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

Easter: Have A Safe Holiday And/Or Don't Mislead On Surcharges

Commerce Commission: “Businesses that do apply a surcharge must ensure people are alerted to this before they make a decision to purchase. This gives consumers the ability to decide whether they are prepared to pay a surcharge or would rather go elsewhere,” Ms Rawlings said.

“The reason for the surcharge must be accurately described and must not mislead consumers. For example a business must not claim their surcharge on Easter Sunday is because it is a public holiday, as the only public holidays over the Easter weekend are Good Friday and Easter Monday.” More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Law Foundation Report: New Zealand Going Backwards On Human Rights

Greens: A report released today, Fault lines: Human Rights in New Zealand, looked at our commitment to six different international human rights treaties and found New Zealand sorely lacking in our commitment to human rights in practice to the point we’re going backwards. More>>

ALSO:

War Prep: “Gerrymandering” The Iraq Deployment

NZ First: “On Tuesday, it was ‘up to 50 troops’ training in Australia but yesterday that number grew to 100... Given pre-deployment training and now integrated training with the Australian Army, it seems to go beyond the supposed training role our men and women are meant to be tasked with undertaking.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Inadequate Response To Sexual Violence Prevention

On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the attitudes of ACC staff towards sexual violence victims, and offering them more substantive support.

Hopefully, this will help to reverse the damage done with the insensitive, punitive ACC policy put in place by the incoming Key government in 2009, which in some parts of New Zealand, saw 90 per cent of sexual violence victims being turned away by ACC. More>>

ALSO:

Child, Youth and Family Review:

"To Help Families Get Ahead": April 1 Changes Kick In

Prime Minister John Key says Paid Parental Leave, the parental tax credit, the minimum wage and Superannuation will increase, while average ACC levies will fall, and more people will be helped in to home ownership... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news