The Indonesian Forestry Community (MPI) has committed US$11.5m a year to finance a campaign to eliminate illegal logging and log smuggling.

Illegal activity has been blamed for the extensive destruction of Indonesia’s natural forests and the slump that has hit world timber markets.

MPI chairman Soedradjat DP said world market prices for processed timber dropped to US$280/m3 in July – down from US$350 in the previous month.

Urging industrialists to contribute to the fighting fund, he said world market prices of timber would rise if illegal activity could be eliminated and added: “The price of plywood would rise to at least US$400/m3 if the international market is freed from illegal timber products.”