Illegal logging

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**Extent and Impact of Illegal Logging:**
– Global scale: Over $10 billion in losses annually from illegal logging on public land.
– More than half of global logging estimated to be illegal, especially in vulnerable regions like the Amazon Basin, Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Russian Federation.
– Environmental consequences: Deforestation, global warming, biodiversity loss, and weakened forest management.
– Economic consequences: Corruption, tax evasion, reduced revenue for producer countries, hindering sustainable development.
– Social impacts: Disproportionately affecting disadvantaged communities, significant annual revenue losses.

**Illegal Logging in Southeast Asia:**
– Indonesia: 73-88% of timber logged illegally, 81% of forest conversion for palm oil is illegal.
– Malaysia: Key transit country for illegal wood products from Indonesia, lax law enforcement enables illegal logging.
– Myanmar: High demand for timber fuels illegal logging near borders, lack of regulations leads to destructive logging practices.
– Cambodia: Significant issue of illegal logging, lack of regulations and enforcement contributing to rampant exploitation.
– Laos: Prevalent illegal logging, weak enforcement of regulations leading to deforestation and habitat loss.

**Efforts and Mitigation Strategies:**
– Brazil’s IBAMA actions against illegal logging.
– European Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Program.
– Saint Petersburg Declaration on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance.
– EU FLEGT Action Plan to address illegal logging.
– AFLEG Ministerial Conference in Africa and ENA FLEG Ministerial Conference in North Asia.

**Socio-Economic Implications and Deforestation Statistics:**
– Illegal logging contributing to climate change and desert encroachment, exacerbating communal conflicts.
– Southeast Asia facing environmental security issues due to forest plunder, political corruption playing a role.
– Deforestation statistics: 88% of logging in Indonesia illegal, ambiguous rates and causes of deforestation.
– Economic, environmental, and social costs significant in Indonesia, Malaysia involved in smuggling endangered wood.

**International Collaboration and Resources:**
– Transparency International emphasizing tackling political corruption to combat illegal logging.
– World Bank’s revised forest strategy addressing illegal logging.
– EU regulations combating illegal timber trade.
– Interpol targeting forestry crime.
– WWF working on reducing timber footprint of G8 countries and China.

Illegal logging (Wikipedia)

Illegal logging is the harvest, transportation, purchase, or sale of timber in violation of laws. The harvesting procedure itself may be illegal, including using corrupt means to gain access to forests; extraction without permission, or from a protected area; the cutting down of protected species; or the extraction of timber in excess of agreed limits. Illegal logging is a driving force for a number of environmental issues such as deforestation, soil erosion and biodiversity loss which can drive larger-scale environmental crises such as climate change and other forms of environmental degradation.

Illegality may also occur during transport, such as illegal processing and export (through fraudulent declaration to customs); the avoidance of taxes and other charges, and fraudulent certification. These acts are often referred to as "wood laundering".

Illegal logging is driven by a number of economic forces, such as demand for raw materials, land grabbing and demand for pasture for cattle. Regulation and prevention can happen at both the supply size, with better enforcement of environmental protections, and at the demand side, such as an increasing regulation of trade as part of the international lumber Industry.

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