Asia Pacific Experts Group Develops Plan to Cooperate to Combat Illegal Logging

February 2013: The APEC Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT) has developed a five-year plan to combat illegal logging and associated trade in timber and timber products, at the close of a three-day meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Delegates at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting of forest trade experts developed a five-year plan, agreeing to: strengthen policy dialogue; increase technical knowledge and build capacity of member economies to address illegal logging and associated trade; and cooperate on increased law enforcement. They also agreed to collaborate with international and regional organizations involved in promoting sustainable forest management and forest rehabilitation, and with industry and civil society to raise awareness of the issue and promote trade in legally harvested timber and forest products.

The group, known as the APEC Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT), was meeting for the third time since it was created by APEC trade ministers at a 2011 conference in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Speaking at the opening of the EGILAT meeting in Jakarta, Secretary-General of Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry, Hadi Daryanto, said that for trade in the forestry sector to be sustainable, there must be fair market access for legally harvested timber, and that the socio-economic factors associated with illegal logging must be addressed.

The APEC secretariat has highlighted that its member economies have more than half of the world's forests, and account for 80 per cent of global trade in forest products, based on figures from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It values forest products in the region at US$250 billion.

APEC supports its member economies in three main areas: trade and investment liberalization; business facilitation; and economic and technical cooperation. [APEC press release] [EGILAT page] [About APEC]