Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Government to take action on illegal logging

27 May 2008 Media Statement


Government to take action on illegal logging

The Labour-Progressive Government is to adopt a comprehensive package of measures to address the issue of illegally-logged wood products, Forestry Minister Jim Anderton announced today.

The suite of international and domestic actions is part of a wider push for New Zealand to take a global leadership position in sustainable forest management.

"We will be promoting international cooperation to reduce global rates of deforestation and illegal logging to support action on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development," said Jim Anderton.

International action will include the development of financial mechanisms to assist developing countries to reduce deforestation; commissioning research on further steps to address international trade in illegally-logged wood and Ministerial-level engagement with key consumer countries and those countries from which there is a risk of export to New Zealand of illegally-logged wood.

"We will also be supporting efforts to have the threatened and commonly illegally logged timber, kwila, listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). A listing would allow trade in this type of timber to be effectively monitored and controlled internationally."

Jim Anderton said that verifying the legality of wood products at the border was not straightforward and even if documentation is supplied, verifying its authenticity is not easy. "Imposing a ban on illegal timber would be impractical and ineffective if it was not backed up by reliable traceability and verification systems involving exporting countries."

"For this reason we need to develop cooperative mechanisms with our trading partners to prevent illegally-logged wood being exported to New Zealand. Bilateral agreements offer the best prospect, in the short term, of providing practicable mechanisms to effectively identify and prevent illegal wood from entering New Zealand. It is precisely these sorts of bilateral mechanisms that I plan to discuss with counterparts in the Asia-Pacific region over the next two months.

Jim Anderton said that while New Zealand was a relatively small importer of wood products, we did have kwila imports, which has been identified as the main species associated with illegally sourced wood and wood product imports. Kwila is used for decking and outdoor furniture products.

"On Monday 2 June I am meeting with the Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities in Kuala Lumpur to discuss what our two countries can do to address this issue together." Jim Anderton said he also planned to meet with ministers from other major kwila-exporting countries in the region shortly.

"I have recently had discussions with Tony Burke, the Australian Commonwealth Minister of Forestry, and we have agreed to work together to tackle this issue. I am hopeful that New Zealand and Australia can engage with exporting countries so that together we have a common and united approach.

Jim Anderton said that in the meantime while measures are developed to address illegal timber products coming onto the market it is crucial to ensure that consumers in New Zealand know what they are buying and are encouraged to ask questions of retailers.

"Consumers should be seeking information from importers and retailers to ensure that the timber products they are buying, particularly outdoor furniture, are made from legally sourced timber. I am keen to work with industry to enhance information sharing and to increase the information available."

"The Cabinet has agreed in principle to mandatory labelling of all kwila products sold in New Zealand at point of sale to indicate whether the supplier has verification of the legality of the wood. The Australian Government has proposed similar measures and I will be reporting back to Cabinet in July on the feasibility and practicality of implementing such labelling, with a view to developing a trans-Tasman regime.

In announcing the Labour-Progressive Government's strategy to combat illegal logging Jim Anderton released two reports commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the impacts of illegal logging and options for addressing the problem, and the recent Cabinet paper outlining the strategy. These can be found at: http://www.maf.govt.nz/forestry/illegal-logging/index.htm

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Greens Proposal To Gradually Lift The Minimum Wage

Heading into the election home stretch, voters have a clear choice about the best way to help low and middle income New Zealanders. They can do so by gradually lifting the minimum wage (as the Greens propose) or by a small tax cut, as the government seems about to announce.

The minimum wage boost – by 75 cents an hour to $15 in December, and then by gradual annual increments to $18 an hour by 2017 – that the Greens are talking about is just one part of a packet of employment measures that would include scrapping youth rates and the 90 day trial period, introducing a redundancy package of four weeks, offsetting any abatement effect of the policy package for those receiving Working For Families, and finally… ditching the exception made by the government (during the Hobbit negotiations) for workers in the screen industry, which denies them normal workplace safeguards and entitlements. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

2014 General Election: Voting Period Begins

The first votes for the 2014 general election will be cast today, Wednesday 3 September, as advance voting begins ahead of election day on Saturday 20 September. More>>

ALSO:

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis. More>>

ALSO:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news