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Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Council acts against illegal logging

On the 28th january, the Council agreed on a draft regulation laying down obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the European market. The future regulation is aimed at minimizing the risk of placing illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market. The new rules are intended to be based on the due diligence system, enabling operators to track the timber and timber products, to have access to information concerning compliance with the applicable legislation and to manage the risk of placing illegally timber products on the European market. More specifically, the draft regulation is aimed at obliging operators to seek sufficient guarantees that the timber products they sell have been harvested according to the relevant laws of the country of origin. Illegal logging poses a significant threat to forests as it contributes to the process of deforestation, which is responsible for about 20% of CO2 emissions, threatens biodiversity and undermines sustainable forest management and development. The Council's decision completes the partial agreement reached by the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 14-16 December 2009. The agreement enables the adoption of a Council's position to be forwarded to the European Parliament for its second reading.

Source: Council of the EU