Elsewhere on DAFF
Australia's Bilateral Agreements on Forestry
The Australian Government works with governments in the Asia-Pacific region to improve their standards of forest management and combat illegal logging. DAFF collaborates with Australia's regional neighbours to shape and manage these and other key forestry issues through bilateral and multilateral agreements, and to support skills and capacity building.
Australia works closely with a number of countries to ensure the global forestry and forest management objectives - as agreed through the United Nations Forum on Forests - are achieved, including:
The then Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Hon. Tony Burke MP, met with Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Minister for Forests, the Hon. Belden Namah in August 2008 to discuss strengthening cooperation on forestry and forest management. From these discussions a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was developed and later signed on 10 June 2009 between Minister Burke and Minister Namah on behalf of their respective governments. The aim of the MoU is to encourage greater cooperation in relation to:
- Sustainable forest management and the certification of forests and forestry activities.
- Promoting improved trade, investment and sustainable development that includes. improvements in the legal verification of the origins of timber and timber products.
- Identifying the capacity building needs to support future growth in the forest industry of both countries.
- Identifying areas for closer collaboration on forestry issues through the existing multilateral forestry forums.
- Identifying opportunities for closer collaboration on forest research activities which support mutually beneficial outcomes.
The MoU builds on the Australian Government’s election commitment to work with regional governments on sustainable forest management and combating illegal logging.
The Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Forum established the Australia-Indonesia Working Group on Agriculture and Food Cooperation (WGAFC) in 1992. In 2006, the working group expanded to consider forestry cooperation, and is now referred to as the Working Group on Agriculture, Food and Forestry Cooperation (WGAFFC).
The group’s purpose is to maximise opportunities and increase and strengthen cooperation between Australia and Indonesia on trade and investment in food and agriculture. The working group also serves as a forum to discuss bilateral quarantine and agricultural market access issues.
The Australian and Indonesian Governments signed a Letter of Intent in November 2008 concerning cooperation in forestry which primarily focuses on capacity building and verifying the legal origins of the timber products. The Letter of Intent builds on existing bilateral agreements between the Australian and Indonesian Governments, the Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Forum and the Working Group on Agriculture, Food and Forestry Cooperation. The Letter of Intent provides a framework to support:
- Cooperation on building capacity of forest professionals and experts to implement sustainable forest management practices in the region including preventing illegal logging.
- Work toward determining legal requirements for the trade of timber and wood products.
- The development of systems that assure the legality of timber and wood products which include forest certification and chain of custody.
- Collaboration to enhance forest law enforcement and governance and encourage sourcing of timber and wood products from legal and sustainable forest practices.
The 17th meeting of the working group was held in Perth, Australia in December 2012.
Other Australian – Indonesian Initiatives
In June 2008, the then Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Kevin Rudd MP and the President of Indonesia, H.E. Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, announced the Indonesia-Australia Forest Carbon Partnership. The partnership builds on and formalises existing long-term practical cooperation between Indonesia and Australia on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
Australia has committed $30 million to establish the Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership. It will aim to trial an innovative, market-oriented approach to financing and implementing measures on REDD in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.
The Malaysia-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Working Group (MAACWG) met in Putra Jaya in August 2007 and agreed to expand the role of the working group to include forestry issues.
Under the MAACWG the Forestry and Timber Sub-Working Group cooperates on activities in support of sustainable forest management, including:
- Recognising the need to address illegal logging and promote further action on this matter through multilateral processes.
- Exploring cooperation in forest management certification and chain of custody schemes.
- Identifying and exploring areas of collaboration and cooperation on the international stage that both countries are engaged in such as the International Tropical Timber Organization and the United Nations Forum on Forests.
The 7th MAACWG meeting was held in Malaysia in April 2012.
The Korea-Australia Forestry Cooperative Committee (KAFCC) meets approximately every two years. DAFF and the Korea Forest Service formed the Cooperative Committee in 1997.
The KAFCC is an effective medium for developing closer cooperation between Korea and Australia on forestry issues such as research, investment and trade and focuses on the key areas of:
- Information on investment opportunities in Australian plantations and export opportunities for Australian forest products to Korea.
- Developing an understanding of the requirements for countries seeking to achieve forest certification.
- Arranging an exchange of forestry professionals between Korea and Australia.
The 6th KAFCC meeting was held in Australia in December 2011.
The Australia-China Agricultural Cooperation Agreement (ACACA) promotes cooperation on forestry issues and enhancing trade opportunities between the two countries. ACACA was signed in 1984 to:
- Enhance cooperation in a wide range of agricultural sectors.
- Develop agricultural trading relationships.
- Provide a forum for the exchange of scientific information.
To complement these agreements and to guide cooperation between Australia and China on forestry matters, the Australian and Chinese Governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2009 concerning cooperation in forestry and combating illegal logging and associated trade. The MoU provides a framework to support Australian and Chinese cooperation in the following areas:
- Enhancing global and regional efforts to combat illegal logging and associated trade.
- Promoting sustainable forest management.
- Facilitating a common understanding in the Asia-Pacific region of the requirements for legality verification of internationally traded timber.
- Encouraging trade in timber and wood products from legally harvested and sustainable managed forests.
- Enhancing forest law enforcement and governance, and sharing information on forest certification schemes.
- Building capacity of forest management professionals and experts in the Asia-Pacific region to implement sustainable forest management practices in the region including preventing illegal logging.
Australia and New Zealand strengthened their long standing cooperation on forestry issues by signing the Arrangement on Combating Illegal Logging and Promoting Sustainable Forest Management on 21 August 2012. The Arrangement illustrates a shared commitment to working together to address illegal logging and promote sustainable forest management.
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.
- Provides a framework for ongoing bilateral cooperation against the illegal logging trade and its impact on jobs, economies and the environment.
- 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.
05 Feb 2013