Nearly a tenth of British timber has its origins in illegal sources, revealed British Environment Minister Caroline Spelman. The UK is thought to be a leading nation in ethical timber requirement. In 2012 a ban will finally be enforced by the EU to put a stop to illegal logging.
North America and the Baltic region are the biggest producers of softwood timber. Softwood timber comes from conifer trees and is thought to constitute around 80% of the world's production of timber. Protected areas and endangered species are just some of the things threatened by the illegal logging industry.
The tough stance of the EU ruling reflects the extent of the problem, as it is believed that around 40% of the world's wood production comes from illegally logged forests. Illegal logging is blamed for depressing timber prices, strips natural resources and tax revenues, and increases poverty of people who depend upon forests. Longer term affects are potentially even more serious, including an increase in CO2 emissions and climate change.
The EU began their campaign in 2008 but suffered setbacks after protracted legal wrangling over the issue. This year, after two years of intense negotiating, legislators finally reached a compromise that will enforce a crackdown on illegal dealers in Europe's markets.
The move will effectively criminalise illegal timber trading and impose EU member states to impose financial penalties on operators. The proposal also stipulates that these penalties must represent "at least five times the value of the timber products obtained by committing a serious infringement". Importers must be confident their wood is from a legal source, and there must be thorough background checks.
Hopefully the continent-wide crackdown on illegal timber will go some way to reducing the effects of deforestation across the world, and also allow reputable loggers to continue their trade without threat.
Oregon Canadian provide a range of softwood timber
softwood timber,illegal timber trade,illegal logging,crackdown on illegal timber trade