Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 275

The Forest Legality Alliance

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 29 maggio 2010

It was launched to support private sector efforts and policies to reduce trade in illegally harvested wood. The Alliance is a global public-private initiative open to businesses, industry associations, financial institutions and civil society organizations with a stake in legal forest product supply chains.  “Some companies are not aware of the need to ask questions about the wood they are buying or the consequences of letting illegal wood enter their supply chains,” said Craig Hanson, director of WRI’s People and Ecosystems Program. “The Alliance seeks to build confidence that imported wood and paper products are legal. Done right, trade supports environmental protection and the Alliance recognizes the role trade plays in protecting our world’s great forests.” In response, major wood importing regions are enacting policies to reduce demand for illegal wood. In 2008, the U.S. government amended the Lacey Act to prohibit trade within the United States of products made from illegally harvested wood. With this amendment, the United States became the first country to ban imports of illegal wood and related products. The European Union is in the final stages of approving a “due diligence” regulation to curb illegal timber entering the European market, and Australia is also considering legislation to prohibit trade in illegal wood. The Alliance will ensure that importers and supply chains know and understand the emerging new trade policies. It will develop new online resources that help companies assess the risk of encountering illegal wood, conduct due care, and complete import declarations. It will work with suppliers to document best practices and unforeseen challenges associated with purchasing legal wood and complying with import regulations. It will focus on the capacity for legal trade in the sector as a whole, rather than on the performance of individual companies, and complement existing initiatives that certify legality and sustainability. USAID helped catalyze the formation of this new partnership under its Global Development Alliance initiative which seeks to leverage the resources, expertise, creativity and market access of corporations, industry associations, civil society organizations and others to jointly address pressing development challenges around the world.

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