Illegal logging declines around the world

LONDON, July 15 (UPI) -- Illegal logging has seen a dramatic decline in the last decade, benefiting forest-dependent communities and global climate, a British report says.

Total global production of illegal timber in tropical forest nations has fallen by 22 percent since 2002, a report by the Royal Institute of International Affairs said Thursday.


"Up to a billion of the world's poorest people are dependent on forests, and reductions in illegal logging are helping to protect their livelihoods," Institute Associate Fellow Sam Lawson said i London.

Illegal logging dropped by 50 percent in Cameroon, by between 50 percent and 75 percent in the Brazilian Amazon, and by 75 percent in Indonesia in the last decade, the report said.

The report examined all aspects of the timber trade, from the forests of five "producer" countries, Brazil, Indonesia, Cameroon, Malaysia and Ghana, to the five "consumer" countries of the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands, as well as through the ports and factories of two "processing" countries, China and Vietnam, and from there to buyers in the industrialized world.

In 2008, the United States became the first country to introduce legislation to make it illegal to handle illegally harvested timber.


The new law is already placing pressure on the world's timber producers and processors to police their supply chains, the report says.

"The effort to combat illegal logging and improve forest governance has brought developed and developing countries together in a unique way with a shared sense of purpose", said Lawson.

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