Talking green

Participants at an international conference on forest management discuss ways to curb logging

Published: Monday 15 October 2001

participants from over 20 countries gathered in Bali, Indonesia, from September 11-13, 2001, to strategise on how to battle the myriad of problems of forest management, including illegal logging on a national and international scale. Officially known as the Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (fleg) East Asia Ministerial conference, the meeting was the result of a series of meetings in east Asia on combating the threat of illegal logging and trade, wildlife poaching and corruption.

Though fleg 's focus was law enforcement, its agenda seemed to cover almost every topic related to forest management. Presentations ranged from governance in forest law enforcement, to the role of non-governmental organisations and local communities in forest law enforcement.

Participants commonly identified the problems of illegal logging and illegal trade as being rooted in social, economic and political structures of different countries, and therefore stated that discussions should not be only limited to the forestry sector. David Kaimowitz of the Indonesia-based Centre for International Forest Research, for example, stated that forest law enforcement must form part of a broader strategy that includes economic incentives, public infrastructure investment, and research and technical assistance.

The outcome of the conference was an ambitious ministerial declaration, which duly emphasised emphasised the urgent need for cooperation among governments to address these various problems at the national and international levels.

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