Indonesia embraces the U.S to fight illegal logging

EoF News / 09 November 2006

Pekanbaru (EoF News) -- Indonesia and the United States of America will sign anti-illegal logging partnership agreement in September next year in an attempt to eradicate illegal logging and illegal timber trading. The cooperation will emphasize on effort to keep an eye on trade of illegal logging. “From that Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the point is on its implementation,” said Forestry Minister Malam Sambat Kaban last weekend as quoted by Investor Daily as saying. “If terrorism crime is fightable, so is environment crime too,” the minister said. Indonesia government expects the agreement will discourage perpetrators of illegal logging to supply illegal timber from Indonesia to the U.S territories and its allies, said Hadi Pasaribu, director general of Forestry Production of Forestry Ministry.
Head of Forestry Ministry’s Information Center, Achmad Fauzi, said Monday in Jakarta that the partnership will involve several institutions from both countries such as Trade Ministry, Customs, Attorney Office, and police. Recently the loss suffered due to illegal logging and illegal trading amount Rp30 trillion to Rp 40 trillion annually,” Fauzi told the press as quoted by Neraca newspaper as saying.  Kaban said Indonesia and the U.S governments are concerned over escalating illegal logging trade.
The thorough discussion on the MoU draft operation is underway. The agreement will include monitoring on activity of illegal timber placement by countries beyond the USA.  “The implementation is how to control countries that receive illegal logs by setting of policies,” the minister said. The partnership is under umbrella of Trade Investment Council/Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) that organized by the U.S Trade Ministry. The talks in designing the MoU between the two countries have started in April this year. Pasaribu said there were four activities agreed in the draft such as two sides will share information on illegal and legal timber. The U.S will assist Indonesia in boosting law enforcement including cooperation at level of police, attorney office, and the Customs.