Thursday, 30 August 2007

China Issues Rules for Logging Companies Overseas

China Issues Rules for Logging Companies Overseas

CHINA: August 30, 2007

BEIJING - China has issued guidelines for enterprises engaging in logging overseas, state media reported on Wednesday, following accusations that it is plundering the world's forests to meet booming demand for wood.

The guidelines, issued jointly by the State Forestry Administration and the Ministry of Commerce, aim to encourage forestry cultivation that highlights sustainability and bio-diversity. "The purpose of the move is to guide relevant enterprises to help the countries or regions that are faced with difficulties in forest restoration and to help improve the livelihood of local residents," Xinhua news agency quoted Jia Zhibang, head of the Forestry Administration, as saying.

Environment groups say China is at the heart of a global trade for lumber that it sells to markets in the United States and Europe, and that much of its plywood exports come from illegal logging. China accounted for more than half the log exports from Papua New Guinea, Myanmar and Indonesia, British-based organisation Global Witness has said.

The new guidelines are meant as a basis for evaluating and supervising logging companies, Jia said, adding that China wants to make its enterprises more aware of environmental protection as they increasingly strike out abroad.