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Environmental, Campaign & Website News > Malaysia bans Indonesian log imports

Malaysia bans Indonesian log imports

Date : 25th June 2002, Source : BBC

This article has been sourced from the BBC website at BBC News

The Malaysian Government has imposed an indefinite ban on log imports from Indonesia. The move is aimed at combating allegations that the country was buying illegally-felled timber. The ban was prompted by a BBC investigation which revealed that Malaysia was ignoring a ban imposed by Indonesia on log exports and disguising the timber's origin by making products which are labelled Malaysian origin.

The Environment Investigation Agency (EIA) welcomed the move saying it was a big step forward for Indonesia's ravaged rainforests.

A forest campaigner with the EIA said, "Malaysia has recently been responsible for laundering millions of dollars of illegally logged Indonesian timber on to the international markets."

"We are glad to see Malaysia finally responding to the demands of its neighbour for help in tackling the trade in illegal Indonesian logs. We look forward to see how this will be enforced."

He also stated that Malaysia was worried that demand would diminish for its $1bn furniture export market if customers believed the products to be tainted.

Indonesia has lost 5,000 hectares (12,300 acres) of its forests to illegal logging over the past five years, and it is thought 70% of Indonesian timber is illegal.

This comes at a time when Indonesia have signed a deal with the British Government where the UK will move to ban all imports of illegal Indonesian logs into Europe.

Malaysia's record on illegal logging is much better. There is a mandatory prison term of 1 year to anyone caught illegal logging.

Last month, a UN report, Global Environment Outlook, stated that 15% of the Earth's land cover had been degraded by human activity - nearly a third of that due to deforestation.

Document last updated on Wednesday 01 August 2018

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