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Australia and New Zealand have today strengthened their long standing cooperation on forestry issues by signing the Arrangement on Combating Illegal Logging and Promoting Sustainable Forest Management. The signed Arrangement illustrates a shared commitment to working together to address illegal logging and promote sustainable forest management.
Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, and New Zealand Associate Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, signed the Arrangement during forestry talks which included discussions relating to the progress of Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill 2011.
Minister Ludwig said the Arrangement recognises that illegal logging and associated trade is a significant global problem and that Australia and New Zealand will together play an important role in combating these practices.
“The Arrangement provides a framework for ongoing bilateral cooperation against the illegal logging trade and its impact on jobs, economies and the environment,” Minister Ludwig said.
“This Arrangement will build the capacity of Government and industry to manage forests sustainably and promote systems to verify the legality of timber and wood products in Australia, New Zealand and the wider Asia Pacific region.”
Minister Guy said the respective illegal logging policies of both Governments were supported by the Arrangement.
"This joint arrangement sends a strong signal that Australia and New Zealand are aligned in our commitment to combat illegal logging,” Minister Guy said.
“Australia and New Zealand share significant trade in timber products. In 2010-11, New Zealand was the largest export supplier of forest products to Australia with trade valued at $715 million.
"New Zealand is a low risk market because we import very little timber, however it makes sense for our two countries to work together.”
The Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill 2011 passed the Australian House of Representatives yesterday and will soon be introduced to the Senate. New Zealand has a representative on the stakeholder working group for the development of the legislation.