Image via WikipediaBIG corporations and environment groups have formed an unlikely alliance in an attempt to make Australia crack down on illegally logged timber. Companies like Ikea, Bunnings and Fantastic Furniture, along with Greenpeace, WWF and others, released a common platform today, setting out the plan.
They've given the federal government 11 points on imposing laws to achieve a globally sustainable forestry.
There is currently no law banning the importation of illegally logged timber or the products made from them.
But the government has introduced such legislation to parliament.
Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed the government's early efforts but believes more needs to be done to ensure the $14 billion trade is snuffed out.
"If the government is serious about effectively tackling illegal logging, all the elements in the common platform should be incorporated in the legislation," the foundation's Lee Tan said.
"Our neighbours in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea ... have been fighting uphill battles."
The platform, as backed by Kimberly-Clark, The Wilderness Society and the Uniting Church in Australia, would broaden the definition of illegal timber and wood products.
Importers would be forced to disclose specific information at the point of importation.
The public would be empowered by allowing anyone to take action against a breach under the Act.
The government would help the industry comply with the rules, as well as monitor and oversee the application of penalties for those who knowingly break the law.
The platform also urges the laws to be harmonised with the US Lacey Act and laws in the European Union