Buyers' help needed to save forests

25 January 2006
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25 January 2006 | Helen Gilbert

Timber purchasers should automatically check that what they are buying is both legal and sustainable, according to a group of MPs.

Joan Walley MP, chair of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) sub-committee on sustainable timber, spoke to following the publication of the findings of an inquiry into the timber trade.

In its second report of session 2005-06, Sustainable Timber -Buying Time for Forests: The Way Forward, examined the extent of progress made since the EAC's last inquiry in 2002 and found that while "significant progress" had been made in some areas, much more needed to be done.

It said the government must act urgently to introduce legislation that prevents illegal timber and timber products entering the UK market. It also renewed calls on government bodies to purchase only sustainable - rather than just legal - timber within the next five years.

She told "It's about contractors and procurement people automatically checking that what they are purchasing fits in with these standards [on legal and sustainable timber]. It's the responsibility of procurement to get as much information as they can to include it in specifications. There's more that needs to be done on that."


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