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Press Release: IGES promotes trade in legal and sustainable timber through the Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade Partnership (RAFT)
19 December 2012
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Independent monitoring of log exports in PNG
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) is part of an international NGO partnership - Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade Partnership (RAFT) -promoting the trade in legal and sustainable timber. In 2013, IGES will conduct analytical studies on the reliability and uptake of independent legality and sustainability verification standards in Papua New Guinea.

The RAFT target countries are Indonesia, Lao PDR, Papua New Guinea, China, Myanmar and Vietnam. Partner activities include
1) development and use of standards and systems to provide independent verification of timber legality,
2) building the capacity of logging companies and governments to manage and allocate forests sustainably, and
3) linking suppliers with buyers of verified legal and certified sustainable wood.

RAFT has received JPY 530 million for 2013 from the Australian Government under its Illegal Logging: Regional Capacity Building Partnership programme. The backdrop to this programme is the enactment of the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act in November 2012, which aims to promote the purchase and sale of legally logged timber products in Australia. The new Australian legislation can be seen as part of a global movement to encourage responsible purchasing decisions in developed countries to support legal and sustainable forest management in tropical forested countries.

In 2006, the government of Japan introduced a procurement policy that requires public agencies to check the legality of some wood product lines. IGES found that unless the policy is strengthened, the risk of illegal wood being used by public agencies will remain (*). Fairwood Partners, an initiative by Japanese NGOs, is also promoting the trade in legal and sustainable wood.

* IGES 2007 "Japan's Public Procurement Policy of Legal and Sustainable Timber"
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Contact for this release:
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
Henry Scheyvens, Ph.D., Forest Conservation Team Director
fc-info@iges.or.jp
Emi Doi (Ms.), PR Officer
iges@iges.or.jp

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