4 Aug 2007

US bill targets illegal wood imports

9:32 am on 4 August 2007

A bill which is being considered in the United States Senate targets the international illegal logging industry operating in places like Indonesia's Papua province.

AHN Media Corporated reports that the bill, introduced by Democratic senators Ron Wyden and John Kerry, would ban the import and sale in the US of illegally harvested timber and carry fines of up to 10,000 US dollars.

According to a study done by Conservation International, in many developing countries the profit from harvesting wood illegally can be up to 14,000 times the potential fines.

In Papua, for example, a shipload of illegal timber that sells for roughly 92,000 US dollars is punishable by a fine of about $6.47.

The Environmental Investigation Agency says the Combat Illegal Logging Act will, for the first time, make the US market part of the solution instead of a leading cause of the illegal logging problem.