The 30th November 2014 saw the Australian Department of Agriculture introduce a new law on regulated timber products. This now means that Under the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012, it is now a criminal offense to import illegally logged timber and timber products into Australia or to process domestically grown raw logs that have been illegally logged. This prohibition applies to all timber and timber products.
It is now essential that any regulated timber products being imported into any port of Australia must be accompanied by a declaration of due diligence stating that the goods have not been illegally logged.
We sometimes find it easier to bury our heads in the sand and not think about things like how illegal logging is actually effecting our planet and the people that inhabit it. The economic and social impacts of illegal logging are huge. Not to mention the effects on the environment.
Around the world, many forest-dwelling low economic people often lose out to outsiders who try and gain access to their forest – thus causing repression and/or human rights violations. Then there’s the money which governments lose when trees are cut without the right permits and are smuggled abroad. Governments lose out financially in several ways including lost revenue from taxes and duties and the costs of efforts to manage illegal logging.
Some little known illegal logging facts:
- 73% of timber production in Indonesia is thought to stem from illegal logging, according to the OECD
- 25% of Russia’s timber exports originate from illegal logging, according to the World Bank
- In Gabon, 70% of harvested timber is considered to be illegal, according to the World Bank
- The World Bank estimates that illegal logging costs the global market more than US$10 billion a year and reduces government revenues by about US$5 billion a year
- In Indonesia it is estimated that up to 90 percent of logging is illegal.