HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 cc743-4W
Mr. Win Griffiths

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to co-ordinate the government resourced projects aimed at supporting the reform process in Indonesia with the timber projects being undertaken by governments in (a) the EU and (b) outside the EU. [124166]

Hilary Benn

I have been asked to reply.

The Government's support to forest sector reform in Indonesia is primarily through the Multi-stakeholder Forestry Programme. This started in July 2000. It helps build capacity within civil society and government to promote reforms. Associated with this programme is a Memorandum of Understanding signed in April 2002 between the Governments of Indonesia and the UK to address the serious problem of illegal logging and associated trade.

Some other donor-supported programmes in Indonesia have similar aims. China, Norway and Japan have recently signed co-operation agreements with Indonesia that are similar to the Indonesia-UK Memorandum of Understanding. An agreement between Indonesia and the EU is in preparation.

We recognise that actions under these agreements need to be co-ordinated. A Donor Forest Forum provides policy guidance. It reports to the broader Consultative Group on Indonesia.

At an operational level we work with other donors to identify gaps, overlaps and opportunities for collaboration. Those involved, in addition to the UK, include local managers of programmes supported by the Asian Development Bank, Canada, the European Union, Germany, the International Tropical Timber Organisation, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States and the World Bank. One example of joint action is UK co-operation with a US-funded programme to design a system for tracking legally harvested logs. We foresee further opportunities as the plans supported by other donors are implemented.