Collected news links from external sources related to topics concerning the Book Chain Project.
A set of predictions on key global chemical regulatory policy, including Asia & Australia, EU and Brexit, and Mexico, Central and South America and the Middle East. China introduced new or updated regulations in 2018, including the List of Priority Control Chemicals (First Batch), the List of Toxic Chemicals Strictly Restricted (2018), and National Guidance on Hazard Classification to the Aquatic Environment. Taiwan passed the amended Toxic Chemical Substance Control Act (TCSCA) on December 21, 2018. In South Korea, the amended Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals (K-REACH) came into force on 1 January 2019.
- The National Law Review
- South East Asia & Indian Continent
- Korea (Democratic People's Republic)
- Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals
- National Guidance on Hazard Classification to the Aquatic Environment
- Priority Control Chemicals
- Toxic Chemical Substance Control Act
- Toxic Chemicals Strictly Restricted
The Australian Modern Slavery Act passed in December 2018. The Act sets a Modern Slavery Reporting Requirement to require certain large businesses and other entities in Australia to make annual public reports - Modern Slavery Statements - on their actions to address modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains.
Two former subcontractors allege they were exploited and underpaid while working at an Aldi warehouse in Brisbane for a period of five weeks 18 months ago. These two staff were hired through recruitment agency, and were made to work excessive overtime with flat rate. They were also told to stay in accommodation at Chermside (in Brisbane’s north) and were picked up and driven to the site, and all accommodation and travel costs would be taken out of their pay. ALDI says it is investigating the allegations.
Australia haven’t had a palm oil labelling in place after a proposal requiring palm oils to be specifically listed on food labels under consideration by Australia and New Zealand ministers for more than five years. Environmentalists warn that the repeated delays in Australia on mandatory palm oil labelling allows deforestation and the destruction of orangutan habitats.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resource of Australia has decided that certified businesses are required to maintain an equivalent due diligence system under PEFC Chain of Custody standard, and also AFS (Australia’s PEFC-endorsed national forest certification system), which means that PEFC-certified companies in Australia are now recognized as automatically meeting the due diligence requirements in the illegal logging regulation of Australia, and no separate due diligence system prepared for the illegal logging regulation specifically is not required.
More than 30 environmental groups have signed a statement against the renewal of regional forest agreements (RFAs) for the logging of Australian native forests. A report shared last week by the National Park Association of NSW showed that the logging has resulted in an increase of threatened species. It also noted that the agreements designed in 1990 didn’t acknowledge how the loss of forests would contribute to climate change. The environmental groups stand firm and will not accept any extensions, rollovers or renewals.
Protected areas (PAs) are established as a way to prevent ecosystem damage, but a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE finds that this may not be working very well in many areas. According to the research, forests occupied one-third of the world's total land area in the year 2000. Of this, 19 percent was under some form of protection, and 25 percent was intact. However, the world’s PAs have lost 3 percent of their forest cover in just over a decade. By comparison, they pegged the total loss of the world’s forests – both protected and non – at 5 percent. The largest losses occurred in Australia, Oceania, and North America, which all exceeded 5 percent. However, positive results were found in Latin America where losses were 1 percent in Pas compared to the 5 percent outside them.
Four Queensland timber company employees have been fined and sentenced to jail for illegally exporting timber
The reputation of Australia's $2 billion timber export industry is in question after four Queensland workers were fined and sentenced to jail for illegally exporting timber. Three directors and an employee of a wholesale timber and flooring company in Brisbane pleaded guilty to falsifying Commonwealth documents to send timber to a number of countries between 2006 and 2009.
The Indonesian Government is considering the viability of creating a voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) on timber trade with Australia to boost exports of forestry products. The VPA with Australia would be similar to the VPA between Indonesia and Europe: Under the EU-Indonesia VPA, all timber and timber products certified by the domestic timber legality verification system (SVLK) are considered legally harvested and in compliance with the EU’s timber regulation.
Analysis reflecting on the global state of illegal logging and the importance of Australia joining the EU and the US in implementing anti-illegal logging measures through its own Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill. It draws attention to the flood of illegal timber which is exported to Australia from South East Asia and the difficulty legitimate timber producers in Australia and New Zealand have in competing domestically and internationally.
PEFC has cleared Forestry Tasmania of unsustainable harvesting practices and re-certified the company for another three years. The audit came after allegations that the company was logging native forest at twice the rate of sustainable yield. The outcome was met with criticism from Kim Booth of the Australian Green Party who said, “the PEFC auditing that's done on Australian forestry standard harvesting methods is not worth the paper it's written on because the market's rejected it and that's the essential problem that Forestry Tasmania has fallen into”.
Allegations made against Tasmania’s state-owned forestry company of unsustainable harvesting of its native forests. PEFC is now investigating whether the company has breached its standards on managing its forests sustainably.