Indonesia moves closer to FLEGT licences

22 April 2016

Indonesia is moving closer to being the first nation to start a licensing scheme for legal timber exports to the EU as part of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) process.

WWF has welcomed an announcement by the EU and Indonesian government on April 21 which states that the EU and Indonesia are ready to move towards starting the licensing of timber exports.

The announcement was made by Indonesian president Joko Widodo, European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk.

The announcement is based on the joint assessment that Indonesia is fully ready to implement the Indonesia EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), based on the inclusion of all relevant product groups in the scope of the agreement, which effectively overcomes the final hurdle to licensing being implemented.

FLEGT-licensed products automatically meet the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which prohibits EU operators from placing illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market.

Indonesia supplies 33% of the EU’s tropical timber imports by value.

The EU-Indonesia VPA is one of 15 such agreements the EU is negotiating or implementing with timber producing countries in South East Asia and Africa.

Together these countries cover 24% of the world's tropical forests and supply 80% of the EU’s tropical timber imports.

Beatrix Richards, WWF’s head of corporate stewardship and sustainable commodities, welcomed the news.

“Thanks to years of work and commitment at local, national and global level, Indonesia’s people, businesses and wildlife face a brighter future,” she said.