Briefing: Addressing illegal cross-border timber trade in South Asia

The EU FLEGT Facility has published a briefing based on research into cross-border timber trade in South Asia, and between South Asian nations and Myanmar.

A boat carries teak trunks down the Irrawaddy River by Thierry Falise, Lightrocket via Getty Images

The research found that large quantities of illegal or unregistered timber enter into the supply chain in the SAARC countries mainly due to lack of effective policy measures and weak supply chain controls.

From 2000 to 2013, 80% of the industrial roundwood imported by the study countries came from just five countries — Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malaysia, Myanmar and Nigeria. The SAARC countries are likely to remain net importers of timber for the next 15 years, as demand there outpaces domestic production.

The study recommends ways to promote legal timber trade in the region, including by strengthening legislative frameworks, import policies and regional institutional mechanisms. It suggests action to raise awareness of timber legality and the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), and to promote sustainable forest management and forest certification.

Read the briefing: Cross-border timber trade in the SAARC area