HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 c152W
Mr. Gardiner

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if her Department will make representations to the European Commission for the inclusion of the management of wildlife in the criteria for the definition of legality in the European Commission's proposal for an action plan on European Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade proposal. [153266]

Mr. Morley

The European Commission's Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) includes proposals to prevent the import into the EU of illegally logged timber, through the voluntary licensing of timber exports from FLEGT partner countries. Under these voluntary agreements export permits would be granted only if the timber has been harvested in conformity with relevant national legislation.

The Government's view is that it is for each producer state to define legality in reference to the national laws and regulations of that state and for them to decide if the management of wildlife should be included in such a definition. It would not be appropriate to make representations to the European Commission concerning the criteria for defining legality. We would however be willing to work with individual countries to address this as a criteria.