Gardai investigate illegal timber claim
14 'tree boxes' made from suspected illegally logged West-African iroko and costing over €20,000 under Garda investigation
16th October 2014
For Immediate Release
Date: 16 October, 2014
From: Just Forests - Tullamore
Contact: Tom Roche
Mobile: 086 8049389
Tullamore Gardai are investigating illegal timber claim.
A Tullamore-based development education (DE) and forest campaigning NGO (non-governmental organisation), has made a formal complaint at Tullamore Garda Station on the use of suspected illegally logged tropical timber in a number of ‘tree boxes’ purchased by Offaly Co Council in May 2014. Just Forests founder, Tom Roche, made the allegation in a signed statement at Tullamore Garda Station on 2nd September 2014.
“More than a year after the entry into force of the EU’s law (EUTR – Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 ), governing timber trade, many EU countries are still failing to halt the entry of illegal wood products into the EU markets. In 2014, the main overall conclusion is that 15 EU member states out of the 28, including Ireland, are failing to do enough to tackle the trade in illegal and unsustainable timber and wood products in the EU.” according to Roche.
Illegal logging has devastating environmental, social and economic impacts on some of the most pristine forests in the world and the people who rely on them; this illegality also affects European businesses and consumers who comply with the rules. It accounts for 30% of the global timber trade and contributes to more than 50% of tropical deforestation in Central Africa, the Amazon and South East Asia.
Under the new EU Timber Regulation (EUTR – Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 ), placing illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber on the EU market is prohibited. The EUTR applies to wood and wood products being placed for the first time on the EU market. It counters the trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products by imposing three key obligations:
. Placing illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber on the EU market for the first time, is prohibited.
. Operators – those who place timber products on the EU market for the first time – are required to exercise ‘due diligence’.
. Traders – those who buy or sell timber and timber products already on the market – are required to keep information about their suppliers and customers to make timber easily traceable. The Regulation applies to both imported and domestically produced timber and timber products.
The recently published Statutory Instrument (*S.I. No. 316 of 2014) of the Irish Government of 11th July, 2014, designates Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine as the Competent Authority to oversee implementation of the EUTR in Ireland. This secondary legislation ‘lays down effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties’ for non-compliance with the Regulation, and ‘provides the modalities for practical enforcement such as inspections and powers of Authorised Officers.’
A person who commits one of the above offences is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 in the case of less serious offences, or equally an offending operator can be tried on indictment for more serious offences at the Discretion of the Director of Public Prosecution and be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding €250,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both.
This PR links to this article http://www.justforests.org/news/local-jobs-common-sense-and-practicality-lose-out-in-council-contract