Press Release / March 21, 2005

Joint Statement to the G8 Development and Environment Ministers

Joint Statement to the G8 Development and Environment Ministers

This is the collective call from Civil Society to the G8 Ministers, and we hope it will elicit a collective response, demonstrating the G8’s leadership.

We represent industry, NGOs and leading research institutions. The timber industry is committed to eliminating illegal and unsustainable timber from its supply chains. NGOs are also committed to combating illegal and unsustainable logging. We want to work in partnership with the G8 to solve this problem. Together we can make illegal logging ancient history.

Combating illegal logging is the first step towards the end goal of Sustainable Forest Management, in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals and the 2010 Biodiversity target.

We believe that action on illegal logging is a shared responsibility of consumer and producer countries. The G8 must demonstrate concrete leadership if it is to influence countries beyond its own group on this issue, particularly amongst other major timber-consuming countries.

We also believe what follows to be an interdependent set of proposals, which should be implemented in full. Keep this issue on their agenda, and report back on progress with implementation to appropriate meetings of the G8 in 2006.

We believe, therefore, that G8 countries should:

Exclude Illegal Products From Their Markets
• Adopt new legislation which makes it illegal to import illegally sourced timber and wood products, including pulp and paper, and conflict timber, into G8 markets.

Use Government Procurement
• Use their government procurement policies to source legal and environmentally and socially sustainable timber and wood products.
• Aim to standardise these policies.
• Recognise that this is dependent on credible independent verification.

Use Money Laundering Legislation
• Make illegal logging a designated offence under money laundering legislation.
• Ensure that their enforcement agencies collaborate with their counterparts in producer countries to use money laundering legislation against imports of illegal timber and wood products.

Encourage Industry
• Support the adoption of credible and responsible purchasing policies by industry, sourcing legal and sustainable timber and forest products.
• Recognise that this is dependent on credible independent verification.

Ensure G8 Policy Coherence
• Ensure that G8 countries’ policies in all areas are consistent with the elimination of illegal logging and the promotion of Sustainable Forest Management. This includes:
1. The appropriate use of development assistance.
2. The ending of financial support for illegal logging.
3. The promotion of these policies through international financial institutions, particularly through the PRSP process.
4. The integration of these aims into bilateral and multilateral agreements.
5. Support for the FLEG and FLEGT processes.

Promote Transparency
• Promote:
1. Revenue transparency, as provided for in the US Foreign Operations Act, for example, and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
2. Freedom of information, for example for concession allocations, enabling civil society to monitor the forestry sector.
3. Registration of business interests for politicians, civil servants, police and the military, together with the integration of this concept into the framework of the UN Convention Against Corruption and into donor governance programmes.
4. Independent forest monitoring.

Support Forest Policy Reform
• As a necessary accompaniment to the imposition of import controls, the provision of technical and financial assistance for the initiation of forest policy reform processes in producer countries, in order to establish clear laws which ensure just, equitable and transparent Sustainable Forest Management.
• Support programmes which assist producing countries to improve their standards from legal to sustainable logging to Sustainable Forest Management, through a step-by-step approach.

Improve Information and Communication
• Establish an expert group, including full involvement of civil society, to help monitor progress on combating illegal logging and provide examples of best practice.
• Establish systems to produce frequent and robust estimates of data on logging and associated trade.