Forests are key resources for the people of ASEAN as a source of timber and non-timber forest products as well as for maintaining the region’s environment. However, in parts of the region, forests are threatened by illegal logging and unsustainable forest management. ASEAN Member States recognize that illegal logging and its associated trade within and across the region not only cause huge economic losses and adverse environmental and social consequences, but can also lead to loss of reputation and competitiveness in export markets.
Due to growing international concern on the adverse impacts of illegal logging and related trade, ASEAN Member States are striving to gear up the ASEAN forest sector as a model of sustainable development by harmonizing environmental, social and economic policies through the initiative on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance.
The objectives of the initiative include the strengthening of forest law enforcement and governance and the enhancing of intra- and extra-ASEAN trade and the long-term competitiveness of ASEAN’s forest products. These efforts are aimed at achieving the overall goal of sustainable forest management and poverty reduction in the region.
To implement the initiatives, ASEAN Member States have established the ASEAN Guidelines on PhasedApproached to Forest Certification and ASEAN Guidelines for Chain of Custody (CoC) of Legal Timber and Sustainable Timber. Those guidelines provide reference and direction for ASEAN Member States toward forest certification and ensure the traceability of the forest products that come from legal and sustainable sources.