Indonesia's Foresty Products Exports Achieve Significant Milestone

Becomes First Country to Export Forestry Products Under EU’s Strict Timber Legality Rules
Jan 12, 2017 12:00 PM ET

November 15, 2016 marked a historic day for the forestry sector in Indonesia and for timber legality efforts globally. Indonesia became the world’s first country to export forest products licensed under the European Union’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. This means that Indonesia’s forest products now automatically meet the strict requirements of the EU Timber Regulation, designed to prohibit illegal timber products from entering the EU. The FLEGT Action Plan “aims to reduce illegal logging by strengthening sustainable and legal forest management, improving governance and promoting trade in legally produced timber.” This approval is an important achievement for both Indonesia and the European Union,representing more than ten years of work by the respective government agencies and by a variety of stakeholders to implement a transparent and credible system of timber legality throughout the Indonesian forest products sector.

This milestone is particularly gratifying to me. Having worked as a member of the SCS Forest Conservation Program for more than a decade, I know first-hand the environmental and social costs of illegal forestry practices. I have held an endangered orangutan in my arms, and witnessed how communities and biodiverse forests can be put at risk. I have also audited exemplary forestry operations, and have a deep appreciation for the steps required to assure that laws on the books translate into actions on the ground.  READ MORE