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Merbau Briefing

The world’s governments have committed to acting to halt illegal logging and the international trade in stolen wood. The UK, EU and China have made specific commitments in relation to imports of timber from Indonesia.

Listings on CITES are currently the only legal mechanism by which importing countries can halt shipments of illegally sourced wood, and the listing of ramin (Gonystylus spp.) has shown that CITES Appendix III listings of timber species can be an effective tool in tackling the trade in stolen timber and wood products.

The UK and EU have recognised the value of Appendix III listings and have already committed in writing to encourage range states to make greater use of them to control illegal logging. So far this encouragement has not taken an active form.


Wider measures to tackle illegal logging and associated trade currently being considered or implemented by the countries above will take some time to show results. An Appendix III listing can be acted on without delay and would show tangible results in six months.

Merbau (Intsia spp.) is a prime candidate for listing on Appendix III, as unregulated international trade in stolen Indonesian merbau is threatening the future of the species. Indonesia should list merbau on Appendix III, and the UK, EU and China should provide active support for this measure.

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