| FNI NEWS
FNI Explores International Policies to Control Illegal
(07.04.06) In a report handed over today to the
Norwegian Minster of The Environment, Helen Bjørnøy, the Fridtjof
Nansen Institute explores international initiatives and options for Norway on
combating illegal and unsustainable logging of timber.
entitled International Initiatives to
Address Tropical Timber Logging and Trade, is written by FNI forest
policy expert Lars H. Gulbrandsen, in
cooperation with David Humphreys of the Open University, UK.
analyses how international and regional initiatives to control illegal and
irresponsible timber logging, including various non-state forest certification
schemes, have developed over the last decade, and discusses how Norway could
follow-up the various initiatives.
In a background analysis of recent
developments, the report highlights the regionalization of efforts to combat
illegal logging, and emphasizes the important role of the USA in this process.
Acknowledging the different challenges in various regions, the USA has promoted
regional cooperation to strengthen forest legislation enforcement (the
so-called Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) processes), as an
alternative to the slow, consensus-based global process within the UN Forum on
Forests (UNFF). While proposing measures to promote sustainable forest
management and responsible timber production, the USA has strongly
opposed measures that would allow restrictions upon timber import,
signalling the current US administration's commitment to free trade, even
beyond the requirements of WTO.
The EU, on the other hand, has adapted
its policy to WTO, with demand-side measures that do not challenge WTO
regulations. This has resulted in the EU's Forest Law Enforcement, Governance
and Trade (FLEGT) action plan and licensing scheme, with one key element being
the conclusion of voluntary bilateral licensing agreements with producer
Upon taking office last year, the current Norwegian
government declared it would consider a ban on tropical timber imports as a way
of combating irresponsible and illegal logging. The current report has been
commissioned as part of these considerations.
The report outlines a
number of measures to achieve Norwegian policy objectives on rainforest
To introduce a tropical timber import
To join the EU's FLEGT process on terms agreed
with the EU, and to conclude voluntary bilateral licensing agreements with
To introduce public procurement
guidelines requiring purchases to be made from legal and sustainable sources,
using UK, Danish or Dutch regulations as models.
To seek closer collaboration with private sector
To promote the principle of 'due
diligence' in governmental or semi-governmental export credit agencies,
ensuring that money is not lent to companies logging, trading or using illegal
To offer bilateral cooperation/aid to
producer countries to promote forest law enforcement and good governance.
entire report (67 pages, PDF)
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|The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) is an
independent foundation engaged in research on international environmental,
energy, and resource management politics.
The Institute maintains a
multi-disciplinary approach, with main emphasis on political science,
economics, and international law.