Policy Briefs


Forests Beyond the Law: Scientific Insights into Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade

This policy brief summarizes the key messages of the GFEP report “Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade - Dimensions, Drivers, Impacts and Responses. A Global Scientific Rapid Response Assessment Report” and reaches out to international as well as national policymakers and other stakeholders.

Following key messages are highlighted:

  • Recognizing the complexity and multiple dimensions of illegal logging and related timber trade is a precondition to designing focused governance responses.
  • Despite increasing international governance efforts, illegal forest activities remain pervasive
  • Drivers of illegal logging, such as contested and conflicting land tenure, and road construction largely overlap with drivers of forest degradation and deforestation.
  • Illegal logging produces impacts that can be direct, indirect and cumulative with environmental as well as social, economic and political implications.
  • The majority of timber resulting from illegal forest activities is traded domestically.
  • Enforcing policies that aim to combat illegal logging and related timber trade may itself be problematic.
  • Cross-sectoral and integrated policies are needed to ensure effective governance responses since illegal forest activities are not merely a problem of the forest sector.
  • Organized criminal networks are increasingly involved in illegal logging.
  • The lack of reliable and comparable data hampers efforts to tackle effectively illegal logging and related timber trade.

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