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Malaysia: Timber!

Updated On: Sep 22, 2008

Commodities and resources like timber are implicated by both the predicted consequences of climate change as well as the necessary resources. Climate change may also see a surge in the scarcity and the prices of resources that people presently take for granted.

More governmental ministries can get involved in tackling timber depletion, involving more individuals from other portfolio such as the forestry bureaucracies and those from the economic sectors. This is important given that governments have vast resources lacking in NGOs.

Better coordination can result from this amalgam of ministerial involvement, including setting up regional clearinghouses that unify information data flows and operational procedures. Better coordination could be fostered between the police (legal enforcers) and the AG Chambers (the judiciary) to prosecute offending illegal loggers.

Regionally, Malaysian owners and Singapore financiers who flout environmental laws can be punished. The emphasis is on regional cooperation rather than expecting any one country like Malaysia to solve the problem single-handedly. Such cooperation requires consumers like the EU to be at the center of this efforts.

Malaysia is in the final stages of signing a bilateral Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union (EU) and is look forward to a boost to the Malaysian timber industry. One feature of this VPA is environmental and forest protection.

As part of the commitment to fight illegally-harvested timber, the European Commission (EC) had taken the initiative to develop its own Forest Law Enforcement, Government and Trade (FLEGT) action plan. The plan aims to eliminate imports of the illegally-harvested timber and timber products into the EU while supporting progress towards sustainable forest management.

Sources:

Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah, "Malaysian Timber Set For A Brighter Future In EU Markets, Says MTC" dated 18 September 2008 in Bernama website [downloaded on 18 September 2008], available at http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsbusiness.php?id=360046







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