The Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment has commenced a review of Australia’s illegal logging laws and is seeking stakeholder input.
Illegal logging is a significant global problem due to its impacts on forest degradation, climate change, habitat loss and community livelihoods in developing timber producing countries. Deforestation and degradation of tropical forests in the Asia-Pacific through illegal logging also constitutes a threat to Australia promoting legal and sustainable forest management in countries of this region.
Illegal logging has been linked to:
- Organised crime
- Civil wars
- Species extinction
- Environmental destruction
The United Nations and Interpol estimate that illegal logging costs the global community up to $206 billion each year. This makes it the largest environmental crime by value in the world.
It is estimated that up to 10%, or $800 million, of Australian timber imports could come from high-risk sources every year. Isolated cases of high-value Australian timber being illegally logged have been seen.
The review will assess if the illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012’s continues to be fit-for-purpose. This is a standard practice for many pieces of Commonwealth legislation of a similar nature.
The review will also consider potential reforms to strengthen Australia’s illegal logging laws more broadly, which may require changes to both the Regulation and the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012.
Australia was among the first countries globally to introduce illegal logging laws. The review is an opportunity to learn from nearly 10 years of experience here and overseas.
Some of the improvements being considered as part of the review include:
- Receiving key information before regulation goods arrive at the border
- Ensuring officials are empowered to deal with compliance risks at the border
- Reducing the need to repeat due diligence
- Simplifying requirements for low-risk products
There potential reforms stem from recommendations made by the 2018 statutory review.
Anyone with interest in Australia’s illegal logging laws is encouraged to provide their feedback on the review by clicking HERE.
Consultation is open until 31st August 2021.
To find out more information about Illegal Logging in Australia go HERE.