Stamping out illegal logging in the Asia-Pacific

March 3, 2014

Australia is helping to combat illegal logging in the Asia-Pacific with the launch of four projects in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea under a $2 million agreement with the International Tropical Timber Organization.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, said the projects, announced today as part of the Department of Agriculture's $8 million Illegal Logging: Regional Capacity Building Program, will focus on forest governance and timber tracking as well as legality verification systems.

"I am honoured that we are able to assist our trading partners to form systems to benefit local communities as well as their industries," Senator Colbeck said.

"Better timber control systems in our neighbouring countries also gives Australian businesses confidence that the source of timber purchased internationally is legitimate."

The Australian Government's contribution to the new projects includes:

Implementing a DNA timber tracking system in Indonesia - $579,302

Strengthening the capacity of local institutions to sustainably manage community forestry in Sanggau, Indonesia for improving livelihood - $509,906

Strengthening the governance of community forests through improved capacity to perform timber administration in Java and Nusa Tenggara region in Indonesia - $553,674

Chain of custody verification for timber processors in Papua New Guinea - $164,445

The International Tropical Timber Organization, responsible for administering the projects, estimates all four projects will be completed within two years.

"Our $1.81 million contribution to these four projects clearly demonstrates Australia's commitment to seeing the end of the international illegal logging trade," Senator Colbeck said.

Project work will commence by mid 2014.

For more information on the projects, please visit http://www.itto.int.

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