Report flags four factors for action against illegal logging to address

Growing global efforts to address illegal logging must broaden to address the multidimensional nature of the problem, according to a report launched at the 13th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity on 3 December.

by EU FLEGT Facility

The report says current approaches to addressing illegal logging must be strengthened to take account of four key factors.

  • A shift in illegal trade to export markets with looser laws and to domestic markets, rather than to export markets that have implemented regulations to prohibit trade in illegally-harvested wood
  • A rise in trade of timber from illegal conversion of forests to agriculture
  • Increased involvement of organized criminal networks in illegal logging
  • The prevalence of illegal logging as a livelihood for people who operate outside the formal economy

The report says integrated, cross-sectoral policies are needed to ensure effective governance, as illegal forest activities are not merely a problem of the forest sector. “The role of the agriculture sector for example, is fundamental to illegal forest conversion,” says the accompanying policy brief. “Responses that focus exclusively on the forest sector risk missing essential drivers of illegal logging.”

The report published by IUFRO — the International Union of Forest Research Organizations — describes research by the IUFRO-led Global Forest Expert Panels (GFEP) initiative of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF).

"Forestry crime including corporate crimes and illegal logging account for up to USD 152 billion every year, more than all official development aid combined," said Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, one of the partner organizations supporting the assessment.

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