Many Uniting Church members have joined the campaign – run through the justice and international mission (JIM) unit –asking the Australian Government to contribute to the fight against illegal logging.
At the start of March, the Federal Government announced $1.8 million in funding for four projects to combat illegal logging in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The projects include implementing a DNA tracking system of timber in Indonesia and being able to verify the origins of timber from PNG through its supply chain to Australia.
“Better timber control systems in our neighbouring countries also gives Australian businesses confidence that the source of the timber purchased internationally is legitimate”, Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, said.
Director of the JIM unit, Dr Mark Zirnsak, welcomed the government’s decision and thanked those who had lobbied on behalf of the JIM unit.
“It is great to see the new federal government taking steps to continue the struggle against illegal logging in our region, which runs on bribes and tax evasion, and deprives local communities of the benefits of their forest resources,” he said.