Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-01-17-Speech-1-104-000"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, several countries that export tropical hardwood have started to sign voluntary partnership agreements with the EU under the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. The European Union will provide support for forest governance reforms and capacity building, in particular, the implementation of traceability and legality verification systems for wood-based products. There is something I believe to be particularly important: if it helps to improve transparency and prevent environmental damage in connection with forestry activities, then it is a good thing for the partners to commit to amending and improving current legal provisions. I also expressly welcome the fact that the European Union has made a commitment to provide support for capacity building in the timber producing countries, particularly in connection with the implementation of traceability and legality verification systems for timber and wood-based products. There are two more points I would like to mention. The idea behind the voluntary partnership agreements is to put an end to the trade in illegally felled wood and products made from this wood and to help to stop deforestation, forest degradation and their effects in the form of CO emissions, as well as the loss of biodiversity, throughout the world. Further large-scale exploitation of tropical and other particularly species-rich forests with a high carbon storage capacity is irresponsible and may lead to further deforestation and forest degradation, with devastating consequences for the environment worldwide. These agreements are therefore a small, but positive step in the right direction. I am in complete agreement with the points made by the previous speakers. I would like to thank the rapporteur for his excellent cooperation and I would be very pleased if we could make real progress with these agreements in order to make our world a little bit better."@en1

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