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Friday, 05 November 2010

EU and DRC Congo jointly fight illegal logging

Timber and wood products from the Democratic Republic of the Congo that are sold in the European Union must carry a license showing a legal origin under an agreement expected to be finalized by mid-2013. In Brussels on Thursday, EU and DRC officials signed a declaration to launch the negotiations for a voluntary partnership agreement on the export of legal timber to the European market under the 2003 Forest Law Enforcement Government and Trade Action Plan, or FLEGT. DRC Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism Jose Bononge Endundo; European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs; and Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation Charles Michel, on behalf of the EU Belgian Presidency, signed the declaration."The decision of the Democratic Republic of Congo to commit to the fight against illegal exploitation of forests is good news for the DRC and for the EU. It will help forestry sector of DRC to develop in a sustainable way and to create jobs," said Piebalgs. "Europeans, on their side, will be reassured that all the wood products coming from are both legally produced and exported," Piebalgs said. A voluntary partnership agreement is a World Trade Organization-compatible trade agreement between a producer country and the EU to work together to stop illegal logging. Although voluntary, voluntary partnership agreements are legally-binding on the two parties, once agreed.

Source: ens-newswire.com