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Jakarta Post

US Lacey Act: Respecting the laws of trade partners

  • Andrea Johnson

LONDON   /   Thu, March 5 2009   /  10:22 am

Over the past decade Indonesia has been struggling to control illegal logging. The Indonesian government, in partnership with civil society, donor governments and institutions, has worked hard to build institutional capacity, improve enforcement, clarify and define domestic laws, and sign MOUs with trading partners. But Indonesia’s efforts have been hampered as illegal timber and wood products flow to markets such as China, Malaysia, Vietnam, and ultimately to the consumer markets of the United States, Japan, Australia, and the European Union. The demand generated by these vast, “no questions asked” markets has consistently undermined Indonesia’s efforts to fight a problem estimated to have robbed the country of over US$20 billion. As Indonesia’s Minister of Forestry, M. S. Kaban explained in January 2005, “Expecting or asking one country to combat illegal loggin...