1. About Illegal Logging
Although the international community has yet to agree upon the definition of "illegal logging," it is commonly understood as the harvest, transport, purchase or sale of timber or wood products in violation of national laws. While it is difficult to estimate the exact scale of illegal logging practices worldwide, the problem is rampant and in some major timber-producing countries the practice is increasing. Devastating damage to the environment, development, trade and governance are occurring globally. Efforts to address the issue through wide-ranging initiatives have been undertaken by actors at various levels.
Among these is the initiative by the G8, which adopted the G8 Action Program on Forests in Kananaskis, Canada in 2002, and the Plan of Action "Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development" in Gleneagles, UK in 2005 which specifically focus on collective and individual actions against illegal logging.
2. Japan's Contribution
(1) Fundamental Policy
Japan, as a major importer of wood products, is addressing illegal logging issues based upon the fundamental policy that illegally harvested timber should not be used. In response to the outcome of the G8 Gleneagles Summit, the Government of Japan announced its intention to take concrete measures against illegal logging in the "Climate Change Initiative."
(2) Major Activities
(a) Promoting Bilateral Cooperation
Japan cooperates with Indonesia to combat illegal logging under the frameworks of "Joint Announcement" and "Action Plan" signed by both governments in June 2003.
(b) Promoting Multilateral Cooperation
Japan accords a large voluntary contribution to various projects implemented by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). During the Council of ITTO, Japan announced its voluntary contribution for projects addressing illegal logging in 2005.
(c) Government Procurement Policy
In accordance with the commitment in the "Climate Change Initiatives," Japan introduced a government procurement policy favoring wood and wood products that have been harvested in a legal and sustainable manner under the "Law on Promoting Green Purchasing" in April 2006.
- The G8 Forest Experts' Report on Illegal Logging (May 2008) [PDF]
- The Second Round of the International Experts Meeting on Illegal Logging (March 3-4, 2008)
- International Experts Meeting on Illegal Logging "Possible Way Forward towards More Sustainable Forest Management" (March 5-6, 2007) [PDF]