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Joint UNECE/FAO Workshop on Illegal Logging and Trade of Illegally-derived Forest Products in the UNECE Region, 16-17 September 2004 Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland Country Report of Italy Foreword The problems of Illegal Logging, as it is largely demonstrated by the cross-cutting studies oriented towards SFM, are strictly correlated with the economic development programmes of the Countries and cannot be examined independently of their general policies. In the industrialized Countries, that generally import timber and other important raw materials from developing Countries, Illegal Logging is fully negligible. On the contrary, the issue and its associated problems are deeply reflected in the political and administrative reality of the exporting Countries, and are closely linked with poverty, government instability, social and racial fights, fanaticism and intolerance of various origin. In the UNCED follow-up (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), the CSD set up the Intergovernmental Panel and the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IPF, 1995-1997; IFF, 1997-1999), to study appropriate measures to stop deforestation at global level, but the phenomena is still ongoing without important reductions. There has been no substantive improvement either obtained by the institution of the UNFF and the CPF, in October 2000, with the approval of the Plan of Action to apply the IPF/IFF resolutions, and by the 4 Sessions of the UNFF, held from 2001 to 2004. In Europe the problems of the SFM have been regularly considered by the various MCPFE (Strasbourg 1990, Helsinki 1993, Lisbon 1998, Wien 2003). It is to be recalled, among the resolutions adopted in the above-mentioned Conferences, the important reference to the political aspects of the problem in hand, the resolution L1 : “People, Forest and Forestry. Enhancement of the Socio-Economic Aspects of SFM”. This resolution was adopted on the basis of the report of the FAO/ECE/ILO Team of Specialists on Social Aspects of SFM on “People, Forests and Sustainability”, where the substitution of the word “sustainability” with “forestry” can be traced back to an interesting philological linkage. Illegal Logging in Italy All the following forms of illegalities 1.1.1. Logging without permission or concession from public forests 1.1.2. Wood theft or illegal logging from private forests 1.1.3. False declaration of volumes, species, values or origins of harvested wood 1.1.4. Logging in protected areas such as national parks 1.1.5. Logging in prohibited areas 1.1.6. Removing oversized or undersized trees in Italy are limited in size and can be considered local specific problems. The data of the National Forest Service on the registered number of violations show a progressive decrease as the consequence of improved and more efficient controls. 1.1.7. Obtaining logging authorization through bribes There aren’t any significant data regarding licences obtained through bribes or corruption of public officials, but that doesn’t exclude possible cases of such form of illegality. However that doesn’t bring to retaine it as an important source of illegal logging. 1.1.8. Killing or burning trees so that they can be logged Italian law forbids to change soil utilization of burned areas. Indeed, this rule has been conceived to stop burning trees so that the burned area could be object of very lucrative illegal building initiatives, so influencing illegal logging activities, that are anyway inconsistent in such aspects. 1.2. What mechanisms are adopted in place to monitor or estimate their importance? To promote the use of wood, full range of goods and of services provided by sustainably managed forests, Italy encourages the development and implementation of forest certification schemes, a process in which scientific community is actively involved. Italy has submitted a national forest certification scheme to the Pan-European Forest Certification (PEFC), which is now undergoing the PEFC endorsement process. The Forest Steward Council (FSC) has accredited an Italian certification body (ICILA) and the FSC-Italy adopted in 2002 a sub- national level scheme of standards for the sustainable management of Alpine forests. At the moment, in Italy, holders of PEFC (2 organizations) and FSC certifications (64 organizations) are companies, accredited with Chain of Custody Certificates,. not lands issued with forest management certificates. The AISF (Italian Accademy of Forest Sciences) is currently chairing a platform of discussion for the agreement of a scheme of Standards for the SFM of Appennine and Mediterranean forests (SAM; www.aisf.it). The work is carried out by adopting a participatory approach, with a coordination committee structured in thematic areas, and by working on a basic proposal and periodical public discussions open to all interested parties (through e-forum and public meetings) for a wider consultation and progressive improvement of the proposal. SAM scheme will be definitively adopted in September 2004. 1.3. In total, in your opinion, what is the volume of illegally logged wood in your country, as a percent of removals: 1.3.1. Less than 1%, 1-5%, 5-10%, 10-25%, over 25% ? Illegal logged wood originated in Italy can be considered less than 1%, following the above ECE definitions. 1.3.2. What is this estimate based on? 22.214.171.124. Comparison of production, import and export, and consumption data Sample surveys 126.96.36.199. Judicial records 188.8.131.52. Expert estimates, for example from reports of forest authorities 184.108.40.206 Other? This estimate is based on the reports of the National Forest Service, on the balance of import/export, internal production and on the needs and knowledge of Italian situation. The major causes of illegality have to be referred to the internal, not registered market. 2. Trade in products of illegal logging 2.1. Are you aware of any of the following : 2.1.1. Smuggling of roundwood or forest products (import or export) It has been registered some cases of violations to the CITES rules in timber imports, as indicated below. 2.1.2. False declaration of goods (value, species, origin) In the case of CITES specimens, the officers of the Corpo Forestale dello Stato detected cases of false declaration. For example, a shipment of Gonystylus spp ( Appendix III, Annex C) was declared as a no-CITES species at Livorno port, but the Customs and the CITES Operative Unit of Corpo Forestale dello Stato of Pisa stopped the cargo and made the microscopically identification through the Wood National Institute of IVALSA and found that it was ramin, that is a protected species. The shipment was seized and the infraction communicated immediately to the Judiciary Authority. 