Brexit rattles RI-European timber trade prospects
Unloading teak logs in Jepara, Central Java, Indonesia. Photo by Murdani Usman for CIFOR.
Indonesia - Shortly after the UK people voted on June 24 to leave the European Union, the country witnessed a change of prime minister and economic uncertainties radiated around the globe.
For timber traders and advocates of environmental sustainability in Indonesia, this development was a major concern. The country was about to clear the final hurdle toward getting the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) license for its timber trade. The license would allow Indonesia's timber to enter the EU easily, bypassing strict EU timber regulation requirements.
This was made possible in April, when President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo met European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels and agreed to smoothen the FLEGT licensing path for Indonesian timber.
The repercussions of Brexit may affect the terms of this licensing, but what is its likely impact on timber legality and the sustainability of forests in Indonesia? Sustainability and legality are main issues in managing forest and timber products; timber legality was thus discussed at the recent Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit held in Brunei from Aug. 3 to 5
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