Indonesia ships first containers of timber under EU legality scheme

The first containers of plywood certified as legal under the EU’s anti-illegal-logging action plan were shipped out of the Indonesian capital on November 15, a milestone in the fight against blackmarket timber in one of the world’s most heavily forested countries. Of the 15 nations that have agreed to take part in the scheme, Indonesia is first to succeed in establishing a national system for verifying the legality of its timber — a considerable achievement for a country where unscrupulous loggers pocketed a presumed $60.7-81.4 billion from illicit sales between 2003 and 2014, according to the nation’s antigraft agency. Indonesia lost nearly $9 billion in state revenue from unreported timber sales during the same period. “This signifies Indonesia’s commitment to combat illegal logging and the illicit timber trade,” said Rufi’ie, a director at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

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