2.1.3. Other trade related falsification (e.g. falsification of certificates of sustainable forest management) There isn’t any evidence of such kind of falsification. 2.2. What mechanisms are in place to monitor discrepancies between declared imports and exports and actual imports and exports? The controls of Customs code (TARIC) jointly used with the controls of the CITES Operative Units of C.F.S., turned out to be a very fruitful enforcement mean. In the case of ramin (Gonystylus spp), for example, a national customs code specific for this kind of wood was added to TARIC, in order to have the possibility to easily monitor the import/export/re-export of this wood, which Italy imports in high quantity. Generally speaking, the organization of the CITES Service of Corpo Forestale dello Stato, with the presence of specialized units at the national border, that provides document and physical inspections for CITES specimen is the mechanism we used to verify the quantity and quality correspondence of wood imports and exports of species covered by CITES. 2.3. In your opinion, what is the volume exported and imported of illegally-sourced wood as percentage of total wood exports? 2.3.1. Less than 5%, 5-25%, over 25% ? In absence of certified elements discriminating “legal” from “illegally- sourced” wood, any answer to the above request appears to be questionable and can bring to large misinterpretations. . 2.4. If there are significant volumes or values involved, please describe what is known about the type of fraud, its estimated volume and its causes. The absence of certified and indipendent controls in the exporting Countries produces a large complexity to establish the illegality. 2.5. Additional comments on the causes and extent of trade in products from illegal logging in your country No comment. 3. Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade policies 3.1. Is your country involved in any bilateral or multilateral initiatives on FLEGT? The Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Direction General for the Cooperation to the Development – organized in the last months some meetings of experts representing various Ministries, Associations both of timber and paper industries and main environmental Associations. Aim of the meetings was to co-ordinate the activities in favour of the SFM and the participation of Italy to the EU Action Plan for FLEGT. A proposal for the participation of Italy to the FLEGT plans for Central Africa and East Asia is under consideration of the authorities of that Ministry. 3.2. Does your country have official policies to reduce or eliminate illegal logging? The Ministry of the Agricultural and Forest Policies – National Forest Service (Corpo Forestale dello Stato – in short C.F.S.) – and the Ministry of Environment and Land Protection – Direction of the Nature Protection – are developing common initiatives to improve CITES controls, to draw up agreements with timber producing countries to fight illegal logging, to extend the number of the utilized species and to identify timber products according to EU rules and directives. 3.3. Does your country have official policies to reduce or eliminate trade of products from illegal logging? In Italy, as far as CITES species is concerned, there is a national law enforcing European Community Regulations and CITES that provide the official policy to reduce or eliminate products of exotic wood of illegal origin. The new Italian forest law, adopted in May 2001, provides inside to the National Council for Economics and Labour (CNEL) the foundation of the National Observatory for the marketing of forest products and services, entrusted with the task of promoting activities in favour of the marketing of forest products and services according to methods of SFM. As written above, to promote the use of wood and of the full range of goods and services provided by sustainably managed forests, Italy encourages the development and implementation of forest certification schemes, a process in which the scientific community is actively involved. 4. Additional information The European Commission adopted, on 20 July 2004, the package of measures to address the problem of illegal logging and related trade. This package represents undoubtedly an innovative tool towards the regularization of the issue, on which Italy, like other EU Countries, will be particularly engaged. Indeed, it must be recognized that the great relevance of the volume of the international trade of processed wood products made in Italy (mainly furniture), is strongly linked to the reliable demostration and transparency for the buyers about the respect of these activities with the SFM in the Countries of origin of raw wood. This is also one of the priorities of the EU in the follow-up to the WSSD (Johannesburg, 2002). In addition to the measures adopted by the European Commission, such as the trace back of the product, the management of wide forest areas in the countries of origin and the purchase of wood, that is certificated by public corporation, it could be proposed the following measures against illegal logging: a) Raising the number of the utilized species by including common species, having a slight value. These secondary species could be valorised in loco, with a low cost for the local populations and industries. b) Promoting the block of the access to the forest tracks through the ploughing of the soil and making new plantations, in order to avoid illegal logging and possible use by the near farmers. c) Promoting the application of a recent technical European rule “EN 13556”, adopted in June 2003, for the nomenclature of wood species (about 250), utilized in Europe “ Logs and Lumbers”. This nomenclature should include the scientific and common names in English French and German languages. In the future it should be adopted as national technical rule UNI. d) The realization of an identification manual of the main trade of endangered species, as for example the identification manual of wood CITES species, realized in Canada by the Ministry of Environment, and a manual for the correct use of taking wood measurements, that could improve a better technical control of the import-export of wood.
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