Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade

The 21 APEC economies account for 2.19 billion hectares of forest cover—over 50 per cent of the world’s forests. They also engage in a significant amount of trade in forest products, which represents approximately 80 per cent of the international trade in such products.

In 2010, APEC Leaders pledged to enhance cooperation to address concerns with illegal logging and any kind of trade associated with it, and to promote sustainable forest management and rehabilitation.

In 2011, APEC ministers responsible for trade directed officials to establish an experts group to promote trade in legally harvested forest products, combat illegal logging and associated trade, and build capacity. In the same year, at the APEC Leaders’ meeting in Hawaii, Leaders committed to implementing appropriate measures to prohibit trade in illegally harvested forest products and to do more to combat illegal logging and associated trade.

To accomplish this mission, the APEC Expert Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT) was created in 2011.

The first EGILAT meeting was held in 2012.

In 2015, EGILAT members reached consensus on a milestone document which clearly identifies the scope of illegal logging and associated trade (APEC Common Understanding of the Scope of Illegal Logging and Associated Trade).

The Goal of EGILAT

EGILAT’s Terms of Reference provides that the group’s overall goal is to enhance the efforts of member economies to take concrete steps to combat* illegal logging and associated trade, promote trade in legally harvested forest products, and support capacity building activities in member economies.

(*As per the EGILAT Multi-Year Strategic Plan 2018-2022, endorsed in 2018, the term “combat” also includes strategies and activities to prevent illegal logging and associated trade, which may be included in the annual work plan of EGILAT. In considering what activities are included within the scope, consideration should be given to the Terms of Reference of EGILAT, and of Leaders’ and Ministers’ directives.)

Timber Legality Guidance Documents

In 2014, EGILAT members have agreed to develop a compendium of timber legality guidance documents, to promote the trade in legally harvested forest products within the APEC region. These documents seek to provide clarity and transparency for businesses, government and civil groups on what constitutes legal and illegally logged timber within individual APEC economies.

Looking Ahead

In 2018, EGILAT members endorsed the EGILAT Multi-Year Strategic Plan 2018–2022 to guide its work over the next five years. Member economies look forward to EGILAT’s capacity building activities and other initiatives, which aim to contribute to APEC’s primary goal to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the milestone the goal of APEC Leaders to increase forest cover in the region by at least 20 million hectares by 2020.

Last page update: July 2019 

Current Activities

EGILAT Policy Theme
At its 15th meeting in Santiago, Chile, in February 2019, EGILAT agreed to implement a two-year policy theme focused on “Advancing the trade and distribution of legally harvested forest products.” In implementing the policy’s theme, EGILAT is seeking to identify:

  • The issues faced by private sector entities throughout the timber supply chain in trading in legally harvested forest products
  • The existing resources or materials that are available to help private-sector entities trade in legally harvested forest products
  • Potential actions that could be undertaken by APEC economies (on an individual and collective basis) and other parties (including the private sector, civil society, and international organizations) to support the trade in legally harvested forest products.

The policy theme recognizes that private-sector entities are the primary actors in the international trade in forest products and that their knowledge of and compliance with legal requirements will be critical to achieving EGILAT’s goal of promoting the trade in legally harvested forest products. It also reflects the emergence of a number of new legal frameworks regulating the trade in timber products in and beyond the APEC region. These new frameworks mean there is a growing requirement for private sector operators to understand and manage the risks of timber legality.
The policy theme will be delivered between August 2019 and mid-2021. Supporting discussions are to be held as part of EGILAT’s regular six-monthly meetings.

 

EGILAT Meetings
The expert group meets twice a year, usually on the margins of the Senior Officials’ Meetings. It also regularly hosts supporting workshops and stakeholder dialogue meetings.

2018

13th EGILAT

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

finished

 

14th EGILAT

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

finished

2019

15th EGILAT

Santiago, Chile

finished

 

16th EGILAT

Puerto Varas, Chile

 

 

EGILAT workshops:

2018

Multistakeholder Dialogue on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Best Practices to Promote Legal Trade of Wood Products (EGILAT 01 2018S)

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

finished

2019

Workshop to Share Experience, Knowledge and Challenges on Implementation of Tools for Combating and Preventing Illegal Logging Activities and Associated Trade (EGILAT 01 2018A)

Santiago, Chile

 

 

 

Click here to download the previous events of EGILAT.

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