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 Home > News & Policies > July 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 28, 2003

Statement by the President

Today I am pleased my administration has announced a new international initiative to help developing countries stop illegal logging. Illegal logging destroys biodiversity and hundreds of thousands of acres of forest habitat annually. It releases millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Last year, I directed Secretary Powell to develop a plan to address this serious issue. Today I thank him for his efforts in establishing this initiative. Working with the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and other nations, the United States will help to identify and reduce threats to protected forest areas and other high value conservation forests. These efforts will serve as a foundation for future actions to eliminate illegal logging, corruption in the forest sector, and the sale - including for export - of illegally harvested timber products. They will also help us protect forests and the livelihoods that depend upon them.