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Tackling Illegal Logging and the Related Trade: What Progress and Where Next?

15 July 2015

This latest assessment of international efforts to improve forest governance and tackle illegal logging is based on studies undertaken in nineteen countries between 2013 and 2014. The findings show a mixed picture. At the national level progress is clearly evident. Nearly all the consumer and processing countries assessed have reduced the shares of illegal timber in their imports. Although forest governance remains very weak in most of the producer countries, there has been continued improvement in numerous areas. Correspondingly, many of the producer countries assessed have reduced the shares of illegal timber in their exports.

However, at the global level progress has stalled; illegal imports still account for nearly 10% of total trade. This is due to three major changes in the forest sector: the growth of markets for timber in many emerging economies, most notably China, that remain less discerning for legal timber; the increased importance of forest conversion as a source of timber, much of which is illegal; and the increase in informal logging by small-scale producers.

The detailed findings of the assessment and recommendations for action for the coming decade are set out in the report, available below in English and Chinese. The executive summary is available in English, French and Chinese.

Infographic: Illegal logging and forest governance

A comparison of estimated levels of illegal timber production and levels of forest governance in the nine focus producer countries.

Infographic: Scale of illegal timber trade in 2013

Estimated illegal timber trade between focus producer, processor & consumer countries in 2013.