Eliminating the Illegal Timber Trade

by Jannanc on October 4, 2017 - 4:03pm

The purpose of the media piece “Forest Update: National Initiatives Progress Legal Timber Trade, Sustainable Forest Management” from SDG Knowledge Hub is to highlight national developments in combating illegal logging and goals towards sustainable forest management. The main actors involved in legal timber initiatives are the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, the EU and the state. Issues that arise from the illegal timber trade include putting small-scale farmer’s land at risk for degradation and decreases the ability for the restoration of forests. Solutions for illegal logging include multiple programs to gain more control over the logging sector in countries such as Philippines, Indonesia, Ghana, Brazil, Armenia, Mozambique, China and as well as a Pan-Africa initiative. Indonesia had a solution that incorporated licenses in their scheme to end illegal logging called FLEGT licenses. FLEGT stands for Forest, Law Enforcement, Government and Trade license. The Philippines has adopted this license as well to promote the trade of legal timber. Furthermore, there are initiatives to increase the traceability of timber products by enforcing exporters to prove the origin of the wood products. According to a report by the Climate Investment Funds and the World Bank’s Program on forests, solutions such as the license and increasing traceability of timber can help meet demand for wood products while also providing jobs within rural regions of countries and conserving forests. In addition, all of these benefits also contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

By implementing a license system in order to sell timber legally, the state as exercising material power in order to manage the resources within their borders. By exercising material power, the state is able to guide sustainable development within the forestry sector. What the article does not address is whether this licensing system otherwise known as the state exercising their material power will create social stability and manage conflict within countries such as the Philippines or Indonesia. Though the article is successful in pointing out that having a legal timber trade is bringing them towards certain Sustainable Development Goals, are these licenses going to enforce other goals such as sustainable industrialization and resilient infrastructure? Is the work going to be more safe for the loggers because of this license? By ensuring that the logging that occurs in these country’s borders are legal, the state itself is creating legitimacy for itself and have power over practices. Gaining power and legitimacy will hopefully lead to not only legal trade of wood products in these countries, but will also contribute to the conservation of forests.



E. T. (2017, October 3). Forest Update: National Initiatives Progress Legal Timber Trade, Sustainable Forest Management | IISD's SDG Knowledge Hub | IISD. Retrieved October 04, 2017, from http://sdg.iisd.org/news/forest-update-national-initiatives-progress-leg...

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