Author Information

Congressional Research Service

Date of Publication

2019 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Illegal Logging

Keywords

Illegal logging, deforestation, biodiversity loss, U.S. laws addressing illegal logging, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Congo, Russian Federation

Description

"Illegal logging is a pervasive problem throughout the world and generally is defined as the harvest, transport, purchase, or sale of timber in violation of national laws. Illegal logging can lead to degraded forest ecosystems and loss of biodiversity, impede economic development, challenge local governance, and contribute to crime and corruption. In regions with large tropical forests, such as the Amazon and areas in Central Africa and Southeast Asia, illegal logging is estimated to account for 50%-90% of all forestry activities, according to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). INTERPOL also reports that the trade in illegally harvested timber is between $51 billion and $152 billion annually. This figure does not take into account the reduction in legal timber prices caused by illegal logging, which is estimated to be between 7% and 16%. Some express concern that U.S. demand for tropical timber from countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia could, in part, drive illegal logging in those areas. The United States is the world’s largest wood products consumer and one of the top importers of tropical hardwoods, including Peruvian mahogany, 90% of which is estimated to come from illegal logging. Illegal logging activities can devalue U.S. timber exports. One source estimates that if illegal timber were eradicated in the global market, the value of U.S. timber exports could increase by an average of approximately $460 million annually

Share

 
COinS
 
Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

International Illegal Logging: Background and Issues

"Illegal logging is a pervasive problem throughout the world and generally is defined as the harvest, transport, purchase, or sale of timber in violation of national laws. Illegal logging can lead to degraded forest ecosystems and loss of biodiversity, impede economic development, challenge local governance, and contribute to crime and corruption. In regions with large tropical forests, such as the Amazon and areas in Central Africa and Southeast Asia, illegal logging is estimated to account for 50%-90% of all forestry activities, according to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). INTERPOL also reports that the trade in illegally harvested timber is between $51 billion and $152 billion annually. This figure does not take into account the reduction in legal timber prices caused by illegal logging, which is estimated to be between 7% and 16%. Some express concern that U.S. demand for tropical timber from countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia could, in part, drive illegal logging in those areas. The United States is the world’s largest wood products consumer and one of the top importers of tropical hardwoods, including Peruvian mahogany, 90% of which is estimated to come from illegal logging. Illegal logging activities can devalue U.S. timber exports. One source estimates that if illegal timber were eradicated in the global market, the value of U.S. timber exports could increase by an average of approximately $460 million annually

 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.