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Illegal logging policy inadequate, says Copeland

Friday 15 December 2006

Illegal logging policy inadequate, says Copeland

United Future forestry spokesman Gordon Copeland says the Government's new policy on illegally logged timber doesn't go far enough.

"Illegally logged timber is a very serious worldwide problem, which this Government once again has failed to address adequately," said Mr Copeland.

"While Forestry Minister Jim Anderton has announced initiatives to champion the issue of illegal logging as an international concern, he has not gone as far as he should have."

"I would have liked to see him announce a ban on all 'dumping' of questionably imported timber.

"United Future has been lobbying the Government consistently over the last few years to encourage sustainably-harvested indigenous timber by banning the 'dumping' of imported timber and products that have been harvested without regard to sustainability criteria.

"Not only do we have to protect timber producers in New Zealand from being undercut by illegal producers overseas but we also have an environmental responsibility to try to stop illegal logging.

"Over the next ten-to-twenty years forestry will play a major part in the economic and environmental success of this country.

"I would encourage the Minister to review his policy and ban the 'dumping' of unsustainably-harvested imported timber, so as to help stop this trade once and for all," concluded Mr Copeland.

ENDS

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