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BRAKE BACKS CAMPAIGN AGAINST ILLEGAL TREE LOGGING

March 5, 2007 10:41 AM

Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, has added his name to a parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM) 132 following a vigorous campaign by many of his constituents to "make illegal logging illegal."

Mr Brake said, "Forests in developing countries have got to be properly managed. They are essential in the fight against global warming and if logged in a sustainable way can provide a regular income to local communities. It is time the EU acted to stop all illegally logged timber from entering EU countries. This illegal timber is of no long-term benefit to indigenous peoples."

The EDM, tabled by Joan Walley MP, says: "That this House notes the problem of illegal logging, which is valued at 10 to 15 billion euros per year, costing producer countries billions in lost revenue, causes widespread environmental damage and loss of biodiversity, and increases carbon emissions; notes research by WWF which estimates that the EU is responsible for at least three billion euros of this and that the UK imports over 70 per cent. of its timber and is one of the largest importers of illegal timber within the EU; believes that the current EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Action Plan is inadequate, as it does not prevent illegal imports entering the EU via third countries such as China; supports the recommendations of the Environmental Audit Committee for legislation to make it illegal to import illegal timber into the EU; further notes that Chatham House has reported that such legislation is WTO compliant; and, therefore, calls on the Government fully to support moves to introduce this legislation as a matter of urgency."

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