Illegal Logging and FLEGT

TF Illegal Logging and FLEGT

Rationale for this Task Force

Over the past ten years the issue of illegal logging has risen to the top of the international debates on forest sector issues. Specific attention is also being paid to the various actions taken by national and international public actors, NGOs and the private sector to counter this problem.

Examples for this can be seen in the various FLEG(T) (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance (and Trade)) processes, the renewed attention given to certification initiatives, public procurement policies as well as tracing and verification schemes set up by the private sector.

The Task Force aims at compiling and analysing current relevant activities of IUFRO and its members in this field. The role of science in global, regional, national and subnational processes is considered to consist in providing information to contribute to objective stakeholder debate.


Objectives of the Task Force - Overview

  • Objective1: Establishment of a network of scientists dealing with research issues of relevance to illegal logging and instruments to combat this problem
  • Objective 2: Compilation of current state of the art in scientific alysis of factors and issues in the illegal logging debate.
    • Subobjective 2-1: Scientific studies on causes and forms of illegal logging
    • Subobjective 2-2: Scientific studies on extent of illegal logging and trade in illegally logged forest products
    • Subobjective 2-3: Scientific studies on consequences of illegal logging and trade
    • Subobjective 2-4: Scientific studies on existing and planned countermeasures
  • Objective 3: Awareness raising about the possible contributions of science to the illegal logging debate

  • Objective 4: Publication of results to scientific and wider public audiences

Objectives of the Task Force - In Detail


Objective 1: Establishment of a network of scientists dealing with research issues of relevance to Illegal Logging and instruments to combat this phenomenon.

The search for scientific (i.e. peer reviewed) publications dealing explicitly with the topic of illegal logging renders only few results in databases such as "Science Direct".


Objective 2: Compilation of current state of the art in scientific alysis of factors and issues in the illegal logging debate.

Subobjective 2-1: Analysis of causes and forms of illegal logging
Illegal logging can take different forms, ranging from activities at industrial level, taking the form of organised crime and linked to corruption at various levels of political and administrative spheres to practices related to subsistence needs of local populations, often essential for their survival and caused by a perception of lack of legitimacy of official legislation or inappropriate allocation of forest use rights.

Subobjective 2-2: Analysis of  the extent of illegal logging and trade in illegally logged forest products and critical evaluation of currently used methods
While there is no shortage of quantitative statements on the amount of illegal logging and trade in specific countries or in a global or regional context, there is a lack of critical analysis of the methods behind establishing these figures. For this objective available statements on quantities of illegal logging are to be analysed as regards the methods and data behind them. In addition contributions from all fields of forest sciences will be sought to assist in the development of new methods.   

Subobjective 2-3: Analysis of the consequences of illegal logging and trade
Consequences of illegal logging are usually discussed in their ecological, economic and social dimensions. For this objective a compilation of existing statements is aimed at, again focussing specifically on the methods and data behind published figures. Various fields of traditional and environmental economics as well as social sciences provide an interesting array of tools, which are to be discussed in this context.

Subobjective 2-4: Analysis of existing and planned countermeasures
In the past years a number of tools to combat illegal logging and trade has been implemented at national and international levels. Within this objective studies focussing on the evaluation of existing measures are to be compiled. In addition experiences from other related fields (e.g. CITES) could be used to draw relevant conclusions.


Objective 3: Awareness raising about the possible contributions of science to the illegal logging debate

This objective is to be met through liaison with key stakeholders in ongoing FLEG(T)-processes and other initiatives to raise awareness on potential for the contribution of science to international and national processes in the context of illegal logging and trade. In addition meetings and an international conference on the contribution of science to combat illegal logging and trade will be used to focus the attention of stakeholders on the potential of and the need for more scientifically based information in this context.


Objective 4: Publication of results to scientific and wider public audiences

Results of the Task Force activities will be published in different media, adapted to intended target audiences.

Scientific audiences
Information about status of TF activities on IUFRO webpages, TF mailing list and IUFRO newsletter
Publication of congress proceedings in electronic form
Publication of research results in reviewed journals
Publication of a scientific book about TF results with a scientific publisher
Publication of results at IUFRO World Congress 2010

Stakeholders and interested members of the public
Articles in professional magazines
Press releases on results of scientific meetings
Links to Taskforce website from other websites relevant to illegal logging and FLEGT-processes (e.g. www.illegal-logging.info)


Plan of Action 2007 – 2010

2007

  • Authoring of papers in co-operation with divisions and other TFs
  • Joint meetings with other TFs and divisions (identification and presentation of relevant research)
  • Scientific Conference "The Contribution of Science to Combat Illegal Logging"