The UK government has proposed to introduce a new law to prohibit large business operating in the UK from using products that are from illegally deforested land as per local laws. Businesses that fail to carry out due diligence on their supply chains and make that information public would face fines. This proposed legislation will be on consultation for six weeks. Critics say that the proposal is flawed partly because the local laws on forest protections might be absent or have loopholes.
Collected news links from external sources related to topics concerning the Book Chain Project.
Two organizations, Woodland Trust and Confer, warn that England now is cutting down more trees than planting in the possibly 40 years. They pointed out that England is already one of Europe’s least wooded countries, and the government is missing its target to plant 11 million trees in the UK in the lifetime of this parliament. The UK government responded that the woodland cover was at its highest level since the 14th century, and planting rates vary from year to year. The Woodland Trust, Confor and large commercial forestry groups call on the government to commit to planting 7,000 hectares of woodland every year until 2020 and then to increase planting to 10,000 hectares a year.
British businesses from the high street and timber, construction, publishing, DIY and grocery industries are among the first UK firms committing to responsible forest trade to help end deforestation around the world with a shift to 100 per cent sustainable timber and wood products by 2020. The existing loopholes in the current legislation to combat illegal timber means some industries are exempt from ensuring that their wood or products have come from legal sources. In 2015 the timber regulation is due to be reviewed and WWF and its campaign supporters are calling on the UK government to demand the EU makes the necessary improvements to the regulation to ensure that all timber products are covered and thus end the import of illegal wood.
The EU has signed a VPA with the Government of Liberia which aims to improve forest governance and ensure that the wood imported into the EU has complied with the Liberian legal requirements. The UK Government is providing aid to support the process and the ultimate goal of developing FLEGT licenced timber.
The UK government is backing the Tropical Forests Alliance (TFA) 2020. TFA 2020 is a business-led initiative launched by the US government and the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) which is a group of over 400 retailers and manufacturers. Although there are no regulatory implications, TFA 2020 aims to provide a forum ‘in which to share best practice with major private companies’ committed to adopting ‘sustainable supply chains’ and to ‘encourage other governments and companies to take similar steps’.