all timber products harvested or imported, transported, traded, processed and exported comply with national laws on environmental, social and economic aspects identified by stakeholders from government, the private sector and civil society.

Indonesia is now acknowledged to have achieved substantial progress in bringing its forest sector under control, meeting the EU's high certification standards.

FLEGT-licensed products automatically meet the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation, which prohibits operators in the EU from placing illegally harvested timber and products derived from illegal timber on the EU market. EU operators can therefore place FLEGT-licensed timber on the EU market without due diligence.

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