Demand for cheap timber in consuming countries such as Italy is driving the forests of the world to destruction. Italy is a member of the UN, G8 and the European Union and has repeatedly acknowledged the scale of this problem. It has made commitments to tackle the international trade in illegally sourced wood, but so far it has failed to honour these commitments. EIA and Telapak investigations have uncovered evidence that wood from an endangered tree species illegally logged in National Parks in Indonesia continues to be traded illegally through Italy and passed on unwittingly to other countries.
The European Commission is soon to release a report outlining steps which the EU can take to solve these problems. Italy will be leading with the European Presidency in June 2003 and their active support for legal measures to address the problem is critical if these steps are to succeed.
To solve the issue of illegal trade a new EU Regulation that will ban the import of illegally sourced timber and wood products must be agreed. Italy will be in a position to guide this issue through and bring the regulation into force.