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Timber: Sustainable Development

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 11046, tabled on 9 October 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if the Government will implement proposals put forward by the World Wildlife Fund in its 2015 Forest Campaign to ensure that the UK timber market deals in 100 per cent sustainable timber by 2020.

Answered on

16 October 2015

Defra is committed to tackling the trade in illegal timber. We implement the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which makes it an offence to place illegally logged timber on the EU market for the first time, and the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Regulation, which aims to combat illegal logging and improve the supply of legal timber to the EU. The EU FLEGT Regulation establishes Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) between the EU and timber producing countries. Once VPAs have been agreed, timber producing countries will issue exports with a ‘FLEGT licence’ which verifies the timber’s legality.

The Government’s Timber Procurement Policy also requires Government Departments, Executive Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies to procure timber and timber products that are both legal and sustainable.

It is positive that UK companies and other bodies are making similar commitments to trade in both legal and sustainable timber by signing up to WWF’s Forest Campaign.