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News release

ITTO project will combat illegal logging in Indonesia

Yaoundé, Cameroon, 2 June 2001

ITTO will finance a project to develop and implement guidelines to stop illegal logging in Indonesia.

This was one outcome of deliberations at the 30th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council, which has been meeting here this week.

International attention on illegal logging and illegal trade has intensified in recent years; many observers see both as major impediments to sustainable forest management and forest conservation. Moreover, they create price instability and undermine timber markets.

The project in Indonesia, which will be financed by the governments of Japan and the United States, will implement a pilot study on ways to control illegal logging in production and protected areas in Riau and West Kalimantan. Outputs from the study will be used to develop guidelines for overcoming illegal logging nationwide.

Meanwhile, the Council continued its debate on the problems of illegal logging and the illegal timber trade. Delegates heard that the underlying causes of these problems are complex and that they deprive governments, forest owners and local communities of significant revenues and benefits. Given such complexity, however, a decision on the issue was not reached during the Session. Nevertheless, consensus was evident that the Organization should support projects to assist producer countries in combating illegal logging.

For more information contact: ITTO Secretariat, itto@itto.or.jp