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 Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news