The Indonesian Wood Panel Association (Apkindo) says the government’s decision to cut logging quotas again will cause hardship for the industry and be ineffective in protecting natural forests.

Logging quotas in natural forests will be reduced to 5.45 million m3 a year in 2005, down from 5.74 million m3 this year. The cutbacks, intended to protect the country’s forests in the face of illegal logging, are predicted to reach just 2 million m3 by the next decade.

Apkindo claims the cuts mean a reduced raw materials supply and higher production costs for the industry, ultimately leading to company shutdowns.

It says only 70 plywood firms are left in Indonesia, with some not able to operate at full capacity due to a shortage of wood.

The government has urged the industry to import logs or source them from plantations.