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Indonesia to ban auctions of timber seized from illegal logging operations

The Indonesian government may ban the practice of auctioning seized logs as a means for cracking down on illegal logging and timber laundering, reports The Jakarta Post.

“In the future there will be no more auction of seized illegal logs because they have been used for laundering logs with unclear origins,” Dwi Sudharto, director of the Forestry Ministry’s forest product marketing and processing supervision, was quoted as saying. “The House of Representatives is discussing the bill on illegal logging that will ban log auctions. Hopefully, it will be finalized soon.”

Once seized, illicit logs are usually turned over to brokers for resale. The proposed bill would end that activity, instead requiring the seized timber, together with the ships found transporting them, to be destroyed.

Dwi said the reason for the move is to bolster the credibility of Indonesia’s new legality verification and certification system (SVLK), which functions as a stamp of approval for Indonesian timber in international markets.

Illegal logging in Indonesian Borneo in 2011.

Indonesia is the world’s second largest producer of tropical logs, producing nearly 61 million cubic meters of industrial roundwood in 2011. About 9 percent of that production was exported, according to U.N. data.

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