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Liberal Democrat campaigners back demands for EU ban on import of illegal timber.

September 24, 2008 5:00 PM

Greenpeace and other pressure groups have highlighted the loopholes in the law which means that products illegally logged outside the EU can be imported and sold within Europe.

Illegal logging in the world's rainforests is doing terrible damage to the fight against climate change and cheap, illegal timber imports could undermine local businesses from antiques shops to furniture makers.

In the light of vote on tropical timber, London MEP Sarah Ludford says "Across the world deforestation is occurring at an alarmingly rapid rate, and it is the third largest source of greenhouse emissions. It is madness to allow illicitly sourced timber to be sold in the EU which only encourages the continuation of illegal logging."

"Along with colleagues in European Parliament I am therefore calling on the European Commission to propose legislation that will outlaw the sale of illegally logged timber in Europe.

Islington Lib Dem campaigner Bridget Fox adds "Liberal Democrats are supporting Islington residents who care about the environment and about supporting local business.

"Now we need the whole EU to play its part to ensure that illegal timber imports don't undermine this."