Finland and the Finnish forest industry making a strong contribution in EU to prevent illegal logging

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Finnish forest industry has actively contributed to the work of Finnish authorities in order to implement FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade) process within EU. The EU’s FLEGT action plan contains several measures for the prevention of illegal logging.

EU’s FLEGT decree was approved unanimously in 2005. Finland participated actively in the preparing process. The World Bank and Russia organised a ministerial conference in St Petersburg later in 2005 to continue work to prevent illegal logging. Finland was participating in the steering group work and also was one of the financing parties of the meeting. As part of the EU Presidency, Finland continues dialogue about the FLEGT-process with EU Commission. Implementation of FLEGT actions is in the responsibility area of EU Commission.

FLEGT action plan contains several measures for the prevention of illegal logging.   One of them is the decree passed in December 2005 on the license system for timber being imported into the Union. Under the scheme, a valid FLEGT licence needs to be presented whenever timber assortments mentioned in the decree are being imported into the EU. The system would be based on voluntary agreements between the EU and individual partner countries. The FLEGT action plan is currently being developed.

The EU’s FLEGT licensing scheme and the systems set up by Finnish forest companies are quite similar in their contents.

Finnish Forest Industries Federation is a member of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). The members of CEPI are participating in combating illegal logging. Thus they have framed the Legal Logging Code of Conduct and all member countries forest industry companies are committed to these principles.

It is important that the authorities in each country develop the operating environment and good corporate governance as social stability is a fundamental prerequisite to a good operating environment for the forest industry. Good corporate governance and respect for legislation are essential elements in this.

Further information:

Anu Islander, Senior Advisor, Forestry, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6678 email: firstname.surname@forestindustries.fi